Well, Here We Go Again

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by onedayatatime, Dec 14, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. onedayatatime

      onedayatatime Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      New to the forum. Had tinnitus in my early twenties (I'm fifty-six now). It eventually went away (to my conscious mind, at least). There was always a remaining mild background high-frequency ring after that, but I grew to ignore it. Fast forward through a bunch of life events including two marriages and, as of two-and-a-half weeks ago, it's back - same tone, but louder. I'd been listening to music with ear buds, but no louder than I usually do. I had some sort of a sinus problem going at the same time. I remember taking two aspirin before bed one night (I'm on the 81 mg dose anyway). And I've been under tremendous stress at work for a long time (more than a year) - job loss kind of stress.

      I handle it mostly OK during the day, but I dread going home... because that eventually means bedtime. And I know all to well what's coming. I'm actually writing this from a restaurant rather than from home because I'm putting off going there. It's the anxiety, really. It's not so much getting to sleep because I eventually get so tired I pass out (with some pharmaceutical help). It's waking in the middle of the night to the noise.

      I've just (yesterday) been prescribed Lexapro and Trazodone (which worked for me as a sleep aid through a depressive episode a few years ago). My psychiatrist is a pretty thorough guy and he's convinced that this is treatable. Me? I'm not sure. Getting an MRI next week, then a visit to the ENT. Guess there is more to be revealed.

      Had a funny experience the night before last. I was on the phone talking to my girlfriend right before bed and even though I could hear the noise, it was like it wasn't bothering me in the least. I kind of felt almost normal. Fell right asleep. I entertained the thought that it might be slowly going away. But next morning it was back. That's really the toughest thing - waking up to it.

      Been reading around the web way too much for my own good. Probably an indicator of my OCD... just not a very good idea in this case. I've been trying a little techniques such as listening "around" the tone, listening to music, masking with brown noise or peaceful, comforting audio like rain on a tent or a jetliner cabin. Mixed results. Went into work today and told myself "don't look up anything about tinnitus". Well, that worked for a while. When I did manage to stay focused, I got some things done. Hope I can hold it together. Got a long way to go. Patience in the midst of panic is difficult.

      Biggest fear: it will continue and I won't be able to work, so I'll be let go and be without the financial means to address this thing.

      Biggest hope: I will wake up one day soon to (relative) silence.

      Biggest expectation: I will need to learn to live with at least some of this and the medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes I'm making will bring it all into the realm of the tolerable.

      I really don't like this. It's draining a lot of joy from my life. That's all. Thanks for listening.
       
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    2. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      i like your post... stay calm, you can do it. x
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    3. onedayatatime

      onedayatatime Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      My original background is in this introduction thread.

      Status update...

      I had an MRI last week which turned up an unremarkable brain and auditory region. The following day I went to a well-regarded ENT who said that not only do I not have hearing loss, but that my hearing is remarkably good, almost perfect, especially for my age. He is of the opinion that my tinnitus is the result of TMJ and/or neck problems. The TMJ is consistent with observations from my dentist about my teeth grinding, which he calls bad.

      I am slowly coming to the conclusion that this episode is entirely a function of depression and anxiety. In other words, I've had this sound in my head for some time, but it has recently become amplified through some psycho-neurological threshold that I've crossed without being consciously aware of it. As a result,
      I am also now on Escitalopram (Lexapro) to deal with anxiety, depression, and resulting blur of my mental focus. I'm also taking Trazodone to keep me asleep (seems to be working for me as it did years ago).

      And the interesting effect from the thread title...

      In an effort to discover the frequency of my ring, I used Audacity to create a few high-pitched frequency tones and played them back to try and match them to the sound I hear. I had no trouble hearing any of the tones. I would modulate them various ways using the volume control on my computer to bring them in and out of the range of my hearing. When I did this at anywhere from 10 to 12 KHz or so, my tinnitus would go silent for about 30 seconds, then slowly return over a couple of minutes. It took only a small volume level to produce the effect. I haven't been doing much of this because of concerns that I might be exacerbating the problem. But if it's safe, I might play with this a bit more to see if there are any additional benefits.

      Does anyone else have any experience with this sort of effect?
       
    4. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      Hey onedayatatime not to go odd subject here but how's it going on the lexapro with your T? I've been on it for 2 months now for depression and anxiety and I believe my T has become a little louder. I just bumped up my dose today to 10mg and there is an increase but I'm hoping it'll settle down in a bit. It's a catch 22 with this drug for me right now....
       
    5. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I had the same issue with Lexapro. The higher the dose, the louder my T was. The good news is that the T volume went back down when I stopped taking it. I hope you find the same result when you feel well enough to stop the drug.
       
    6. Stan Younce

      Stan Younce Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/30/11
      Lynette, I don't want to be a drag but in your photo, is that a large speaker behind you in the background. If so then you have no problems with loud music or are you using ear plugs to dampen down the dbs?
       
    7. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Months ago I read about treatment using frequencies above and below our own 'natural' sound. I'm pretty sure it was in conjunction with active listening for silence, mentioned by Peter Townsend.
       
    8. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Hey, @onedayatatime . I've experienced the same effect with playing a noise similar to my tinnitus frequency. I also have TMJ disorder. It only works with my T sound that is a constant pitch, but still. I wonder if this is some of the reason maskers work?
       
    9. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      Stan ironically this picture was taken a few weeks before my T started...I look happy there...I need it get back to that mentally stable place!
       
    10. Stan Younce

      Stan Younce Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/30/11
      Lynnette - Yes, you do look happy in that pic. I am two years in with this #$%@ and still working toward that "mentally stable place".
       
    11. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      Mick how long were you on lex and at what dose? I hate needing to take this knowing it increases my T...any idea why this happens? Does T increase with a higher level of serotonin in the brain?
       
    12. onedayatatime

      onedayatatime Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hi, everyone. Thanks for the replies. I was not expecting them, so had not checked this forum in a few days.

      The Lexapro is going OK for me so far. There are a couple of side effects like a little dizziness now and then, but they are not debilitating. I think I may have a few more weeks until the full effects are completely noticeable. Productive work now seems like a real possibility.

      At present, my focus is returning and my anxiety has decreased. I am able to go to sleep without external noise, but I'm still using it anyway on lower volume to aid the habituation process. I tried sleeping with out the Trazodone, but that turned out poorly, so I'm back on it.

      I still hear the 12 Khz tone, but I fairly regularly forget to listen for it, which equals it not being there. As soon as I remember, though, there it is. I've noticed that the volume of my tinnitus on waking seems (and I stress "seems") to be lower. Overall, things seem a little better, though there are still times when the tone grabs me a bit (like right now).

      I haven't done any more with the tone simulation effect I referred to in the original post since I've been visiting relatives the past week. I will start playing with this a bit more, though, and report back. Thanks for the comments relating to this. I have some more ideas to explore. Everything I'm reading about this condition tells me any change takes time, sometime copious amounts.

      I will be visiting the Mayo Clinic in a few weeks and plan to also visit a DO for some analysis of my recent neck problems which seems to coincide with the onset of the tinnitus. I still need to refit my bi-pap for sleep apnea, get a bite guard, and continue my cognitive work with my counselor.

      Of all the things that have changed recently, the lower morning volume is the thing that means the most to me. Waking up to slightly less noise is, right now, a blessing, and I'm grateful for it.

      I'm also grateful for all the interest shown here and those willing to share their knowledge and experiences.

      I wish everyone a Good (or at least Better) New Year.
       
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