Tinnitus Sufferer / Cognitive Behavior Therapist

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Dr. Hubbard, Apr 8, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Hello Everyone! I’m Dr Bruce Hubbard. I am a tinnitus sufferer and also a Cognitive Behavior Therapist who treats tinnitus. In 2005, my long-standing mild tinnitus substantially worsened and I also developed hyperacusis. The anxiety this triggered became so intense that it bordered on panic and encompassed my waking hours. I bemoaned my condition, withdrew from friends and family, and began anticipating a foreshortened future. I’ve since gone on to thrive in life despite having tinnitus and hyperacusis. I will always experience the sounds, sensations and distortions, but I no longer notice them or think about them. They do not carry the emotional weight of those early years, do not influence my mood or interfere with my goals. There are many effective approaches to help sufferers adapt and adjust to hearing disorders. Given my background I was naturally disposed to Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). It has become my mission to help others use Cognitive Behavior Therapy to live and thrive with tinnitus and hyperacusis. As a sufferer I am ready to learn from others on this forum. As a professional I am eager to lend my expertise! I look forward to a long and valuable conversation!
       
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    2. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Welcome to our community Dr Hubbard! It's always nice to have another professional to lend their expertise on issues. I'm sorry to hear about your tinnitus as well. I think it is a lot more common than many people think.
       
    3. jraulc_11
      Not amused

      jraulc_11 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2014
      Welcome Dr. Hubbard. Can't wait to hear your experiences with tinnitus and how you have helped people with CBT.
       
    4. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Awesome! Do you happen to have any experience and/or opinions about hypnotherapy and tinnitus?
       
    5. Cassidy
      Wishful

      Cassidy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress Overdrive
      Hi Dr. Hubbard,

      Welcome to the forum and thank you so much for making time for sharing your experiences and exchanging ideas! I myself have had tinnitus for almost 4 years which was mild and recently worsened and am extremely eager to read any future posts you might make regarding how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy might help & any tips (especially for the night time / sleeping)!

      Would you be able to disclose more about your type of tinnitus? Was it associated with hearing loss? Do you have any ideas why it could have gotten worse? How long did it take for Cognitive Therapy to get you where you are now? Did you rely solely on CBT or did you use masking, acupuncture or other means in your success?

      Best Regards,

      Cassidy
       
    6. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Welcome Dr. Hubbard,

      It's great that you want to share your expertise on CBT. I hope someday to be where you are--habituated and not caring about my T noise. I am just starting CBT. Do you think your mild T got worse because of aging or were you exposed to noise? I just woke up one day with mine--although I do remember two instances where I heard it but it disappeared within minutes. Anyway Welcome!!!
       
    7. christine kauhane
      Sunshine

      christine kauhane Member

      Location:
      honolulu hawaii
      Tinnitus Since:
      june 9th 2013
      welcome Dr.Hubbard !!!
       
    8. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Welcome Dr Hubbard!. I went thru 20 weeks of CBT for my frantic anxiety, debilitating panic attacks and extreme stress etc in the early days of my tinnitus. It was one of best things I did. The awareness of the tinnitus made my anxiety and panic 100x worse, though I had suffered from it most of my adult life. I just never really had to deal with it until tinnitus. CBT really did make a difference in my life and helped me to learn effective strategies which to this day I still use when needed. Taking anti-anxiety meds or supplements may help in the short term but things like CBT help address the underlying causes of issues magnified by tinnitus which can last a life time.
       
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    9. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Well said Erik! CBT teaches us emotion regulation skills that we will use for a lifetime, no matter the specific stressor. And research shows that for most of us, myself included, tinnitus is a powerful trigger for emotional states that preexisted its onset. I'm thrilled to hear that CBT was helpful for you!
       
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    10. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Thanks Kathi. I'm glad that you're trying CBT. I'd love to hear how that goes for you. I do have a history of exposure to loud sound through my decades long love of rock and roll. My audiologist refers to my "Led Zeppelin Ear!"
       
    11. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Hi Cassidy

      Sorry for the late reply. I've been working on recalling the details of my early experience with tinnitus in order to give your questions the detailed response they deserve. I ended up with a 6 page story much too long to post! But i would love to pick up on your question about sleep disturbance, as this is the number one complaint of tinnitus sufferers. Lying down to sleep, in silence, with no distractions, puts tinnitus sounds at front and center of our awareness! This typically triggers negative thinking, which further stimulates distressing emotion creating even greater vigilance to the sounds. It's like trying to fall asleep on the eve of a battle, when you're gazing over the edge of a fox hole anticipating the attack!

      Part of the solution (as always) is to practice keeping your thinking grounded and reasonable so that it doesn't stir up your emotions. For sleep, I also recommend practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is the primary acceptance strategy used in CBT. Regular practice of mindfulness during waking hours creates mental "space" between tinnitus sounds and our response to them. This space helps us step back from the sounds. We are not as easily hijacked by them and can try out more effective responses, like supportive, coaching thoughts, relaxing breathing and imagery, much more conducive to nodding off at night than negative rumination and anxiety! I could say much more about mindfulness, but we are fortunate to have the national expert – Dr. Jennifer Gans -- in our Doctor's Corner!

      Hope that helps
       
    12. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      I've never tried hypnotherapy. It won't take the sounds away, but there's reason to believe it could help soften your experience of the sounds, and get your attention out of your head!
       
    13. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Thanks Hudson!
       
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    14. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Thanks Christine!
       
    15. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      It's so scary to read these "it became worse and i developed hyperacusis" stories, after years of having mild T

      How did this happen? Did you go to a concert?
       
    16. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      We must be the same generation, I grew up on Led Zeppelin and saw them at Madison Square Garden in NYC! Many years ago. The CBT is going very well. I took a six week anxiety CBT toolkit group and am now continuing with my therapist. I am making progress. I choose to go all day sometimes without my ipod or masking -except at night. I use masking while I sleep. I am also working on how I think and my therapist is encouraging about my progress. Thanks for asking!
       

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