Trying to Cope

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Randy_, Apr 11, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Randy_

      Randy_ Member

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear
      I’ve had tinnitus for about 4 months now. It began in January when I woke up one morning with my left ear ringing. That was it. It was out of the blue and there was no clear cause, though there were many potential causes or contributors. I had a number of very loud noise exposures in the weeks preceding the onset and I had also been using an NSAID for back pain on and off during that time, as well. The latter seemed to cause some ringing in my ears at one point but I hadn’t used it for a least a few days before this suddenly came on.

      Anyway, it’s been a very difficult time. When this came on, I immediately began having panic attacks, general anxiety, and a deep depression. I can’t overstate how terrible this was. I had been on Zoloft for close to 20 years for anxiety and depression before this hit but I had recently gone off the drug after a 2 year wean (long story). So, I was off Zoloft when the tinnitus hit and I quickly started it back up again. Unfortunately, my experience has been that going on Zoloft makes my anxiety and panic much worse for a few weeks before it suddenly starts to reduce these symptoms.

      The first several weeks of this were true hell. But, eventually the Zoloft began to help and my mental state improved a lot. And, as my mental state improved, my T symptoms also seemed to improve a bit. It’s been erratic but I have had periods now where the T has been very low for stretches. I even started to believe that it was going away. But, at this point, it’s pretty clear that it’s not going anywhere. It goes up and down unpredictably and the only things I can clearly correlate to it is anxiety and depression.

      At the moment, I’m having a significant upsurge in loudness and tonality and I’m falling back into a depression. I’m also sliding back toward panic attacks again. My T is a very strange thing. It used to be distinctly tonal but these days it’s more like a high-pitched buzzing that comes mostly from the left ear, though there are times where it feels like it’s coming from everywhere. My whole head feels distorted and damaged. I also get sudden tonal surges in one ear or the other at unpredictable times, though I feel some kind of physical sensation immediately preceding them. But, for the last few days, I have been having a growing tonal ringing again and I can't seem to ignore it anymore.

      So, I’m really worried again. I thought I was getting better but I’m clearly not. I also thought I was starting to accept my T and that this wasn’t going to completely destroy my life. But, now I fear it’s owning me all over again. I’m extremely afraid that I have some undiagnosed disease and that all my good days are all behind me. I feel broken and hopeless again. I don’t understand what’s wrong with me and I'm not sure it will ever stabilize again. I’ve done pretty much every test that medicine can offer and nothing has come from it. I suppose that’s a good thing but not understanding this is torturing me.

      Anyway, I just wanted to put my thoughts out there where people can relate. My family and friends have been very supportive but few people seem to understand how difficult this really is.

      Thanks for listening! Randy
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, @randy, and welcome! Tinnitus is indeed a very strange and unpredictable condition, which can change tones, become louder or softer, or feel like it's in your head instead of just in your ear (or ears). I really don't think you have an undiagnosed disease, although sometimes it may feel like a very severe problem -- I think your tinnitus is normal, and you're experiencing some of the ups and down that come with the territory.

      However, it's possible that there is something that might be triggering your increased loudness and changed sound. Have you been following a natural diet? Any changes in medical conditions or medications recently? You might try cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and salt to see if any of these might trigger a tinnitus spike.

      At any rate, I wanted to tell you that those of us here truly sympathize and understand what you're going through right now. I'm sure other members will have additional suggestions for you. Please know that we understand, and we're all in this together!

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
      • Like Like x 1
    3. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      A warm welcome to Tinnitus Talk.
      Tinnitus comes with lots of unwanted emotions and with you coming off medication it can make tinnitus spike really bad and you recognised you still needed medication and took it again so you will have some tinnitus changes as your brain adapts to the medication again as can take a few weeks.

      I think you will be fine and just having a bit of a wobble over your medication and im sure you will start to feel positive again soon.
      Depression is hard to go through and talking therapy will help you learn coping skills along with medication .
      Stay positive you are on the way up again as you know you will soon feel better and don't panic when you have had a set back as that can happen and not frighten yourself you are going be back to square one as its not the case .
      You have been there and come through it once before.....lots of love glynis
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
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    4. Randy_

      Randy_ Member

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear
      Thanks very much for the helpful insights and compassion @Karen and @glynis-harbron. I really appreciate it. This has been a brutal time for me but it helps to know that I'm not alone. It's very hard to stay (or get) positive when my T flares up like this, though.

      I've experimented by changing foods, medications, and a number of other variables with little success. I honestly haven't been able to identify anything that makes it better or even worse. I think there probably are external things that are involved but I haven't been able to isolate them yet. Very frustrating. The 'funny' thing is, if there's anything I've found that makes things worse, it's stress. And, not being able to understand this condition is very stressful.

      Anyway, thanks again for your support!

      Best, Randy
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. cowdodge
      Grumpy

      cowdodge Member

      Location:
      Seattle, Washington
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Do you have a hearing loss? My T's have really spiked up the last week and I blame that on a restaurant that I went too. Should have put my ear plugs in but didn't think of them. I wear Zen hearing aids and the maskers work fairly well. But get tired of wearing them sometimes like right now! But they really do help when I need a lot of distraction from the 747 flying around in my head. I have had my T's for over 15 years and for many of those years It bothered me but learned to live with it. But the past two years it's gotten worst and so I'm fighting the battle of this junk. Anyway my Zens seem to work for me and hope your feeling better today?
       
    6. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Your T is still relatively new and so it can be unstable and morphing into different sounds, symptoms or changing ears. The unpredictability of T is one of the main reasons we fear it, because we don't understand it. Here is the TT thread which has many tips for T sufferers. It also has link to ATA & BTA where you will learn much more about T. The more we know T, the less we fear it, and the less stress T can do to our body which can then make T more tame.

      http://www.tinnitustalk.com/panic/

      Sleep is another big area of T management. Sleep deprivation is one sure way to fire up T. Get some bed time masking such as a sound machine or a sound pillow to help fall asleep better. Also, instead of sleep or anti-anxiety meds from the doctor, you can try natural alternatives such as Catnip, Valerian, Hops, Passion Flower, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Lavender, Kava, Melatonin etc. You can google search each of them to know their use and see if you can take them as a supplement. Check out this site on using natural herbs for helping to sleep or to calm the nerves.

      http://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/articles-on-herbs-and-health/herbs-and-natural-remedies-for-insomnia/

      You may also want to mask your T aggressively so you won't panic so much. If you haven't yet done this, here are some suggestions. Take care & God bless.

      TT's audio player: http://www.tinnitustalk.com/audioplayer/

      or this online sound library, particularly the self-mix nature sounds: http://mynoise.net/

      or download free sound generator ‘aire freshener’: http://www.peterhirschberg.com/mysoftware.html

      or search youtube with words like 'tinnitus masking sounds', 'white noise', 'rain sound' etc.
       
      • Winner Winner x 2
    7. Randy_

      Randy_ Member

      Location:
      Boston, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear
      @cowdodge, I do have some hearing loss but I had no baseline to compare to, so it's not clear how much is new and how much I may have already had. But, the hearing loss is minor compared to my tinnitus which has fluctuated in intensity dramatically since it started. I'm getting by but I have periods (like now) when it's really eating me up. It's hard to accept that everything was fine at Christmas and now I have an endless case of ringing in my head. Not being able to tie it to anything specific makes me feel crazy and every major spike sets me back all over again. I may eventually try some hearing aids but right now, I'd just like to be able to cope with it a bit better.

      @billie48, thanks for the references and the encouragement. Trying to wrap my head around all of this stuff.

      Thanks again everyone.

      Randy
       

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