Unleashing the Power of the Mind to Manage Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by SonOfUhtred, Apr 29, 2022.

    1. bobvann
      Vegged out

      bobvann Member

      Location:
      Inside the vortex
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud shit
      As I have said multiple times, do you really think that sufferers choose to do so, that we / they take pleasure in not agreeing that it is not that simple and the pseudoscience treatments are not helping everyone?

      I do have to wonder as regards to the validity of TRT. It is not officially recognized by either of my or my wife's extended insurance plans.

      One can get portions of expenses covered through audiology and limited hearing aids purchase, leaving a lot to be shelled out of pocket for, let's face it, so-so chances of success or possible worsening, to which said clinics are not held accountable and get paid no matter what.

      @Pitseleh, salut mon ami :)
       
    2. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      I am impressed by Darlene Cohen history and message but I'm not sure everyone can do that.

      I remember a friend who suffered from excruciating stomach pain. He would spend hours on the floor crying and all doctors would do was say "anxiety". He went to a psychotherapist who was also a mindfulness therapist and she started delving into his past history, looking for deep reasons or possible trauma. The point is that this person had a completely normal life, he wasn't abused as a child or anything, so he sat there, often suffering, going through this life review and running in circles. At some point after 15 or so sessions he was getting nowhere, the pain attacks still excruciating. He asked the therapist, you are a mindfulness expert too, you spent years in India, isn't it possible to apply mindfulness to my case? She answered: for that level of pain, for mindfulness to help you, you would have to be the Dalai Lama. So, paraphrasing this for tinnitus I'll say that, unfortunately, none of us catastrophic cases are the Dalai Lama.
       
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    3. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      The mind is pretty powerful, our perceptions, our realities are stemmed from it.

      My numerous posts/threads talk about this.
       
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    4. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      How do you survive in Russia with this?
       
    5. arctic_penguin

      arctic_penguin Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Maybe wear earplugs and earmuffs for more protection.
       
    6. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It's tough.
       
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    7. brownbear

      brownbear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden sensorineural hearing loss ? cochlear hydrops
      This is a very interesting thread. Lots of great contributions and things to think about.

      Thanks.

      Best wishes to all.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      SonOfUhtred
      Confused

      SonOfUhtred Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud lifestyle
      Just had a quick look at your posts and some very interesting reads. I will get into this later. Many thanks!
       
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    9. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      That is indeed a right observation.

      I want to suggest that, in my opinion, (mindfulness) meditation is still the most efficient weapon against tinnitus to this day.

      I don't know if this practice only makes the tinnitus less burdensome, or that it actually lowers the perceived volume of the ringing, but when I was heavily into Theravada Buddhism a couple years ago and meditating like an hour per day, weeks could go by without me even noticing the condition.

      Everyone with tinnitus who is suicidal should at least look into it.
       
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    10. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      I want to preface this by saying that I did years of vipassana meditation before tinnitus hit me.

      I did a mindfulness course for tinnitus. The instructors were capable and prepared. However, this is what would typically happen.

      They would say "focus on your breathing, then when your attention wanders back to the tinnitus, once you realize it, make a mental note of that and go back to the breathing." And I, for the millionth time, "I'm not able to focus only on the breathing. The tinnitus is so intrusive that the best I can do is 10% breathing 90% tinnitus. There is no wandering back, I don't have a choice, it is just there, whatever I focus on, whatever I do." And the next time they would go on again with the same instructions. I even tried to make the tinnitus the object of meditation but that is not different from how I live when I do not meditate. I have no choice but being assaulted by this thing.

      I ask all the prophets of mindfulness to be respectful to people who can't be helped by it.

      Try this thought experiment. Meditate with a radio playing music near you. Maybe music you don't like. 40 dB. You can become aware of your breathing, physical sensations, the music, the thoughts and the sensations the music evokes, and then maybe go back to the breathing, while being aware of the music.

      Next try the same thing at 65db. It will be harder. Some will manage, others will be too distressed. Ok, you can sit with the distress, but if you were forced to stay in the room you would be doing the same. No need to meditate. Maybe you can be non judgemental about the music. Maybe.

      Now 130 dB. What do you think would happen?

      And yes, I have seen the picture of the Vietnamese Buddhist monk burning alive while maintaining a dignified posture. He was great, bigger than life. But not everyone can do that, even with years of training. As I said above, not everyone is the Dalai Lama (and it was meant as a tragic comment and not a funny one, by the way). Mindfulness can only take you so far, and if your tinnitus is truly catastrophic and keeps worsening, it can do very little, unless again you are wired like the Dalai Lama. My friend therapist I mentioned above was a real mindfulness expert. She had spent years in India. She didn't say the Dalai Lama comment as a joke but as a point to highlight the limits of meditation and mindfulness.

      If mindfulness can help you with this condition, more power to you, but let's not pretend it works for everyone. The tinnitus level and intrusiveness matter. A lot.
       
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    11. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      You have 130 dB tinnitus!? Holy cow.
       
