Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Tinnitus Bellevue NE
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Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) - Changing How You Think About Your Tinnitus
Answers to Your Questions about Hearing Loss Issues
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)â€”Changing How You Think About Your Tinnitus
by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
If your tinnitus is bothering you, maybe you should try Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). CBT is just a fancy way of saying that how you think about something reflects how you will react physically and emotionally to it.
Thousands of years ago, wise King Solomon wrote, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (or so he becomes)” (Proverbs 23:7). This was true back in Solomon’s time, and it is just as true today. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that it is also just as true in regards to how we think about our tinnitus.
Although about 50 million Americans have tinnitus (I’m one of them), only about 12 million are bothered by it.
Why is it that roughly 75% of the people with tinnitus are not distressed by their tinnitus? Just as importantly, why is it that the other 25% are bothered by their tinnitus?
For most people with tinnitus,
In contrast, generally the people who suffer from tinnitus perceive their tinnitus as a threat to their physical and mental well-being. Their thoughts
They often complain of “feeling depressed, sad, irritated, anxious, frightened, panicky, agitated, angry or ashamed.” In addition, they may become restless or withdrawn; they can’t sleep and have difficulty functioning; they feel the need for antidepressants, sleeping pills or other tranquilizers.
You see, it is the psychological processes, not just the audiological ones, that make the real difference in whether or not a person habituates to their tinnitus, or is distressed by it.
Distress due to tinnitus involves a lot of worry, or overly negative thinking, and a high level of stress, anxiety or tension.
In fact, those that suffer from tinnitus often either get tinnitus in the first place, or notice their existing tinnitus getting worse during or after a period of high stress.
Furthermore, people who suffer from tinnitus think about it much more than people who have tinnitus but do not complain about it. Therefore, if you are constantly worrying about your tinnitus with thoughts such as:
I will have a nervous breakdown if this tinnitus keeps up