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Kirstine Munk

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 #1 
Dear Dr. Nagler
First of all, thank you for this page.
Last year I remember I went to the ENT when I experienced tinnitus. My hearing was good, he removed some wax, the noice was still there.
I don't even remember how or if the sound ever dissapated. But I never noticed either way.
But-
I was recently exposed to loud noise at my job, several hours for two days. I didn't think straight. If I did, I would have worn ear protection.
I started noticing a tone in my right ear the day after. It was very faint at first, and then it became more noticable.
Then it turned to a high pitched constant tone. Then when I became aware, I suddenly found several more noices, an old one and static high pitched noise.
I all became really overwhelming. I stopped eating, stayed home reading and searching for a cure. I spend my time with heafphones, because it ay least covers the static and the high pitch. The old low tone turned up in volume, and reacts to almost every sound.
I thought/think my life will never be good again with this noice in my head forever. Also I have this feeling of fullness in my ear. And ot feels like the static noise is making me deaf to some tones.
I have been really stressed out, more than the last time it hit me.
And most of the time I don't know what to do with myself.
I have read the tinnitus101 and found comfort that in most cases it will subside on it's own.
It has been 3 weeks so far. The longest 3 weeks of my life.
So I just wantes to share my thoughts, and maybe get some advice. I am hoping with all my might, that it will get better or subside all together.

Thanks again.

Kirstine from Denmark
Dr. Nagler

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 #2 
Hello Kirstine and welcome ...

There is a lot to unpack in your post, so allow me to address just a few of the issues you raise.

Quote:
I was recently exposed to loud noise at my job, several hours for two days. I didn't think straight. If I did, I would have worn ear protection.

There is a very sophisticated medical term for people who do not wear ear protection when exposed to several hours of loud noise over two days at work. And that very sophisticated medical term is: NORMAL.

That's right. Hardly anybody wears ear protection under those circumstances. They just don't think of it. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that any permanent damage was done. It takes a lot of noise for a lot of hours over a lot of days to do that.

I suspect that what happened is that you got a spike in your tinnitus (as is not all that uncommon) from the noise exposure, and for whatever reason - possibly your past experience with tinnitus - your brain locked on to it. Once that happened things sort of snowballed for you. 

Quote:
I started noticing a tone in my right ear the day after. It was very faint at first, and then it became more noticable. 
Then it turned to a high pitched constant tone. Then when I became aware, I suddenly found several more noices, an old one and static high pitched noise. 
I all became really overwhelming. I stopped eating, stayed home reading and searching for a cure. I spend my time with heafphones, because it ay least covers the static and the high pitch. The old low tone turned up in volume, and reacts to almost every sound. 
I thought/think my life will never be good again with this noice in my head forever. Also I have this feeling of fullness in my ear. And ot feels like the static noise is making me deaf to some tones. 
I have been really stressed out, more than the last time it hit me.

I totally understand. That's part of the "snowball" effect I was talking about.

Quote:
And most of the time I don't know what to do with myself.

Can you put into words precisely why it is that you don't know what to do with yourself?
 

Quote:
I have read the tinnitus101 and found comfort that in most cases it will subside on it's own. 
It has been 3 weeks so far. The longest 3 weeks of my life.

And it may well subside on its own. But have you ever heard the phrase "A watched pot never boils?" I suspect that the more you look for it to subside and the more you think about it subsiding, the more of a challenge it all becomes.


Quote:
So I just wantes to share my thoughts, and maybe get some advice. I am hoping with all my might, that it will get better or subside all together.

My advice would be to assume it will never subside. Here is why ...

Either it is going to subside or not. And whether you hope with all your might that it will subside or assume that it will never subside will not alter that fact in the least. But if you continue to hope with all your might that it will subside, then every day when you wake up and discover that it has not subsided will be a day you start out disappointed. On the other hand, if you assume that it will never subside, then you start out each day just as expected - and if at some point you discover that your tinnitus has, indeed, subsided, you can be totally thrilled to have been wrong in your initial assumption. So it really comes down to a choice between (1) daily disappointment (until your tinnitus subsides, if that happens) or (2) your being overjoyed to discover that you have been wrong (when you realize that your tinnitus has subsided, if that happens).

Just something to think about. I mean, why adopt a philosophy that will lead to disappointment if you do not have to!

Now, please put into words precisely why it is that you don't know what to do with yourself.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.
Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC

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Dr. Nagler

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 #3 
Thank you for your response, Kirstine. It really helps put things in perspective for me.

