Hope Through Habituation

CBT promotes habituation, a natural process that occurs over time as your emotional brain learns that tinnitus is not important and screens it out.

We routinely habituate to signals from all five senses. Without habituation we would be bombarded by an abundance of meaningless information and unable to concentrate on what's important. For example the frames of your glasses, the backdrop surrounding the words you're now reading, your partner's perfume, the sensations of your body against your seat, the din of a crowd, even passing trains and flight traffic, are all meaningless sensations that succumb to habituation. And we can habituate to the sounds and sensations of tinnitus, to the dull vacancy of hearing loss.

It may feel like your tinnitus is too loud and intrusive to ever fade into the background. Yet there’s no reason to believe that your brain is any different than the brains of millions of others who have already habituated to their tinnitus. Habituation is not all-or-none. It happens gradually over weeks and months. But with time and patience you can adapt.

 

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