CBT for Tinnitus Success Stories
"CBT is the fastest route to get out of your head and back to living your life." — Douglas, Nova Scotia, CA
I was deeply distressed when my tinnitus developed - unsure how I would ever get a good night's sleep again, concentrate at work or enjoy life at all. Several doctors suggested cognitive behavior therapy as a means of coping with the symptoms. After some internet searching I found Dr. Hubbard's website.
One of the first things you learn when you get tinnitus is that millions of other people have it and it doesn't bother them. If you're like me, you think "well their tinnitus must be different than mine because how could anybody live a normal life like this?" CBT is the answer to that question. Dr. Hubbard's program is the fastest route to get out of your head and back to living your life. With his help I'm happy to say I am back to sleeping at night, my concentration has returned and I can actually enjoy things again. I rarely think about my tinnitus anymore, and when I do it's with a mild annoyance instead of the abject fear and panic that consumed me when it first started.
Dr. Hubbard understands what you're going through better than anyone because he's been there himself. If tinnitus is causing you distrss I thoroughly recommend contacting Dr. Hubbard to help get your life back on track.
"I Have My Life Back" —Tony, Washington, DC
I was desperate when I first sought help from CBT for Tinnitus. I imagined that the sound would rob me of all my enjoyment in life—the joy of playing with my children, sharing time with my wife, and the joy I had from being creative at work. I thought all of it was gone permanently. I thought I would only be able to think about the sounds.
This was not the case at all! I have my full life back and am able to enjoy my family and friends and work as much, or more, than I ever did! Dr. Hubbard's careful attention to my specific concerns, his personal testimonial, and the program he put in place changed everything for me. CBT and mindfulness is exactly what the anxious personality needs to heal tinnitus. I learned that the sounds would fade into the background. I learned that the sounds were just a false alarm and that soon my brain wouldn't hear them much, and if it did, I wouldn't have any emotional response to them. This is just what happened. With CBT for Tinnitus, I learned that I didn't need to run from the sounds, but rather—and if you are in the beginning desperate time you may find this difficult to believe—you can purposefully listen to them! Then eventually they fade away. With CBT and mindfulness from CBT for Tinnitus, you will heal and you will be happy again.
"The tools to guide you" — John, Philadelphia, PA
When I first heard the sounds of tinnitus, I figured it would go away. When it didn’t is when the panic set in and took control of my life. As I searched for a “cure”, my world began to shrink. I avoided anything and everything that I felt would make my symptoms worse. The shell that I had put myself in, continued to get smaller and darker; until I met with Dr. Hubbard. From the first meeting, Dr. Hubbard assured me that I would “habituate” to the sound. At first, this seemed impossible to believe; but as he described his personal experience with tinnitus and time went on, I began to believe. Through the time spent with Dr. Hubbard, the CBT techniques he taught me and time, I can honestly say that I am well on my way to habituation. If you have this condition, I cannot recommend anyone or anything more than working with Dr. Hubbard. He has experienced what you are experiencing and he has the tools to guide you through your own personal recovery.
"Seeing is Believing" — Fabio, Sao Paulo, Brazil
When Tinnitus hit me, it felt like torture. I heard a loud, shrieking high pitched sound that followed me everywhere. Making it worse, I had hyperacusis, so if I stayed indoors, tinnitus would drive me crazy, and if I went outside, normal sounds hit me like a brick.
To make the noise stop, I tried Homeopathy, Acupuncture, and other "alternative cures". But after 3 months, the tinnitus hadn’t change and I was feeling worse. I still had trouble sleeping, kept falling behind at work. I was miserable. My girlfriend even left me. I didn’t believe I could ever feel better, much less have my old life back.
Then I remembered my ENT's had said “you’ll learn to live with it”, and they recommended CBT. I was skeptical that an approach claiming to help me accept tinnitus could work, but out of desperation, I gave it a try and found Dr. Hubbard. One of the first things Dr. Hubbard told me stuck. He said, “If your tinnitus doesn’t go away, you can still be ok, because your brain can learn to habituate, and you will no longer notice your tinnitus.” I remember asking him if "habituation" wasn't just a cute word to calm people down!