And when you say that you feel like your tinnitus has turned your life upside down, I totally understand what you are saying ... because I myself felt the exact same way.

So here is how I see it.

Your tinnitus has not turned your life upside down - you strongly feel that it has, but it has not. You are the exact same person that you were before the noise exposure at work. The difference is that now you are sick. You are not crazy. You are not weak. You are sick.

And you can get better!

How do you go about doing that?

Well, based on what you have written, it seems that things are moving in a positive direction because by your own admission you are not as bad as you were five days ago. And who would know better than you?

The problem is that improvement can be sort or a roller coaster rather than a straight line. And roller coasters can be frustrating. Moreover, it seems to me that you are gauging your improvement primarily on the volume and character of your tinnitus, rather than based upon how you are doing in spite of the volume and character of your tinnitus.

You have shown great insight by realizing that you will find little, if any, help by spending time on Internet sites that are dominated by the voices of those who have not yet figured out how to do for themselves what you hope to do for yourself! That is a huge step. My congratulations!

The next step, in my opinion, has to do with your anxiety and distress. More specifically it has to do with your tinnitus-associated anxiety and distress - because your tinnitus-associated anxiety and distress is precisely why you feel that your tinnitus has turned your life upside down. Indeed, if your tinnitus caused you no anxiety or distress at all, then while you might still have tinnitus, you really wouldn't have a problem!

Now I could give you loads of suggestions for how to address your tinnitus-associated anxiety and distress - but those suggestions would be of a general nature and might not apply to your specific circumstances. So I have a better idea ...

I see from your first post that you live in Denmark. I do not know exactly where in that beautiful country you reside, but there is an individual in Copenhagen named Anne-Mette Mohr.

The reason Anne-Mette Mohr came to mind is that much of her work the focuses on the anxiety and distress associated with various auditory phenomena like tinnitus. Besides that ... Anne-Mette Mohr is totally wonderful! I have known her now for more than a decade, and I only wish I could clone her so that there could be an Anne-Mette Mohr here in Atlanta as well as in Copenhagen!

Is it possible that your tinnitus might just fade away on its own? Certainly. But if you are struggling anywhere near to the extent that your post suggests, I would contact Anne-Mette Mohr at the House of Hearing in Copenhagen to see what she might have to offer you. She also has a private practice in Copenhagen should that be more convenient. Either way, I can promise you that you will not be disappointed.

All the best -

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
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Dr. Nagler

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 #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirstine
I don't really react with anxiety anymore, I'm just annoyed when the high pitch static decides to take over.

OK. Got it. You are saying that your tinnitus does not cause an increase in your anxiety level. It is just annoying.

Fine.

But five days ago you posted that most of the time you do not know what to do with yourself. And just yesterday you posted that you are running all over the place and spending money you don't have. To me, that sounds like a whole lot more than an annoyance.

I am not trying to argue with you or badger you. But it is hard for me to give you meaningful advice in response to mixed messages.

So which is it - an annoyance or an anxiety-inducing monster? No need to answer. Just something to think about.

And if you do get in touch with Anne-Mette Mohr, please extend my best regards to her and her husband Gunnar.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Dr. Nagler

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 #5 
Excellent.

And just to clarify ...

Tinnitus is by no means some sort of mind game. Tinnitus is real. And its effects on us are real. But when you say things like your tinnitus is so bad that you don't know what to do with yourself in referring to an entity that in your next breath you consider to be just an annoyance, that is the sort of catastrophic thinking that - in and of itself - can make an unpleasant situation all that much worse.

My personal philosophy in this regard is that tinnitus can be bad enough as is ... why allow catastrophic thinking to make it any worse than need be!

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Kirstine Munk

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 #6 

Hi Dr. Nagler. 

I have been wanting to write for a while, but I was kind of embarassed after the last post. 
I wanted to seem like I was on top of things, but I am NOT.

Since my last post, I went to a communicationcentre, got a referal to get some zen hearing aids, and borrowed some while I waited. They actually seemed to help the anxiety, and I felt like I could be somewhat normal. But then one night after wariung them for 3 weeks, something weird happened. There was a brief but very loud tone in my ear, and since then, everything turned UP, and has gone down hill. 

I am out of my mind with anxiety over this tinnitus. I have been prescribed 30 benzos, to take in "emergencies", but every single minute of the day seems to be an emergency. 

