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Pessia posted:

Nothing wrong with [the goal of converting tinnitus that makes you feel bad into tinnitus that does not make you feel bad.]


I'm glad you agree. 


Maybe I just don't want to get my hopes up too high. Does that make sense?


Yes, it absolutely makes sense.  You have been greatly disappointed in trying to achieve your last goal.  So I can understand why you might be a bit gun-shy about this one.

So let me ask my question this way.

Assume that your tinnitus that makes you feel bad is somehow coverted into tinnitus that does not make you feel bad.  Would you be slightly pleased?  Very pleased?  Or absolutely thrilled?


I would be more than slightly pleased. I would be thrilled.
Perry, I'm going to ask you to read an article.  Please read it slowly and carefully three times.  I don't want you to follow the recommendations in the article.  Consider the article to be an introduction to what I really want you to do.

Tomorrow I'm going to ask you to do two very specific things.  But only after you tell me what, if anything, in the article does NOT appeal to you.


Article for Perry
I've actually read that article, but I just read it again three times like you said.

Only one thing stands out, but I don't know if I would say it doesn't appeal to me. The "distortions" listed don't ring any bells (bad pun). What I mean is, I honestly don't spend a lot of time thinking verbally about tinnitus other than "This is driving me nuts" and "I wish I could listen to music without hiss." It's more like a wordless kind of despair at this point.

I figured you might have a problem with the list of distortions (although the two examples you gave in your post are pretty classic.)  Anyway, that's why I didn't want you to follow the suggestions as written in the article.  All I want to know at this point is whether or not the argument I put forth in the piece holds water for you.  And if not, why not?  Are there any flaws at all in my logic?

Hi Perry,

I have been reading through this thread and can relate to something you mentioned about music-
in that I quit listening to it- for a VERY long time- because everything was too loud to me and I could not tolerate percussion or bass-
My hearing was So sensitive - I just basically thought that I would probably not ever be able to listen to much if any music again- My car radio was tuned to NPR - For years.

But then, in the middle of a devastating setback, I happened across something that Rob had posted on one of the boards-
and what he wrote, and the way he wrote it- made a world of difference to me.
And apparently it also made a huge difference to someone here too-
Dustie wrote some amazing things about it.
It got her to be much more comfortable around listening to music again- and last we heard from Dustie- she was totally thrilled with the way that was going for her.

So I just want to mention, that just because something SEEMS unlikely or not possible-
does not mean it is. Sometimes it is very doable.
I can now listen to so many things that I thought I would NEVER be able to listen to again-
and what I can and do listen to these days is something I totally appreciate in so many ways.

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

You basically said that you t takes a hike when you go on vacation,
if I understood you right-
and if that is true-
I wonder- have you ever tried - meditation,
Or other stress reduction techniques?

Sorry to interrupt in this conversation- but I did not know where else to post this message to you.
I hope you and Dr.Nagler will continue on with your discussion-
and hopefully maybe something I have mentioned will also give you a bit of a ray or glimmer of hope-
that things are not always as they seem- and sometimes - situations can become much better- than we would have ever imagined.

Peace of mind and better days to you,

P.S Please feel free to reply to this at some other time, if you wish, after you and Dr. Nagler finish your conversation.
No hurry - just sending Peace, Hope and good thoughts your way.
Doc - all I can say is I've tried similar things (listing distorted thoughts) with a psychologist for other issues (work-related), and it did seem to help. So no, I don't have a problem with your logic.

Do you have any problem at all with any of the following passages from the article?

"Hard as it is to believe, many people with incredibly loud tinnitus are not at all distressed by it.  And some people with relatively soft tinnitus are completely overwhelmed.  The same is true for people whose tinnitus varies in pitch, timbre, the number of different tones, consistency, etc.  So if the same tinnitus sound is no big deal to one person, yet is overwhelming to another, the only possible factor at play is how each person reacts to his or her tinnitus.


"... the primary determinant of how we feel is how we think."


" not equate less than 100% success with failure."


It's hard to imagine, especially when it's intermittent.

Sometimes I think my brain is too "strong" to let it be fooled. "Fooled" isn't really the right word, but I can't think of an alternative. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? I think this is why counseling has failed me so many times in the past (other than the one time I mentioned). I wish I could express this better. Maybe I'm just stubborn.

However, I understand the concept that everything we feel is based on how we react. Again, easier said than done.

Perry, I'd like to take a moment to point out something interesting from your last post.

Yesterday you wrote:

The "distortions" listed don't ring any bells (bad pun).