Well, seeing is believing, because you really don't believe it until it happens to you. I was so relieved when I began to see small changes, moments when the sounds seemed to go away. As soon as I said "Hey, I'm not hearing my tinnitus!" it would come slamming back. But these moments gave me something to hang on to. They gave me hope that CBT was working just as Dr Hubbard said it would. Gradually, the periods of time when I didn’t notice tinnitus became longer and felt more natural. It's not that the tinnitus isn’t there. I still notice it sometimes, especially when I'm tired, sick or stressed. But now I see it for what it is: A condition that I can live with. My brain found better things to do than obsess about the sounds. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in my living room reading, when my wife asked, "what the hell is that neighbor doing?" Not really noticing, I said "Oh, is that noise outside? I thought it was in my head!”
One change is that I take better care of my hearing. I carry earplugs now, and use them at loud venues. But it’s a small price for getting my life back. In time, my brain has gotten better at tuning tinnitus out, and focusing on the more important stuff. It’s two years later, and I’ve traveled, reengaged at work, even started a new relationship and got married. Life is good again! I still have Tinnitus, but I have moved on with my life. I highly recommend CBT!
"A huge improvement from when the ringing and hissing left me in tears" — Brian, Brooklyn, NY
I’ve been a professional musician for over 20 years. For most of that time, I had a low level of tinnitus that I had habituated to. I rarely even thought about it. But after a playing an especially loud concert a year ago, a higher volume, higher-frequency hiss began in my ears. This new sound was much more intrusive and not being able to escape this new sound overwhelmed me. I fell into despair and depression. I plagued myself with the thought “How could I have let this happen? Again?!” I was so angry and depressed, I couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life with this level of tinnitus. The sound intruded on every thought I had, everything I did. It was almost impossible to focus on anything else.
Searching the internet for solutions only left me more hopeless. I found websites with posts from frustrated people struggling with tinnitus with no clear solution in sight. When I finally discovered www.CBTforTinnitus.com, I felt I had found a way out. It gave me hope that I could overcome this dilemma. I read and reread everything on the site, kept the page open on my computer and referred to it for weeks.
Eventually, I began meeting with Bruce. He was immensely reassuring, and helped me understand that even though my tinnitus was much louder than before, I could eventually habituate. He knew exactly what I was going through because the same thing had happened to him: He was a musician who’d had low level tinnitus for years, that it became much louder and overwhelmed him. Well, if he could work through this, then so could I!
I worked with Bruce to create my tinnitus Recovery Statement, which I read first thing every morning for months. I would reread it throughout the day to lessen my anxiety and reassure myself that I would eventually habituate, that I would enjoy music and the other good things in life again.
Habituation was (and is) a gradual process. But now there are times every day when I realize I haven’t heard or thought about tinnitus for hours! It’s still there in the background, but my mind tunes it out. I actually forget about tinnitus for big chunks of the day! This is a huge improvement from when the ringing and hissing left me feeling claustrophobic and brought me to tears!
I would highly recommend Bruce Hubbard's program for everyone who is struggling with tinnitus, especially if you’re a musician and sound is one the main ways you experience the world and express yourself. The mind can habituate to tinnitus. Having CBT techniques to deal with the cascade of negative thoughts and emotions is extremely valuable so you can control how you respond to tinnitus and not let tinnitus control your life.
"A comfort that I could not find anywhere else" — Rebecca, New York, NY
It's a year to the day since my tinnitus journey began. While I still have it I am not, at present, suffering from it. I'm definitely not the same person I was before, but in some ways I am a better person, and I doing well. Through combination of deliberate effort and time, Dr. Hubbard’s long-ago promise "it will go away or you will habituate" has come true. I just want to thank Dr. Hubbard for being there when I needed it so desperately. He was a godsend in those early weeks/months and really offered me a comfort that I could not find anywhere else!
“Most of the time now I hardly notice it. I am living my life fully in every way.” — Josh, New York, NY
I reached out to Dr. Hubbard on the recommendation of my audiologist after I was diagnosed with tinnitus. I have some high-frequency hearing loss, and roughly ten years ago, I began to notice a persistent high-pitched ringing—mainly in my left ear, but, also, more faintly, in my right. Quite rapidly, I began to feel anxious and then depressed about my tinnitus. I worried it would never "turn off" and I would never have a moment of peace. I worried it would always be there lurking, ready to steal any happiness I might feel. There were times when it woke me up in the middle of the night, prompting more anxious thoughts about sleep deprivation. I worried it would impact my family relationships. As a writer, I feared it would shatter the quiet I needed to produce meaningful work. I began to search online, looking for "cures" -- pills, surgery, and other purported remedies -- but nothing I found seemed scientifically proven to work. Until I met Dr. Hubbard.
