Daily Prompt: A Source of Anxiety

Write about a noise — or even a silence — that won’t go away.

Thats an easy one – my tinnitus! Although I wouldn’t say it causes me anxiety because that just makes it worse. It just is what it is although at the start it caused me anxiety for sure.

It’s going crazy today – because I’m really tired I think but it’s always bad when I first get up – before the noisy day sounds begin and block it out or I start thinking about other things. It’s always bad when I go to bed as well because it’s quiet so that’s all I hear and then I start to think about it and then I go INSANE, which is why I usually sleep with the ceiling fan on; because it makes a constant noise. I know someone who has tinnitus who sleeps with a fish tank in the bedroom so the pump noise masks the crazy ear noise but I’m such a light sleeper I think that’d be too noisy for me.

When I was first diagnosed with it (about six years ago) I really did think it would eventually drive me insane, I didn’t see how anyone could live with it forever but after a while I became used to it and the trick is to not think about it and to keep other noise around you. If I can’t block it from my mind I just think of it as being a motor – like a fridge motor you can hear – I think of it as my brain motor just humming along. Another trick I read was to project the noise out of your head and imagine it as being somewhere else. I do that sometimes at night – I project it out of my head and into the laneway outside the window; as if it’s something happening out there. But that takes a bit of concentration and tends to make you fixate on the noise so I usually just go with – ignore it or accept it.

I’m currently doing an experiment to see if running makes it worse or not. I’m not sure yet but sometimes I think that constant pounding could exacerbate it but I haven’t read anything confirming or denying it.

Tinnitus comes in many different variations of sound and the only way I can describe mine is that its like cicada noise or summer night insect noises if that makes any sense. One time I found a page where you could listen to examples of some of the noises and ringings that different people hear and some of them are just awful, I don’t know how they live with it so I’m thankful that I just have a head full of crazy insects on a hot summer day.

Once my daughter told me that a girl in her class had spelled cicadas as sakatas which made me laugh because sakatas are biscuits and since then I’ve always imagined I have a head full of crazy screaming little biscuits trying to escape.



20 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: A Source of Anxiety

  1. Pingback: A Source of Anxiety – Noise | My Conscious Self

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  3. Sakatas? Like the Japanese rice crackers? I can’t imagine them screaming: maybe they chatter or hum?

    Tinnitus, oh how I sympathize. I tune mine out most of the time, but if I’m not feeling well, like when I have a headache, it makes me crazy. I keep the radio or some sort of music on as much as possible, but when it’s time to go to bed, the best thing is some sort of white noise, like the hum of an air conditioner or a fan-driven space heater.

    • I love sakatas – classic bbq. Anything would be screaming if it was stuck in my head I reckon.

      Sometimes I”ll go ages without really noticing it and other times like this past week I seem to hear it all the time. I was in a really noisy cafe for lunch and that has amped it up as well – one of those clattering, scraping places.

  4. Oh yeah. I hear cicadas, crickets and a high pitched squeal. Sometimes a low tone comes around for a bout 15 seconds and then fades and other times a chirping bird pops in. I’ve had for 27 years. When I first got it, I thought I’d go insane from the lack of sleep. I finally used soft music to drown it out and go to sleep. I habituated a long time ago too but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother from time to time. When I’m over tired, it’s loud. When I drink too much, it’s loud. Otherwise I live it with. I love your image of screaming sakatas. Humor helps!
    Expect extra hits on your post, I shared it on my Facebook and I’m pretty sure the SayWhatClub will pick it up on their FB too.

    • Lol – you’ve got a crazy orchestra going on – it just reminded me of the Ning nang nong song, I’m imagining that going on in your head.

      Sometimes mine pulsates or throbs, LOUD, soft, LOUD, soft and I don’t like that much – I get migraines and it’s pretty bad then.

      Most annoying thing for me is that I used to love the quiet, I loved a quiet house, no tv, no radio but it’s impossible now with this I always have to have some kind of noise to mask my inner noise.

  5. Pingback: Daily Prompt: A Source of Anxiety | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  6. I saw some research a couple of years ago that found listening to music through ear phones helps relieve the constant noise. Maybe everyone under 35 has tinnitus hence why they all walk around with ear phones constantly!

    • Well thats the problem – listening to the music doesn’t really relieve the tinnitus it just stops you from being able to hear the noise, as soon as you stop listening to the music the noise is still there. You’d get the same relief if you were listening to a lawn mower – less pleasant no doubt. So you can’t really walk around all day with headphones in – it’s helpful at night though when the house is really quiet and all you can hear is the head noise.

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  8. Pingback: My brother’s silence | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me

    • Well it’s not the worst thing you can have I suppose but it’s just that it’s constant and at the moment forever so it can get tiring if you think about it too much.

  9. Pingback: Daily Prompt: A Source of Anxiety | My Atheist Blog

  10. I get an occasional clicking in my left ear; I usually just do something – anything – but listen to it and it will go away. But having any type of sound trapped in your head is hellish.

    Still. ‘screaming little biscuits’ just makes me happy.

    • Lol – I get a click every now and then as well – it’s like I’m sending morse code to someone; Chicken Little maybe. Sometimes I see her looking at me and I’ve thought she could hear the ringing, it seems possible as it’s so high pitched she can probably hear/sense it.

  11. that image is priceless!!
    thanks for making me aware of my tinnitus. most times, i don’t notice it as mine is relatively quite. but now you’ve got me thinking about it…

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