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pessia
 #1 

I've tried everything in the book to deal with this, and I feel like it's gotten worse if anything.

 

Because my T is so intermittent, I don't really get a chance to get used to it. Does that make sense? I'll sometimes have a couple days in a row of nothing, followed by three days as bad as it's ever been. And the pattern repeats.

 

I know you 24/7 folks out there are saying "Boy, I wish I had a couple quiet days." And I can understand that. But like I said, habituating to something that isn't 24/7 appears to be difficult if not impossible. For me, anyway.

DrNagler
 #2 
Pessia posted:

I've tried everything in the book to deal with this,

............

Welcome, pessia.

For the benefit of those who don't know you - or who (like me) don't recall off-hand exactly what you've tried - please list for us the "everything in the book" you've done ... and how long you spent on each effort.

..............

and I feel like it's gotten worse if anything.

...............

I can certainly understand that feeling.

Tell me, what was your tinnitus loudness in dBSL when your tinnitus started two years ago, and what is it now?

smn
pessia
 #3 
Hi Doc:

Let's see. Xanax, Klonopin (still taking that), various anti-depressants, acupuncture, cranial-sacral therapy, counseling, most of the worthless ripoff remedies which I won't name (you know who you are), chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, biofeedback (currently), TMJ therapy (splints and other things) and of course several total blood work-ups and ENT exams. Throw in an MRI for good measure. I'm sure I've forgotten something. Oh yes, about a dozen different vitamin/herb supplements. I couldn't possibly attempt to relate how long I tried each one, but long enough to know they weren't doing anything. At least one month in probably all cases, and longer for most.

I never had the loudness measured, so I don't know the answer to your last question.

Perry

DrNagler
 #4 
Perry, have you undertaken cognitive bahavioral therapy or Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?  Also, since there are no universal cures for tinnitus, please describe in non-scientific terms what you would call successful treatment.

Thanks -

smn
pessia
 #5 
Well, the counseling was of that variety but I ran out of patience. I went every week for months, and got nothing out of it. I switched counselors at one point, but to no avail. Maybe I put nothing into it. I don't know. I've seen many counselors over the years (for depression) and the results have been disappointing.

I need to make something really clear. The days that my T doesn't bother me is not because I'm occupied with something else or that I'm just not paying attention to it. IT'S NOT THERE. Please believe me on this point. On good days I can sit there and listen for it, and it's gone.

Which leads me to believe I'm doing something (muscular, stress-related, who knows) that triggers it for awhile. The biofeedback has shown some things that support this idea (tight neck and shoulder muscles when sitting a certain way at a workstation for instance).

Interesting point to add - it's disappeared during vacations. Flat gone.

Successful treatment would be to reduce or eliminate the behavior that causes the T to appear.

Perry

DrNagler
 #6 
Perry, I think that it's really important to have realistic goals and to select an approach (or approaches) appropriate to those goals.

Let me give you an example.  I think you are saying that your goal is the elimination of your intermittent tinnitus by identifying and effectively addressing whatever is triggering it.  OK.  Which of the treatments that you have listed in your can reasonably be expected to achieve that goal?

smn
Murasaki53
 #7 

Hi Pessia,
             I am responding to your comment about depression rather than tinnitus.

Have you heard of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy? This approach is getting some very promising results when it comes to depression. I was recently surprised to find Laurence Mckenna (a UK Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience in helping people to manage tinnitus) with a copy of the book described here :

http://www.mbct.com/

If he is impressed, there must be something in it. I have also read the book and would endorse it. MBCT is decidedly not snake oil.

As we know, there are a whole raft of self-help books out there, so many that it can be difficult to know where to start. But one that I have found extraordinarily useful (and which is an utterly compelling read in any case) is Susan Forward's Toxic Parents. The roots of depression are often to be found in beliefs that are held just below the level of conscious awareness that we have inherited from our parents. Examples might be 'children should sacrifice themselves for their parents'  or 'I couldn't survive without my parents'. Forward's book helps the reader to identify these beliefs and then to address and resolve the issues that have arisen in adult life because of them. Do not be put off by the title. Forward is not suggesting (as Philip Larkin did in his famous poem) that all parents are toxic. But her insights into family dysfunction have wider implications for us all in my view.

Reading your posts it struck me that your lack of results in dealing with depression is mirrored by what's also going on with the approach you are taking with tinnitus: you have tried lots of things for both and none of them have been effective so far.

Of course there are no guarantees, but I would be surprised if a read of the two books I have recommended above and an implementation of the strategies detailed within these texts failed to produce some results for you at least as far as depression goes. I would also hazard a guess that if you get a better handle on the depression you will then find the tinnitus easier to deal with too.