    12. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      I don't know how many decibels. I don't want to know. I hear it everywhere. It was a thought experiment to make the point. You know, a little like Einstein Podolski Rosen, just much lower quality of course.
       
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    13. MartinPihl

      MartinPihl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      You and me both friend. Nothing can mask my five tones, and I mean NOTHING, so I know how you feel.
       
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    14. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      You see this is what I really dislike about the style of communication on this forum sometimes.

      Rather than being thankful about the possibility that one's tinnitus can be improved through some sort of practice or treatment, people spend their time coming up with all types of hypothetical scenarios just to argue that under certain conditions that treatment will not be effective. Some people are so quick to assume they are just a total lost cause, have it worse than anyone else and might as well stop existing. Correct me if am wrong but just after one mindfulness course for tinnitus you already decide to just give up?

      I mean, a lot of people report immense improvement in their life quality after developing a meditation. Rather than spending time arguing that, indeed, not everyone might be helped by it, why not celebrate that there is an easy, cheap, widely accessible and convenient method people can employ to decrease their suffering?

      That is the power of the mind, accepting that we are all still living in uncertainty about this condition but still being motivated to try everything in our power to make the impact of tinnitus on our lives as little as possible.

      I don't mean this personally, but this has got to be said.
       
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    15. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      Maybe you didn't see the part of my post where I was reporting my experience?
      I'm a very experienced meditator. I did years of vipassana meditation. Did you read that? You claim to be familiar with Theravada Buddhism so you know what vipassana is.

      You said:
      That is not my experience and that of many others. And I'm an experienced meditator. I didn't give up after one course. You are totally disrespecting my experience.
      I am not assuming anything.

      You are.

      And I wrote clearly, if mindfulness helps you more power to you. The thought experiment was illustrative of my direct experience, no hypotheticals here.

      If we need to lie to make the mindfulness enthusiasts happy, that's really the end.

      To everyone reading this: try mindfulness if you haven't. It's absolutely worth trying. It takes also a long time. But if it doesn't help you in the end, don't think poorly of yourself because of posts that state it is the most efficient weapon against tinnitus (and therefore you lost all hope because "the most powerful weapon" didn't work - also, describing meditation as a weapon is not really insightful of what meditation is). There are many other approaches you can try. And we need treatments and cures. If mindfulness doesn't work for you, you are still perfectly normal and there is still hope.
       
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    16. 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.
      I meditated daily for almost a year. Some days twice a day. It got me absolutely nowhere... NADA, ZERO improvement in anything. It was as torturous an experience after almost a year of training as it was in the beginning. If not even more so. I really had hope that it would maybe change some outlook but it didn't... and I don't even have severe tinnitus.

      I definitely think everyone should try a meditation practice whether for tinnitus or just general wellbeing. It DOES seem to help a whole lot of people, but I think for some, like myself, it seemingly just doesn't work. Our suffering is maybe too extensive/too complicated, we are all wired so differently.
       
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    17. bobvann
      Vegged out

      bobvann Member

      Location:
      Inside the vortex
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud shit
    18. Uklawyer

      Uklawyer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication - antidepressants
      @Chinmoku, don't take this the wrong way, but I absolutely love you.

      There is something to me that is so admirable about seeing someone, who, in the the throes of despair, expresses himself with so much eloquence and reason: who, though he must find it incredibly hard to do so, takes the time and energy to produce a coherent and measured contribution. There is something so dignified to it.

      If Dr. Susan Shore's device makes it to market and you needed support to get there, I'd take you to the US myself.

      I love all the rest of you also.
       
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    19. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      I am sorry it did not work out for you. But I don't know why you think I'm disrespecting you because I said meditation is one of the most powerful weapons available?
      If people get offended because I suggest a certain treatment is generally speaking more effective than other available treatments at the moment, they need to get over themselves. You say people might lose hope, but the other side of the coin is that people might not even bother trying it out.
       
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    20. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      What I mean is that you are sort of implying that people who say that mindfulness didn't help them are downers. You are invalidating their experience and feelings. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who tried this for two years religiously and got worse. How would such a person feel when reading that her experience is an hypothetical? Is it not valid?
      No, I recommended explicitly that people try mindfulness. It is evidence based (see paper by McKenna et al.) and it it works for them, more power to them. But it does not work for everyone and this needs to be said to counter dangerous triumphalist claims. Where is the evidence it's currently the most effective treatment? And how would your comment make someone who tried hard and failed feel?

      Rather than saying mindfulness is the main weapon or most effective weapon we can say it is one of many treatment options, a good one. More cerebral types can be helped by CBT. Others by hypnosis. Yet others by medication. There is no single uniformly more powerful treatment. Some are helped by nothing, unfortunately, despite trying very diligently.

      Look, once again, if mindfulness helps you, more power to you. I invite other people to try it too, absolutely, while being careful in choosing the instructors. @Sleaford Mod makes some excellent points on the choice of a proper teacher. But it's not a panacea and feelings of people for whom it didn't work are valid.
       
