Tinnitus can be extremely debilitating in the early stages and affects your ability to work or cope with normal life activities. People new to the sudden onset of tinnitus may often suffer from:
- extreme distress (this is common)
- frequent mood swings, depression or anxiety attacks
- tension, irritability or frustration
- poor concentration
- sleep problems
Thoughts of suicide are common when a person is in the early stages of tinnitus. If you are experiencing this level of distress, call Lifeline (Tel. 13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (Tel. 1300 659 467).
When you first learn you have tinnitus it is important you do the following things:
- consult your doctor, an audiologist (hearing specialist) or an ear, nose and throat specialist to check that you do not have an underlying medical condition
- learn all you can about tinnitus from reputable sources
- accept that you have tinnitus – once you have done this, you are halfway to mastering it
- understand that you may be depressed and tired in the early stages, but that this will pass as you learn to manage the condition
Remember that, in time, you can learn to manage your tinnitus and reduce the negative emotional effects it has on you.