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Learning to Accept Tinnitus

Many of us consider it normal to experience anxiety, depression and irritability when our head is buzzing 24/7. Even when tinnitus stops for a period of time, it doesn’t bring much relief because it can start all over again at any time. We may think of tinnitus as a tiny animal sitting on our shoulders trying to eat our joy, steal our energy, make us mad, turn us into someone we don't want to be and most of all, try to take away our dreams of living a fulfilling life, achieving our goals, being of service to others and simply being normal.

Maybe our tinnitus is giving us a reason not to do all the things we want to do, which makes us even more frustrated with ourselves. What do people expect from tinnitus? Maybe they expect irritation, frustration, injustice and loneliness. How can we enjoy our daily activities or do any work? How can we sleep and stay healthy? Most people, even those who don’t have tinnitus, will agree that if they could hear an annoying noise hissing in their ears all day long, they would.

To make matters worse, tinnitus can often feel as if it’s blocking us from external sounds. We may feel as if these sounds need to pass through the noise to reach us, and it can make it hard for us to converse with others.

Fear of getting worse tinnitus darkens every part of our lives. It darkens our lives by making us want to avoid things, foods, or places. The more we change our lives, the worse tinnitus will get. Even seemingly harmless avoidance and rituals, like listening to music to quiet our minds and fall asleep, or searching online for a cure for tinnitus, can make us believe that we can tolerate tinnitus only if we act in a certain way. In the short run, these behaviors may give us a sense of control, but in the long run, we are still afraid of what will happen if these remedies don't work. This often applies to avoidance strategies and rituals, and some of the things we think are good can actually be bad.

We want to break out of this cycle, we want to live a normal life in spite of tinnitus, but often we find ourselves caught in a trap. We feel tinnitus saps our energy, vitality and happiness. We start to feel resentful towards ourselves. We feel frustrated that we haven’t been able to overcome these issues. We feel like we’re failing ourselves, our loved ones or our friends. We feel guilty for allowing tinnitus to affect our relationships with spouses, kids, parents, loved ones and colleagues. It all adds up to a sense of inadequacy and failure.

Most of the time we try to distract and engage as much as we can. This can give us a sense of control and perhaps even a sense of normality because whenever we are fully engaged in a task, we are not constantly hearing tinnitus. But after a certain point, we are tired of being 100% engaged and every time we are 100% engaged, tinnitus starts up again. We are even more frustrated that tinnitus is still happening and we are not making any progress.

Sometimes we think it’s our fault that we got tinnitus. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so careless with our ears. Or maybe it’s someone else’s fault that tinnitus developed because of something they did (or didn’t do), such as an accident, medical procedure/treatment, or not diagnosing and treating the underlying cause of tinnitus in the first place. One of the most common fears we have about tinnitus is that it’s a symptom of a more serious, undiagnosed condition. This can lead us on a quest to find out more information about tinnitus, and the answer to finding a cure for tinnitus. This can take up a lot of our time and energy, and it can feel like a ritual of information and finding answers.

There are many factors we need to take into account for the successful management of tinnitus.

  • Give relief from tinnitus distress
  • Be lasting
  • Don't be lured into a false sense of security
  • Depend on a shift within yourself
  • Provide you with the chance to grow and become a stronger, more confident person.

In the cruel world of tinnitus treatment, there will be a mountain to climb and a marathon to run before we truly understand what needs to be done. There will be blows we must endure, pain we must endure and fatigue we must endure. There will be sorrow, anger and irritation we must endure before joy, happiness and delight. As they say, no pain, no gain! The good news is, CBT can help us move forward if we choose to.


Learning to live with tinnitus is an act of self-awareness, patience and self-love. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, accepting tinnitus can bring a sense of serenity and empowerment. With the right education, support and mindfulness techniques, you can build resilience and take back control of your life. Remember, acceptance doesn’t mean giving up; it means having the courage to embrace tinnitus as a part of your life while continuing to live a fulfilling and joyous life.

“Learn how to embrace peaceful harmony by learning to accept tinnitus. Contact us at the Ambulkar speech and hearing clinic for help and guidance on acceptance.”