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    21. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      Thank you my friend. I'm reaching the end of my path. I hope to hold on long enough and that we can meet and sit together in front of a beer some day. I love you and everyone else who is suffering from these maddening conditions.
       
    22. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      I am sorry to hear that. Meditation is a powerful tool but very difficult to handle. Slight variations in mindset, predispositions and technique can make a huge impact on its effectiveness.

      I personally started meditating indiscriminately, switching between techniques, just hoping it would have some sort of effect. But I've found out that mediation is more like a vehicle, and that you yourself decide the destination. It's not enough to just meditate and hope it will get you anywhere, you have to be precise and conscious about what you want to achieve. Think of it like psychedelics, where dosage, mindset and trip setting can hugely impact its therapeutic potential.

      Also keep in mind there is much wrong information on the internet about meditation and Buddhism. I've found after spending more than a year meditating using various techniques and studying Buddhism, the majority of meditation teachers are crooks.
       
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    23. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      Yeah, I am sorry for recommending people to sit still, close their eyes, and try to observe inner phenomena whilst refraining from judgement. This is indeed incredibly dangerous and I'm glad you said it doesn't work for everyone.

      In all seriousness, I am much more interested in discussing meditation techniques with you than debating whether its the best treatment for tinnitus or not. I don't know you but you seem like a clever person. The question is, why does meditation work for me but not for you? Let's try to find that out. You do agree the experienced suffering from tinnitus is mental right?
       
    24. Uklawyer

      Uklawyer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication - antidepressants
      Bit of an open-ended question wouldn't you say? Seems a bit like one of those "we can never know a person unless we have walked a mile in their shoes" ones.
       
    25. Uklawyer

      Uklawyer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication - antidepressants
      I sorely hope not.
      It would be an honour and a privilege. I sincerely hope that day comes. Relating to mind: did you manage to find out anything about MDMA, LSD and the like? Would you consider this path?
       
    26. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      To be frank, your irony is ill posed because there are reports of meditation making things worse for some conditions. Sitting still and observing inner phenomena is not always possible or healthy.

      I won't say more because I don't want to scare people away but it's not difficult to investigate.

      We already discussed the importance of a proper teacher. People should explore meditation for sure but under a good teacher.

      We can talk about technique, I'm open to dialogue of course.

      I have nothing against you, you are trying to help and you found a good practice but we have to be careful extrapolating here.
      This may be the crux of the matter. Some forms of severe tinnitus are quite physical, like electricity running through your head, your skull vibrating, etc. It's hard to separate mental and physical symptoms. I feel my tinnitus very physically. Some symptoms of depression are extremely physical. Where do you draw the line? It's a very difficult question. Meditation works also for chronic physical pain, I used it like that successfully in the past, but I'm unable to do that with my catastrophic tinnitus. What are the limits? There must be some, or it would be a universal medicine and it isn't. Where do we draw the line between physical and mental? This is a very difficult question.
       
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    27. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      I would be honoured.

      I did try Psilocybin in a country where it is legal but it didn't help. I haven't tried other psychedelics. Have you considered that yourself?
       
    28. StoneInFocus
      Fine

      StoneInFocus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing damage, ear infections
      Yeah but we're all part of the human race. Our current species-being is the result of millions of years of evolution and natural selection. So our minds also function in a similar way. I just don't believe people are special snowflakes to such extent as it is often portrayed here. Even though there exists nothing as complex, beautiful and terrifying as the human mind, it too functions as a machine which can be manipulated.
       
    29. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      To bobvann:

      Perhaps I should wear a Ronald McDonald's Suit and cavort about with a fatuous grin while carrying a placard that says "POSITIVITY!"

      After 8+ years with this, my dilemma now consists in no longer having control over the random but overwhelming panic / rages that now fell me almost in the way that I have read regarding the uncontrollable power of epileptic seizures.

      This morning, for example, I was so overtaken with one of these sudden, ambushing emotional tsunamis that I almost ran a stop sign and had to wave an apology to the other driver (and I typically pride myself on being very conscientious).

      After all, who believes that I am glad that this has so cruelly laid siege to my capacity for self-control in spite of all of my best efforts?

      I am reminded of what Freud said about the Suicide: What is it that the Suicide wants? Certainly not what he gets.

      And, if I am being chastised for "toxicity", please note that I have assiduously refrained from posting a list of all of the shocking number of suicides I have read about since researching this condition.

      I especially did not want this to be a catalyst for anyone reading such a list and saying, "If all of them could do it, then so can I."
       
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    30. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      It looks like the "controllable" part of the human mind is 5-10%. The rest is subconscious and we know very little about it. Meditation (and, differently, hypnosis) can help explore the remaining 90-95% but it's not a known machine. There are authors who don't think the mind operations are computational and have Godelian arguments for this (one is the Nobel prize Penrose). So even if it is a machine, it is a largely unknown one.
       
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