Tinnitus Habituation After Ear Infection: How to Survive the Anxiety and Depression

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Keith R, Aug 14, 2018.

    1. Keith R
      Cool

      Keith R Member

      Location:
      Bucks County, PA
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      It Will Get Better

      I will never forget the night that I first heard it. It was while I was recovering from a recent ear infection, a particularly nasty type called Bullous Myringitis, or so the Dr. told me.

      As I was putting my 2 yr old daughter into bed that night, I suddenly realized I could hear a high pitched hissing sound coming from inside the right side of my head, and it wasn’t going away. As I listened to the hissing noise, I became gripped with uncontrollable claustrophobia and paralyzing fear which literally brought me to my knees. I can't explain why the Tinnitus impacted me so negatively, but it did.

      As a USMC Iraqi War veteran, I thought I was tough and could handle anything. Unfortunately, none of my training, experience or over inflated ego spared me from the waves of crippling panic attacks that ensued that night, and practically daily in the coming months as my mind attempted to co-exist with the insanity that is Tinnitus. I share this with you to tell you that you’re not a weak person, nor are you alone if you are suffering from panic attacks and depression from Tinnitus. You are simply going through a recovery process and it will get better. I promise. In fact, you will be a stronger person because of it in the end.

      Like you, I went to all the specialists and had many tests done, including an MRI to try to fix the Tinnitus problem. The results from all these tests were all the same - there was nothing that could be done to stop the ringing. Like you, the anxiety, panic attacks and depression increased significantly as I came to the realization that it wasn't going to go away.

      If you are at this point in your Tinnitus journey or earlier, I want to stop and say this to you loud and clear.

      It will get better.

      It’s true, that noise in your head may never go away. However, the panic attacks, anxiety and depression can ABSOLUTELY stop. It’s called habituation and is defined as "the diminishing of a physiological or emotional response to a frequently repeated stimulus". Habituation will happen on its own and all you need do is focus on staying as healthy as possible until your nervous system adjusts to the ringing in your ears.

      In my case, it took approximately 12 months. The below are the steps I took to help speed up the habituation process. Everyone's experience and ability to habituate are different. I only share this information to give you a few ideas for your own recovery journey.

      My Habituation Program

      Faith
      I invested my faith in God and how the Bible teaches that he loves me and has a plan for me, even when I’m suffering and want to quite literally give up. I was able to stay in better tune with Gods plan for me through church attendance, reading the Bible, prayer, listening to Christian music and building friendships with other believers. Ultimately, my faith was the anchor and foundation I relied on to get me through.
      • If you are new to faith, I would recommend you begin with the New Testament booked called the Gospel of John.
      • If you are an Atheist, I respectfully ask that you consider researching an old game-theory called "Pascals Wager".

      Anxiety Medication
      I took advantage of modern medicine for handling the panic attacks and anxiety. I went on Xanax and Prozac which worked very well for me and I was able to successfully get off of them in 4-5 months.

      Sleeping Aides
      Nights are the worst for Tinnitus. I took over-the-counter sleeping pills for the first several months so that I could function at work the next day.

      Anxiety Supplements
      I went on Amazon and randomly tried this high-review anxiety supplement called L-Theanine by a company called “Sports Research”. Quite unexpectedly, after taking this supplement I felt a significant improvement in my anxiety levels. It was almost a miracle cure for me at the time and no, I’m not being paid to promote this product.

      Support Systems
      I was honest about my challenges with my wife and family and in return, received love and support from them. In fact, I wouldn’t have made it through the anxiety without my wife. It is critical that you have someone supporting you if you are suffering from Tinnitus.

      Counseling
      I met with a counselor weekly for several months. He worked with me on stress management and gave me tools on how to handle anxiety.

      Exercise
      30 minutes daily.

      Hypnosis
      I engaged with a Hypnotherapist for 4-5 sessions. I was skeptical about this but it actually ended up providing results and taught me helpful relaxation techniques.

      Remove Stimulants
      I removed alcohol and caffeine which was making my anxiety worse

      While focusing on the above, my anxiety levels and panic attacks slowly dissipated over time. One morning at about the 12-month mark, I woke up and I could physically feel that the anxiety and depression had gone away. It felt like a weight was literally lifted off my body overnight. The ringing was still there, but it wasn’t bothering me anymore.