But just now you wrote:

"It's hard to imagine, especially when it's intermittent."


"Sometimes I think my brain is too 'strong' to let it be fooled. 'Foole'" isn't really the right word, but I can't think of an alternative."


"Maybe I'm just stubborn."

Well that is precisely the kind of thinking that is standing in your way AND making you feel worse than you need to be feeling.  Given that your new goal is to feel better, it sounds to me like you have a lot of work to do!  Because it ain't gonna happen unless you are willing to examine and challenge those cognitive distortions of yours!

Now the one thing that you wrote that really is spot on was:

"... easier said than done."

So the one question I have for you before we procede is ... since this project is indeed easier said than done (much easier said than done), are you prepared to make the kind of serious commitment that it will take to achieve your new goal?  In other words.  Will it be worth your time and effort - even if in the end you are not 100% successful?

Great!  Then I suggest you do two things.  I am serious about both to the depths of my being, and I truly believe that if you commit yourself to doing both, you will reap great benefit in terms of achieving your new goal, something that according to your Post #42 would be thrilling.

The first thing I suggest that you do is read the book Tinnitus: A Self-Management Guide for the Ringing in Your Ears by Jane Henry and Peter Wilson, compulsively doing each and every exercise in the book, AND do it while keeping in mind the context of my article so that you will understand why you are doing what you are doing.

The second thing?  I have written about how important it is a number of times in previous threads.  I'll remind you tomorrow.

I think I read that book before, but didn't give it a serious try. I believe the library has it. Thanks.
You are welcome.

The book is - in my opinion - the single best published resource in the world for a person who has intrusive tinnitus.  It is virtually impossible for one who truly suffers from intrusive tinnitus to read it and not benefit significantly provided ...

1)  He or she reads it S L O W L Y and does every single exercise in the book exactly as written (with pen in hand) no matter how irrelevant that exercise might seem at the time and repeats the whole process a month or two later


2)  He or she does the above with a clear understanding of the goal to be achieved and the rationale behind it

It is this second element where I believe my article can be of greatest benefit.


Okay, I'll have to find a copy of my own in that case.

I was going to say the book is very expensive (out of print), but compared to what I've spent so far it's *nothing*.
Good idea, Perry.  In my opinion it helps to have a copy of your own that you can "mark up."

Now here's the second thing I want you to do.  And - strange as it might seem at first blush - I think it is a very important part of the puzzle.

For the next month you should absolutely commit yourself to doing one non-random act of lovingkindness a day for a total stranger.  (After that month, do them as often as you like, but for the next month it should be at least once a day.)

Since up to yesterday you were spending an hour a day working on your old goal - and since you have just changed goals ... it shouldn't be tough to find the time.  Especially considering that you don't have the book yet!

It's important that the act of lovingkindness be non-random.  You have to plan it.  One fellow who followed my recommendation checked with his pastor to find out the names of a couple of parishioners who were currently hospitalized.  After making sure it was OK with the parishioners, the paster gave him the names.  And the guy spent thirty minutes visiting each of two total stangers in the local hospital.  (How's that for a non-random act of lovingkindness!)  Another fellow started driving for meals-on-wheels.  A lady started assisting in a homeless shelter for women.  You're a project-oriented guy, Perry.  For you this part of the plan for success should be a piece of cake - and fun, especially if you use a little of that imagination and originality of yours!

The best of luck to you, my friend.  Thanks for your patience and cooperation in working through this thread with me.  I hope that many will read it and hopefully benefit!

just to let you know that I got a second hand copy of the book from Even though I'm in the UK the book arrived in 2 weeks and was in perfect condition and no-one had written in the book either. It was about $28.00 and $12.00 postage to the uk.

Amazon in the Uk had the book for £74.00 !!!

Mandy, your posting from across The Pond reminded me ...

There's a former RAF officer (now deceased) named Norman MacEwen, who once said:

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

That's pretty much the raison d'être of my suggestion in Post #56 above! 



Dr Nagler,

Yes a wonderful phrase... he also said...

"Many a man never fails because he never tries"

another good one eh?

Okay Doc, once a day is going to be tricky but I'll come up with something. Believe it or not, lately I have been thinking of doing something like bringing toys to a kid's hospital, that sort of thing. Of all the things that really gets to me, seeing kids (or animals) sick tears me up.

I found the book online for fifty bucks. Like I said, it's nothing compared to what I've spent in my "quest" so far.

I thank you for your time, it means a lot. I will keep you posted.


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