Case study 7 - Simon

SimoncasestudyIt is now 4 months since I became acutely aware of my tinnitus and started on this journey of trying to deal with what was a very distressing time for me. This has included being a member of Tinnitus Tunes and working with a recommended acupressure specialist.

Onset of my tinnitus was accompanied by deep anxiety and some very low moments in my mood. At that time, I was dealing with high workloads and a great deal of pressure managing family related issues. I initially looked to medical help, and got some, via a pill bottle, where anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications were prescribed plus I grasped at all sorts of interventions that I hoped would help. This included Physiotherapy, Chiropractor, and an ENT specialist. Anti-anxiety medication (Benzos) did provide temporary help, but it only addressed the symptom not the cause.

I have come to realise, over several months, what everyone knows and has been written about by others…. That tinnitus cannot be cured but it can be managed, particularly with help and positive support.

My Tinnitus has two levels

A background noise of about 3/10, which is like the sound of cicadas in a forest on a summer’s day. I can manage this situation easily now and usually can forget about it for hours or even days.

The other level is 8/10 of high frequency noise, which is a bit like fingernails down a black board. This situation is the real baddie, and it is understanding what triggers this that is the secret to living with my tinnitus. The number one cause is worrying about the 8/10 noise as this will almost guarantee its onset and cause it to remain. In other words, it sets up a downward cycle that must be broken (and that is where Tinnitus Tunes and Andrew the acupressure specialist come in).

Other triggers are tension, stress, tiredness, and cheap red wine. Booze is a quick fix, but not for long as the next day, the demonic noise returns remorselessly.

The two main weapons I have learnt to use that are linked:

  1. Distraction. The Tinnitus Tunes programme of brain retraining, masking noise, relaxation, keeping busy, a good night’s sleep and techniques around all of these have been a lifesaver.
  2. Reduction of tension & anxiety, improving my posture, mindfulness, positive thinking and inner calm, has been what Andrew has provided with acupressure plus his holistic approach to overall wellbeing.

There are conditions. The biggie is accepting that there is no silver bullet. Then realising that you must be patient, trusting and believing. We all hope for a quick fix…pills help at the beginning while we start to adjust, and trying the various specialists is important as otherwise we will always wonder what if I had tried?

One visit to a specialist like Andrew (an acupressure specialist) will not fix your underlying tension and tinnitus either. In fact, the tinnitus may get worse to start with, and acupressure may not work for very one.

For me it has been a part of my acceptance of what I need to do and how to do it. Relax, de-stress, take your mind to a place where the noise fits the imaginary environment …. I close my eyes and I am walking along a sand track in a sun lit forest listening to the cicadas.