      It will get better.

      Those were the words my father (and my CEO), who also had Tinnitus for most of his life, shared with me during a particularly difficult day I was having coping with the ringing at work.

      Those words gave me hope when I needed it most and I want to offer you that same hope to you as well if you are suffering. It will get better. You will get back to the life you had before Tinnitus. You don't need to give in to the anxiety and depression. Put your faith in God who is sovereign over all things and work a plan to get yourself healthy and It WILL get better.

      If you are reading this and would like to talk, don’t hesitate to message me directly.

      Also, I am not a medical professional and none of this should be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor first. If you are feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

      God bless,

      Keith
       
      • Like x 6
      • Hug x 2
      • Agree x 1
      • Helpful x 1
      • Funny x 1
    2. Jonstorm

      Jonstorm Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ?anxiety ?dental work
      Thanks for your update @Keith R.
      Its strange how tinnitus affects some of us so strongly. I know other people that know they have tinnitus and its there if they listen but has no psychological impact on them at all. I really envy them.

      I recently developing tinnitus in a similar way to yourself. I am struggling to cope psychologically but Im having some occasional better days now 3 weeks in. Im best at home with my wife and dogs to comfort me, work is a struggle. Sleep seems to set me back every day in the way that I can feel better by the evening and then a torturous night just brings my mood right down again.
      Hoping I progress as you have
      Cheers
      John
       
    3. threefirefour
      Rebellious

      threefirefour Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/15/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      140dB B R U H moment
      Long but I'm feeling like it's a 2/10. Brings nothing new to the table. Eh, I'll bump it to a 4/10, but only because I'm feeling generous today.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith R
      Cool

      Keith R Member

      Location:
      Bucks County, PA
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Hi John!

      First couple of months are tough across the board. Just keep hanging in there!
       
    5. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      It's not that strange: Tinnitus comes in various intensities. Most people have mild Tinnitus. Few people have severe+ Tinnitus. It's pretty logical that the former set is less affected than the latter.

      It's not unlike headaches, stomach pain, joint pain, etc: mild symptoms are always easier to deal with than severe ones.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    6. Jazzer

      Jazzer Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      @Jonstorm

      Hi John

      My methods:

      * For relaxation - practice the soft mouth and hanging jaw technique.

      * For acclimatisation to the sound - meditation

      * For longer sleep - melatonin low dose (2mg)

      (Can give details if required.)

      Dave x
      Jazzer
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      We all have different personalities and different baggage. I had a bad childhood and because of this have developed a depressive and anxiety ridden personality, so naturally T i something that is very hard for me to deal with. I would imagine many others feel this way. There are many people like me out there suffering from various mental disorders.

      This post provides some good points, except the whole belief thing. I respect that other people have faith but I don't and would also like for people to respect my non-belief.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith R
      Cool

      Keith R Member

      Location:
      Bucks County, PA
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection

      Hi DG-

      Thanks for reading the post!

      How long have you had your T for?

      Faith was a big and very personal aspect of my anxiety recovery so I wanted to share in case that could help others and I agree with you, we all need to respect everyone’s belief/non-belief systems and be open to learning from each other. It’s a shame how polarizing it gets.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith R
      Cool

      Keith R Member

      Location:
      Bucks County, PA
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Oh man only a 4/10!!! :)

      I’m just trying to give back to the community. If I can encourage one person it’s a win!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. Jazzer

      Jazzer Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I am absolutely with you in this TDG.
      My mother was mentally ill - incapable of bonding with me.
      Isolated infancy where I felt I was dying.
      Childhood and adolescence was schizoid.
      No mother’s love, and no god.
      If god was a reality he would have been there for me.
      I don't blame God - he simply doesn’t exist.
      It’s all fiction, on a very grand scale.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Bazan

      Bazan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Great post John, i am 9 months in, and its been hell i exist and live in hope it will get better!
       
    12. TLion

      TLion Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      stress/loud concert
      Thanks Keith! This helped me on refocusing on my recovery path.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    13. dpdx
      Disappointed

      dpdx Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Murica
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset:09/23/2017 Worsened: 1/17/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, worsened by caloric test/VEMP test 90db nhL
      Meh
       
      • Winner Winner x 1

Share This Page

Loading...