I am doing accupuncture to help with the stress and anxiety. But I feel like I am going crazy, and I am ready to be admitted to the psych ward. Well knowing that they can do NOTHING to help me. If I had the balls, I would kill myself. 

 

I am waiting to get called in for group therapy, for people with health anxiety, something called acceptance and commitment. I hope I can learn something. 

I have talked to House of Hearing, I have spoken to a lot of people. 

Right now, I can't talk to anyone of my family and friends, because everybody is feeling down. I have nowhere to turn, and I am scared that I will go crazy ...

Kirstine

Dr. Nagler

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 #7 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirstine

Hi Dr. Nagler. 

I have been wanting to write for a while, but I was kind of embarassed after the last post. 
I wanted to seem like I was on top of things, but I am NOT.

Since my last post, I went to a communicationcentre, got a referal to get some zen hearing aids, and borrowed some while I waited. They actually seemed to help the anxiety, and I felt like I could be somewhat normal. But then one night after wariung them for 3 weeks, something weird happened. There was a brief but very loud tone in my ear, and since then, everything turned UP, and has gone down hill. 

I am out of my mind with anxiety over this tinnitus. I have been prescribed 30 benzos, to take in "emergencies", but every single minute of the day seems to be an emergency. 

I am doing accupuncture to help with the stress and anxiety. But I feel like I am going crazy, and I am ready to be admitted to the psych ward. Well knowing that they can do NOTHING to help me. If I had the balls, I would kill myself. 

I am waiting to get called in for group therapy, for people with health anxiety, something called acceptance and commitment. I hope I can learn something. 

I have talked to House of Hearing, I have spoken to a lot of people. 

Right now, I can't talk to anyone of my family and friends, because everybody is feeling down. I have nowhere to turn, and I am scared that I will go crazy ...

Kirstine


Hello Kirstine -

I was debating whether or not to allow your post - since I really prefer to restrict this board to a Q&A format, and you asked no questions. Still and all, I know that you are hurting, and I want to respond because I truly feel your pain.

You wrote [in part]:

I wanted to seem like I was on top of things, but I am NOT.

Right. I understand that. But there's a reason you are not on top of things. I talked about it in my Post #3 above: You are sick. It is absolutely not your fault that you are sick, but you are sick nonetheless. And if you want to get better, I suspect that you will have to do more about it than you are currently doing.

..........

I am out of my mind with anxiety over this tinnitus.

You are miserable. I totally get that. But you are not out of your mind. And saying that you are accomplishes nothing save for making you feel even worse!

I see from your post that you have "talked to House of Hearing" and that you "have spoken to a lot of people." The problem is that you likely haven't spoken with the right people. Moreover, even if you speak with the right people - if you do not act on their recommendations, it is probably not going to get you very far. So I think you should actually make an appointment to see Anne-Mette Mohr at the House of Hearing or through her private practice ... and then you ought to do what she says to do! Anne-Mette Mohr isn't merely good at her job; she is totally incredible at her job. If you had a cardiac condition that was significantly affecting your life, you would see a cardiac specialist for help, right? Well, you have an auditory condition that is significantly affecting your life, and Anne-Mette Mohr is among the very best there is at helping individuals such as yourself who are suffering from severe intrusive tinnitus. Seeing her should be your very next step, in my opinion.

All the best -

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.


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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Kirstine Munk

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 #8 

Thank you for your response, and my apologies for not actually asking a question. 

I will try to get in touch with her again, and ask her if we can do a skype session. 

And I think you are right. I haven't talked to the right people. 

Again - thank you for your time. 

Best regards

Dr. Nagler

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 #9 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirstine

Thank you for your response, and my apologies for not actually asking a question. 

I will try to get in touch with her again, and ask her if we can do a skype session.


Perhaps actually make an appointment to see her face-to-face. Then you might be able to do the follow-up sessions via Skype. 

Quote:
And I think you are right. I haven't talked to the right people.

So your statement "I have nowhere to turn" is inaccurate. And more than that, it serves only to make you feel worse!

Quote:
Again - thank you for your time.

You are most welcome.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

 


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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
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Dr. Nagler's Tinnitus Corner is provided for education and information only. It is not intended for the purpose of providing medical care and should in no way substitute for appropriate in-person consultations with qualified healthcare professionals. By using this site, participants agree to hold Dr. Nagler and Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC harmless with respect to any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage arising from following the postings herein.