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Something I can't replace...

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Hi guys, I'm new here.
About three months ago, I noticed my ears were 'blocked up', a little while after that they began ringing constantly. Noises seemed fainter - the sound of rain on the roof, the pages turning as I read a newspaper. I had trouble hearing in restaurants and when walking down the street, or when someone talked from an adjacent room/didn't face me, etc. I thought I had fluid in my ears or something. So off I went to the doctor and was referred to a specialist. He said it was permanent and likely genetic (recessive, as no one in my family has problems), furthermore it is likely to progress.

So now I am left with this detached feeling, the world seems far away. I had insomnia before this happened, but at least I could lie awake in peace, escaping other problems as I lay in bed. Now I have the ringing, forever. I live in the knowledge that this will cloud my experiences for the rest of my life, perhaps it will even get much worse. I am now self conscious about my outward behavior and I feel slow and embarrassed when I struggle to understand someone. I have moved back home and am no longer studying. I spend my days just trying to forget the past, I would give anything to go back just one year.

Nothing I experience will ever be as full as it once was. My family cannot understand, and I am embarrassed to meet people I knew before. I hide myself away from the world, knowing there is no escape from this.

This isn't a problem I can work through, there is no way to fix it. I can no longer enjoy music and it makes me so sad when a song comes to my mind, to think it will never sound whole to me again. I'm 18. This is not a feeling any 18 year old should have.

I don't want to live in such a hollow world, forever jealous of happy people blind to my suffering. My youth has been torn from my grasp, my awareness dulled. Nothing I achieve from now on will leave me truly happy.

I know it will be terrible for my family and people who knew me if I were to kill myself, but what about what I want? Should I just stick around to be an object in the lives of others, alive but not fully there, so they may feel content. If only I knew no one, this wouldn't be such a hard decision. I want to overdose on heroin and die peacefully.

Of course, I'm sitting on the fence here, why else would I have posted this? Should I really continue with a life that is so much emptier, with no chance of improvement? Why?


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
My father had terrible tinitus and at times the noise drove him mad, he found white noise eased it.
Know it won't bring your hearing back, but it can give you respite from the constant din.

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
i hear allergy meds also help to decrease that noise some i also saw something at shoppers for ringing in the ear that is to help ask your pharmisist okay they would know.


Well-Known Member
Hi Northwest,

Sorry for what’s happening to you…

You are 18. It must be very difficult for you to handle this now…

I understand that you find it hard to accept this is happening, but you may still be able to find ways to handle the situation and enjoy life in a way. Maybe you’ve heard about the great musician Beethoven, one of the most famous and influential composers of all time, whose hearing began to deteriorate in his 20s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_van_Beethoven

Your condition is better than Beethoven’s and modern medical treatment options are available to you. I saw somewhere it says “Relief from Tinnitus and Ringing Ears through noise habituation is possible.” Here are two of the websites:


It may take some time for you to make necessary adjustments. Do not feel embarrassed for the situation. Only people’s shallowness would make them react to the situation.

Learn some relaxation techniques and help yourself relax as much as possible. Stress would only make the symptoms worse. Do what you can now…
Thanks guys.

The only real remedy I've found is to stand close to an air conditioner. I've tried antihistamines and benzodiazepines, but neither did anything for the ringing. If I have a fan running at night I still hear it.

I know I was told it's genetic, but I sort of blame myself for the onset of the hearing loss. It started at a time when I was taking numerous sleeping tablets (trying to find 'the one') and I have since read about the 'ototoxicity' of certain drugs. It just feels strange to me that this would coincidentally happen while I was taking these medications. I feel like I'll be wearing the consequences of my actions in an unbearable way for a lifetime. Forever I'll be wondering "did I set this off through my actions?" and it's hard enough to live in this misery without that wonder.

I feel like no one around me understands and I honestly can't see a way out.


Well-Known Member
Did you tell the specialist about all this? It is possible that what he said may not be 100% accurate or true. There are so many possibilities…

Anyway, it is no good to blame yourself for what you did in the past that might have contributed to the condition. Again, just do what you can now…you will find more ways to deal with it…

Remember that it’s very important now to be more conscious and relax yourself. Maybe also talk to your family members about how serious you feel about the situation and ask them to help you to relieve stress and explore the treatment options or cure…
I didn't tell him everything I'd been taking, but I did ask about the possibility of pills causing it. He said they normally wreck the high frequencies, not the middle frequencies as has happened to me. I still can't shake the self-accusatory thoughts though. I have little doubt that if I had acted differently at some point, this would not be happening.

I'm trying to relax, but it's just so hard. Perhaps before I would have relaxed with some nice music, now I can't truly appreciate it. I talk to my family, but I think I just bring them down. I can't enjoy simple activities with them in the way I used to, things aren't simple like they were a just four months ago. Four months. The time frame of this is just astonishing to me.

I wish I could go back in time and warn myself to take good care of my health, or anything that might have helped.

I know many people have it worse than me, but it doesn't make me feel any better because I am surrounded by people who have it better. My ninety-five year old grandmother has better hearing than me.

I feel like I have lived through the good years. Now all that I experience is faded, nothing compared to before. I will always remember the other time, and as long as I do I don't feel I can be content. There is no peace now, no simplicity, nothing can seem as beautiful as before.

It's weak, and so disrespectful to those who have it worse, but I don't think I can face this life.
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Well-Known Member
It’s understandable that you are thinking and feeling like this now. You are aware of those “self-accusatory thoughts”. If you can’t shake them off, just be aware when those thoughts arise. They will diminish with your continuous awareness and observation…

As you know, how you think and feel changes. You’d feel good later if you do the best you can now - like a lesson learned from “if I had acted differently at some point, this would not be happening” and “I wish I could go back in time and warn myself to take good care of my health, or anything that might have helped.”

The past is gone. We do not know what the future holds...and future comes as now when you experience the so called future. What we can only deal with is always the “now”…we can always do what we can at this moment...

Keep talking to your family. Don’t worry about bringing them down. They need to meet you and be with you where you are now. Their understanding and support is important along the way…

You may not think that you can face what's happening, but the real you know that you have the strength to face this challenge...
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