Larkin's brief and wonderfully bleak poem can be found here :

http://www.artofeurope.com/larkin/lar2.htm

pessia
 #8 
Doc -

I don't think any of the treatments have much promise except one - a permanent vacation.

Murasaki - thank you for the information. I will investigate those two books.

Perry


DrNagler
 #9 
Pessia posted:

I don't think any of the treatments have much promise except one - a permanent vacation.
 
............
 
Perry, I can surely understand the vacation solution! 
 
But back to reality.  It seems to me that you are saying two things:
 
First, you are frustrated because none of the treatments you have undertaken to date have worked.
 
And second you are saying that none of the treatments you have undertaken to date can be reasonably expected to achieve the goal you have set for yourself.
 
So my thinking is that you have to find a treatment that can be reasonably expected to achieve the goal you seek ... or you have to modify your goal.  (Or continue to be frustrated, I guess.)
 
Now while your tinnitus is intermittent, it seems to me that your frustration never lets up - because on bad ear days you looking for relief for what you have ... and on good ear days you are looking for relief for what you will predictably have on the next bad ear day.
 
So, your intermittent tinnitus aside, may I ask what effect the unending frustration in-and-of-itself is having upon your life?
 
smn
pessia
 #10 
Well, it's having a large impact. It's difficult for me to think about anything else. I'm really upset about having my music "taken away from me" - the enjoyment of music has really been diminished by this.

I feel trapped.
I'm just sick of the whole thing. It would be easier to just turn off the lights.

DrNagler
 #11 
Pessia posted:

I feel trapped.

..........

I understand.  Been there myself.

.............

I'm just sick of the whole thing.
 
...............
 
There are legitimate effective approaches to help you not be sick of the whole thing.
 
...............
 
It would be easier to just turn off the lights.
 
..............
 
Right.  But that would be stupid.  I've been reading your posts elsewhere for quite a while now.  You are miserable, but you are not stupid.
 
smn


pessia
 #12 
Thanks. I would like to hear more about the effective approaches you have in mind.

Perry

DrNagler
 #13 
Pessia posted:

Well, it's having a large impact. It's difficult for me to think about anything else. I'm really upset about having my music "taken away from me" - the enjoyment of music has really been diminished by this.
 
..........
 
Perry, I'm sorry, but the above statement confuses me.  On the one hand you say that your enjoyment of music has been diminished ... and on the other you say that music has been taken away from you.  My question is ... if music has been taken away from you, how is there any for you to enjoy even to a diminshed degree?
 
smn
pessia
 #14 
Well, I guess it's "taken away from me" on the bad days. Sorry I wasn't clear on that.
DrNagler
 #15 
Pessia posted:

Well, I guess it's "taken away from me" on the bad days. Sorry I wasn't clear on that.
 
..........
 
Perry, I don't wish to be difficult, but I'm having a hard time understanding what you are saying - and, trust me, it's important ... or I wouldn't dwell on it.
 
So, are you saying in the passage quoted above that on bad ear days music is totally out of your life ... or that on bad ear days music is still in your life, but your enjoyment of music is significantly less than on good ear days?
 
smn
pessia
 #16 
On the bad days, the hissing I experience gets in the way of the music to the point where I don't bother listening to any (unless I'm at work trying to just fill my ears with something).

In other words, on bad days I won't likely sit down at the "main" stereo and do any serious listening. It's become too depressing. It's like someone has introduced tape hiss into my system.

I should explain that about two years before the onset of the tinnitus, I got back into audio (and vinyl) in a big way. Audio and music has always been a very important part of my life, but I really began to enjoy it again right before this all happened. So the tinnitus has had a huge impact on that.

DrNagler
 #17 
So, if I have it right, Perry, on bad ear days you do not enjoy music anywhere near as much as you do on good ear days, and that greatly saddens you because music is an important part of your life.

Is that basically what you are saying?

smn
pessia
 #18 
Yes, I'd say that is accurate.
DrNagler
 #19 
Got it.

So the fact is that music hasn't been "taken away from you" at all - not even on bad ear days.  True, you enjoy it less on bad ear days - but that's something that can be effectively addressed over time.  I initially thought from reading your Post #10 above that you had no music at all in your life anymore.  That's what was confusing me.

One last question, if I may.  Why would you think of something as near and dear to you as music in terms of its being "taken away from you" ... if that is not the case?

smn
pessia
 #20 
I suppose that statement wasn't meant in the literal sense. It might as well be gone on those days, but of course it isn't.
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