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New Here. Post-acute withdrawal. Support w TMJ/migraine/tinnitus

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Thea44, Dec 17, 2022.

  1. Thea44

    Thea44 Newcomer

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new here. I am experiencing a health situation that I am determined to heal. I want to receive positive support and encouragement in this process. Here is the story of what happened:

    I was on 1.5mg of Ativan for two years, taking it as prescribed by a psychiatrist for anxiety. It started to make me sick, and I had acute intermittent withdrawal between doses, so I had to get off it. I did not know that there are two substances a person can die coming off of -- benzodiazepines and alcohol.

    I have been off of the medication for about three months. I had a cascade of symptoms resulting from medical detox and withdrawal. Some symptoms included: hand and feet paraesthesia, strange skin sensations, hyperacusis with tinnitus, migraines, nightmares, depression, panic, etc. I didn't sleep for two weeks and have been in and out of ERs and the hospital. I came to find out that benzodiazepine side effects and withdrawal can mimic chronic illness. I was not a person with medical or health anxiety before this experience, but now I get to add that to the list of things to heal.

    Before the detox, I had TMJ pain for years, but it was manageable. During the detox, it became unmanageable. I suffered for 60 days until I got botox injections which did help. It was excruciating and unrelenting. No pain medication or doctor could help it.

    While I have improved in the last three months with rest and physical therapy, the TMJ/headache pain and tinnitus have not resolved yet. Muscle spasms and tinnitus have been reported as side effects of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Tinnitus is supposed to resolve for most cases unless there is an underlying medical issue. I went to a board-certified otolaryngologist and neurotologist who tested my hearing. Thankfully, I was told my hearing was normal. He told me he thinks anxiety, stress, and head/neck tension/pain are causing the ringing. He wants to send me for sound therapy and migraine therapy. I am already in physical therapy for the jaw and have tried acupuncture and lymphatic massage.

    While healing from this time, I am educating myself about the mind-body connection. I have been reading about neurophysiological symptoms, autonomic nervous system activation, and TMS. I read Dr. Sarno's book, "The Mindbody Prescription." (I just ordered "The Divided Mind" to read next.) I also read the book "Cured" by Jeffrey Rediger and "Explain Pain" by David Butler and Dr. Lorimer Moseley.

    I saw that Dr. Sarno discussed tinnitus. I intend to heal it completely. If you go on a Tinnitus forum or speak with certain doctors, they will say there is no cure. But I know many people who have had it and no longer have it.

    Here is the curious part. Tinnitus was the symptom I was most afraid of getting. I even discussed it with the medical team overseeing my detox, and they assured me I would not have to worry about getting such a rare side effect. I would not have known about it had a friend not told me he got it from taking Ativan. I wonder if he hadn't said that to me, if I would have it now. Did that plant the idea in my unconscious mind and put it on the TMS menu? Tinnitus could keep a person on the chronic pain merry-go-round and, depending on severity, could be debilitating. I have been in a constant state of worry about it, even though it seems to be improving over time. Since the symptom started with fear in the first place, I am questioning it.

    I believe fear and an unsettled nervous system may be prolonging my symptoms, so I am starting a counseling program this week. Although the symptoms can be traced to a medical onset, I am also looking at TMS as a possible contributor overall.

    I have started the Structured Educational Program.
    JanAtheCPA and Baseball65 like this.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are in the right place and you are on the right path. Tinnitus is TMS. Remember that your physical symptoms and mental issues are interconnected, and reduction in some may lead to increase in others, but you need to stay the course and eventually it will all go away. Be very, very, very patient! Feel free to ask questions and seek help on this forum. Also, I highly recommend Alan Gordon's book Way Out.
  3. Thea44

    Thea44 Newcomer

    Thank you, @TG957. I will order the book now. Do you know of any other members who have eliminated this symptom for good? Interestingly, since identifying the mind-body connection for tinnitus, I have been able to sleep for the last three nights without masking the sound. I previously had to mask it with two fans and white noise. Then I decided to reclaim my silence, and although it has not disappeared entirely YET, I slept better than I have in months, and it was not as detectable while sleeping. It seems this is one step forward toward recovery.
  4. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Same thing happened to me after I read Dr. Sarno's book. I started sleeping better right away. Fear is the main component of your illness. To find others who had tinnitus, use search function and search for whatever term you are interested in. Make sure you select results from this forum only.

    Pietro Carloni likes this.
  5. Thea44

    Thea44 Newcomer

    Thank you, @TG957. Will do.
    TG957 likes this.
  6. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    My tinnitus is almost gone. Mild hiss at times but never keeps me awake anymore, and I have never really stressed over it.
  7. Pietro Carloni

    Pietro Carloni Peer Supporter

    the advice I feel I can give you is to totally stop focusing on the body, medicines and mr. Google.
    Your main goal in this stage is to build a solid understanding of the underlying process of the symptoms.
    Also I suggest you to read Claire Weekes and Steve Ozanich which, in my case, proved to be really helpful.
    Try to take care of yourself, gently
  8. Thea44

    Thea44 Newcomer

    Thank you. How long did it take to get to this point?
  9. Thea44

    Thea44 Newcomer

    I have ordered a book from Dr. David Schechter and another from Alan Gordon. Plus, I still have to read Dr. Sarno's "The Divided Mind," which I will start tonight. I will add these recommendations to my list as other members have posted how helpful they were. Thank you.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello @Thea44 -

    It is vital to understand and accept that TMS is a mental and emotional condition, and that everyone's journey to recovery is different and that there will be ups and downs depending on how you do the work. Asking questions like this is actually your TMS brain trying to distract you with irrelevant conjecture. Instead, reread the advice you have received:
    You've already achieved success - don't let your brain downplay that (because it will try). Clearly you can do this!
    TG957 likes this.
  11. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    It does not matter how long it has taken me. Comparisons in healing does nothing but strengthen self stress, competition and striving -tms personality traits which contribute to symptoms.
    Yesterday I read that the only competition one needs to succeed is the one overcoming the things that you want changed: the thoughts, behaviors, and habits.
    When I read the Divided Mind it was with my head and not my heart. Many people on this forum have since then pointed out fragments of sentences, small bits and pieces that were so key, and I missed them. This thread in itself is full of those keys to look for in each book you might read.
    JanAtheCPA and TG957 like this.
  12. Pietro Carloni

    Pietro Carloni Peer Supporter

    Hello dear,
    it seems to me that behind questions like this there is a lot of anxiety, to free oneself from evil, and to speed up a process that requires patience and lucidity.
    If TMS is your condition, it is precisely the way of thinking that must undergo a radical transformation, because pain is nothing more than one of the messages that the body is sending you to express its suffering.
    Therefore, focusing on the body is equivalent to stopping at the appearance, while the objective of the theoretical corpus of Sarno's approach is to eradicate this consolidated and
    vicious cognitive dynamic.
    The best thing you can do for yourself is embrace these sensations, try to look at them from the outside, but with curiosity, over the years, one of the best strategies I've learned is to try (albeit very hard) to see pain (fears and other sensations) as a guest visiting your home.
    Welcoming it with kindness, with interest, because even unpleasant, it is nothing more than an aspect of your persona that deserves respect and, above all, that needs to be listened to.
    Un saluto
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  13. chintand17

    chintand17 New Member

    Did you recover from Hyperacusis?

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