Living with tinnitus can be deeply disempowering. It can feel like it’s not just the sounds in our head but our entire lives that are out of our control.
Rest assured, there ARE ways to reclaim your power over your life and your tinnitus, as well as help others in the process. Here are just a few:
There is a lot of information about tinnitus out there, not all of it accurate or with the best interests of us in mind. As well as this blog (of course!) the American Tinnitus Association and British Tinnitus Association are great sources of trustworthy information.
Tinnitus Week is the perfect time to educate others about tinnitus as they may already be curious, having heard news items or seen social media.
You could share this short film from the BTA with friends, family and colleagues: or choose the sound nearest yours from the ATA’s Library of tinnitus sounds. Please make sure your volume is at a comfortable level before playing these.
If you’re comfortable speaking about your personal experience you could ask if there are opportunities to speak about tinnitus at your college, church, workplace or local community gatherings.
Although I manage my tinnitus well with mindfulness, there is no question that I would be in the queue for a cure if one were found!
Research is key to understanding more about the causes and mechanisms of tinnitus, and therefore what cures might prove possible for the millions of us living with tinnitus. But, we are one of many conditions asking for research money and we need to make sure those in power hear our voice!
Contact your elected representative and ask for more funding to be made available for tinnitus. Use this link to find your representative in the US https://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep_house and in the UK https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/
Become an advocate for yourself and others
Many of my clients feel their tinnitus experience makes them a burden on friends, family and work colleagues. This can mean they don’t ask for support or simple adjustments that would make their quality of life much better. It can also mean they withdraw from family life, encouraging their partner and children to go to sports fixtures, social occasions, the movies, and concerts without them. I used to send my husband to parties on his own because I knew my head would be ringing within 15 minutes of arriving and I’d be desperate to leave. Now I realize how much I missed out on by doing so. I’ve even had clients suggest their family go on holiday without them as they felt they would be a killjoy. This is no way to live as a family. This is giving ALL our power away to tinnitus.
Many of us are pretty good at advocating for others to get their needs met, but not so good when it comes to our own needs! If that’s something you struggle with in your tinnitus journey let me know. I’m putting together a free, online session on self-advocacy – something I am passionate about and I’ll make sure you know when and where it’s taking place.