Tinnitus Has Stopped Giving Me Anxiety — Is This How Habituation Begins?

Discussion in 'Support' started by CompostInTraining, Dec 8, 2021.

    1. CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Long story short, I’ve had tinnitus 10ish years. Habituated and didn’t think about it often. 4 months ago I had a panic attack and refocused on my tinnitus. Went completely back like I got it all over again. Hear it 24/7, over everything but the shower (and even then sometimes).

      Struggled pretty bad for a while now but a switch went on a few days ago and suddenly it isn’t causing me panic or anxiety like before. The “volume” is still up and down and I still notice it all day but for the first time in the last 4 months I have gone a few days now without it causing me anxiety. It’s been so long since I habituated the first time I don’t remember at all what it was like, so...

      Is this the first step on getting my life back? Is this what habituation starts as?
       
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    2. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      Yes, in my opinion this is the first step, and an absolute necessary step, towards habituation and better times.

      I know the feeling to have it all come back again/all over again. 24/7. It hit me hard too about 2 years ago - after being habituated for close to 15 years.

      I didn't remember a lot either how it was back then. I only remember just when I got it originally, but little to nothing after that.
       
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    3. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      Most definitely. I had a bad spike after a long time and I was having anxiety attacks. I couldn’t deal with it.

      Now my tinnitus has subsided a bit and at least I am not getting anxiety attacks.

      Miss my silence. Hoping I get back to my previous baseline.

      Has your volume subsided or is it exactly the same as when you were having panic attacks?

      My anxiety went down but it’s because my tinnitus volume also went down.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Both I think. I don’t think my tinnitus volume was/is actually any louder. It’s hard to say because it definitely seemed/s louder. But it’s not at the OMG I want off this earth level anymore like it was just a few weeks ago. I’m taking that all as a good sign.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      How long did it take you the second time? I always assumed if I had a major spike it would only take me a few days/weeks to adjust since I’d done it before but boy was I wrong. I think I underestimated how bad my mental health is anyway.
       
    6. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      I'm still in it, but have gotten way better over the span of 2 years. With hyperacusis this time though.

      But I do not consider this to be a spike in any way, but sort of a lasting change. I have accepted that, and one can't expect the tinnitus to be like it was before forever.

      With the sound sensitivity it takes a lot longer time to get around than last time, as the sensitivity (and fear) to sound needs to be treated first. It's a completely different ballgame.

      I guess we have to come to terms that life changes, and sometimes we get changes and things happen that we didn't see coming - and didn't want. We are not in control of everything.

      But the main thing to extract from it is that it will get better - but not without "an effort".
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      That’s very true and very well said. I have some sound sensitivity and “reactionary” tinnitus lately but I think it’s all because I expect it to get louder so it is. It’s fear based for me I think.
       
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    8. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      These factors with fear, anxiety and so on is very much connected to this, without a doubt. Especially when it comes to the likes of sound sensitivity and reactivity.
       
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    9. kingsfan
      Haunting

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Coolifornia
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Let me get this straight. Your tinnitus is loud enough to be heard over the shower, on occasion, yet you were able to ignore it enough to hardly think about it? This is the kind of thing I need to hear.
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Yes 10 years ago when I first got tinnitus it was loud enough that I could often hear it in the shower. I habituated in approximately 6-8 months and although I could still hear it pretty much everywhere if I looked for it, I largely forgot about it and only noticed it at night or after listening to louder music/movies. I suspect I was able to habituate so quickly in part because the job I was working was in a package processing facility so I couldn’t hear my tinnitus well 5-8 hours a day. That and I was young, didn’t know about this forum and my mental health was a zillion times better than now. But to be honest I don’t really remember much about it, and what it was like habituating at that time.

      After my panic attack four months ago I latched onto it again and notice it nearly 24/7 again.
       
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    11. Iman KS
      Depressed

      Iman KS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress and lack of sleep + ?
      It's exactly the same for me
      The situation gets better over time
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      How long ago did your spike/relapse happen?

      Insane that something you think you’ve dealt with can just come back like this and wreak havoc all over again. Thank god I’ve now strung 5 good days together. Haven’t done that in 4 months. Hoping it only gets better from here for all of us.
       
    13. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      I have been trying to figure out for a long time if there are people who have very loud tinnitus and are not getting bothered by it.

      Most people I have talked to, when they mention their tinnitus doesn't bother them any more, the real reason behind is that their tinnitus volume has subsided.

      I understand that if tinnitus volume has gone done, after a while it doesn't bother you but what if the volume has remained very loud. Can you still function properly?
       
    14. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      Can you please clarify again? Is your tinnitus still as loud as when you had the panic attacks, but it’s not bothering you as much nowadays? You can hear it over TV or everyday conversation and it’s not bothering you?
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      To be entirely honest I’m not sure. I don’t think the volume has changed at all I think I just honed in on it again if that makes sense? I can definitely still hear it all the time if I look for it but my brain is slowly starting to phase it out again.

      Personally I think most people with loud tinnitus can get to the place where it’s phased out too. I think you will too. It could take a while but I think it will.
       
    16. Óscar PP
      Psychedelic

      Óscar PP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Coronavirus
      I have loud tinnitus that (along with other health issues like a severe case of PVFS) made me extremely suicidal, yet now I barely notice the tinnitus once or twice a day, despite it not having lowered in volume nor pitch one bit.

      I've often thought about how this can be possible, and the only conclusion I've come up with is that some forms of tinnitus are just more easy to habituate to than others, regardless of loudness. It's all about habituation, which occurs naturally for most.

      I recently discovered that many people get tinnitus as babies so they don't even know they have it and just believe that silence "sounds" like their tinnitus because that's all they've ever heard. They can have high pitched annoying tinnitus like mine but since they never heard real silence, I guess their brains just tune their tinnitus out and they go on with their lives without a care in the world.
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I lied about tinnitus not giving me anxiety apparently. The last two days have been tough. I just don’t get it. I’ve heard this sound for 10 years, why is it suddenly giving me such horrible anxiety?

      How do I get myself to not dread and fear this sound again? I feel like I’ve tried everything.
       
    18. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      Have you tried therapy? I have learned that mild tinnitus can get worse because we just keep thinking about it.

      That has been true for me.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I started therapy about 3-4 weeks ago. It’s been helpful for sure. Just feeling frustrated with myself. I know 90% of this is just perception and anxiety. Knowing that just doesn’t seem to make a difference.
       
    20. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      How did you stop the panic?
       
    21. volsung37

      volsung37 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Habituation is a very strange thing. It just creeps up on you as you carry on your life despite the tinnitus.

      I sometimes wonder whether we have any real control over it at all.

      If you concentrate on habituation it won’t happen because you are concentrating on your tinnitus really.

      Catch 22.
       
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    22. InfiniteLoop
      Relaxed

      InfiniteLoop Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Redwood City, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High frequency hearing loss in left ear from head trauma (?)
      @CompostInTraining, tinnitus is always there. It is you and your relationship to it. Choose hate, love or ignore it. The way to win is to decouple from the tinnitus, it takes a long time and will remind you of your weak points very often no matter what.
       
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    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      CompostInTraining

      CompostInTraining Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Thank you, I know logically that’s true but truly believing it can be hard. I was completely adjusted to tinnitus for 10 years. I noticed it at most a couple times a day but it never caused me distress and I was always able to immediately move on.

      It’s just so awful I could lose that all in a matter of minutes. I’m still hopeful it’ll get better even after 4 months but each day that goes by I feel less and less hopeful.
       
    24. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      Short answer:
      Counselling, sound enrichment and mindfulness.
       
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