Achieving Habituation for a Better Life
Tinnitus affects approximately 20 percent of the global population, making it a common condition worldwide. However, it may seem unlikely that every fifth person you encounter is solely preoccupied with their tinnitus. In this video, we will explore why tinnitus habituation is possible for everyone, regardless of the intensity or severity of their symptoms.
I am Frieder, the founder of mytinnitus.club Community, an online platform dedicated to tinnitus management. Join me as we delve into the reasons behind the belief that anyone can achieve habituation and live a fulfilling life despite tinnitus.
Intensity Doesn’t Define Suffering:
The loudness and intensity of tinnitus, which are subjective experiences, do not always correlate with the level of distress or discomfort. Each individual assigns a unique value to their tinnitus, influencing their ability to habituate. It is crucial to recognize that suffering is not solely determined by the loudness of the sound.
Different Perspectives on Tinnitus:
Various groups of people may experience tinnitus more frequently, yet approach it differently. Consider individuals working on construction sites. While younger workers may initially find their tinnitus bothersome, an older colleague who has grown accustomed to it advises them not to worry. This difference in perception and adaptation demonstrates that habituation is influenced by one’s perspective and mindset.
The Role of Conditioning and Anxiety:
How a person initially perceives their tinnitus plays a significant role in their ability to habituate. Seeking medical advice and encountering limited treatment options can lead to anxiety. Engaging in online forums and reading about extreme cases can amplify this anxiety. The collective anxiety and herd mentality associated with tinnitus can hinder habituation. Our goal should be to break free from negative belief systems.
The Brain’s Survival Mechanism:
Our brains are wired for survival, not necessarily happiness. When the brain detects a problem, it focuses on solving it. This survival mechanism can impede habituation as constant attention to tinnitus prevents the brain from perceiving it as benign. Awareness and focus on tinnitus intensify the problem-solving response, hindering habituation.
Everyone Can Achieve Habituation:
Despite the challenges, it is entirely possible for anyone to reach a stage of habituation. Breaking free from limiting belief systems is the first step. Utilizing tools from cognitive behavior therapy, such as uncovering belief systems and practicing acceptance and commitment, helps reframe our relationship with tinnitus. Over time, as we become more accepting, there will be moments when we realize we were no longer actively listening to the sound.