Dr. Hubbard, a cognitive behavior therapist who is also a former guitarist in a band who himself has tinnitus, speaks from experience. His approach is gentle, encouraging, data-based—and it worked for me, succeeding far beyond my expectations. Early on, Dr. Hubbard helped me realized that since I didn't notice my tinnitus at all times, it in fact DID "go away," helping to re-frame my preconceived notions. He taught me an approach based on "allowing" and "accepting" negative thoughts and emotions as they arise (since we can't control those anyway), and then challenging those thoughts—"they're not important; I'm not at risk here; it's only tinnitus." He gave me tools—including meditation exercises—to attend to my negative thoughts mindfully, practicing radical acceptance. Ultimately, our work together helped me to muster the courage to start writing again, and, indeed, to start living again. More quickly than I would have expected, my tinnitus stopped seeming like a threat, and—in a positive habituation loop—it actually began to recede. Most of the time now, I hardly notice it at all. I am living my life fully now, in every way.
Anyone who is open to a data-based approach and who likes the idea of speaking with a cognitive behavior therapist who speaks from first-hand experience would truly benefit from Dr Hubbard's CBT for Tinnitus program.
"It really works" —TONY, Los Angeles, CA
When I first developed tinnitus in 2007, it was edgy and even painful. I became anxious that the sound would become so loud I wouldn’t be able to stand it. After 6 years of TRT, I reached a good level of habituation.
Then in 2014, during a period of heavy stress, anxiety and over-attention to tinnitus returned. The experience shook me and I began to worry that I was on the verge of losing all of my gains. For the next nine months, that worry ate away at my confidence until I was again consumed by tinnitus and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I was prescribed Zoloft and Xanax, but the sound of tinnitus continued to cause me more and more difficulty. Fortunately, my medical provider suggested Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and recommended Dr. Bruce Hubbard.
I live in California, so my coaching sessions with Dr. Hubbard took place over FaceTime. After only 2 sessions, I felt confident that I was on the right track and after 3 more sessions, Dr. Hubbard felt I was ready to continue on my own. He encouraged me to be patient, that it was like building a muscle and would take time and consistent effort. Now, 16 months later, my habituation is better than ever!
Dr. Hubbard taught me to relax, which really helped lower my stress. But more importantly, he taught me how to manage my thinking about tinnitus. I learned to examine my thoughts about tinnitus, how they were related to anxiety, and how to get back control of those thoughts. Dr. Hubbard also taught me mindfulness, where I would meditate by listening to all the sounds outside of my head – the ticking clock, the refrigerator humming, birds singing outside, a car driving by - and hear tinnitus in that soundscape. It seems impossible at first, but it really works!
I took careful notes during our sessions, and now, when I have a day where the sound is annoying me enough to increase my anxiety, I review those notes, apply my “Careful Thinking” and it always restores my confidence and tinnitus again fades into the background where I can ignore it.
I am confident that everyone struggling with Tinnitus, no matter how helpless they feel, will find relief by working with Dr. Hubbard.
"An excellent step to tackling a difficult condition that doesn't have to control your life" — Greg, Burlington, VT
CBT is an excellent step to tackling a difficult condition that doesn't have to control your life if you learn to control it. I reached out to Bruce following an increase in the volume of my tinnitus. Through CBT techniques, I began to question the “narrative" I'd created around Tinnitus (it'll ruin my life; it's never going away; I'm doomed to this forever). I was able to restructure a narrative in which Tinnitus was a part of me, but didn't define me or my life. Tinnitus is a part of [my] world, but it no longer controls my experience of the world. It's just a condition that I and millions of others happen to have. I learned to live with my "constant companion" without constantly resenting that it's there.
"There is help for you" — Richard, Denver, CO
I am a man in my mid-seventies and have had tinnitus for about 40 years. It was always a little annoying, but never affected my lifestyle. About a year ago, I had a loud noise next to my left ear which increased my tinnitus to a level that changed my life. Every morning, I would awake with the constant loud noise that started my day on a negative note. I was constantly aware of the tinnitus and it was hard to concentrate on anything. Needless to day, this leads to depression, takes the joy out of life and makes the future dim. I couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life with that sound. I was desperate.
My doctor thought that I would benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and recommended Dr. Bruce Hubbard. I contacted Dr. Hubbard and after our first consultation, I felt confident that he would be able to help me. He was very caring and the fact that he also has tinnitus gave me confidence that he understood my situation. Because of the distance (I'm in Oklahoma and he's in NYC), we were able to have our sessions via Skype.
I can’t express how valuable it was to be to work with Dr. Hubbard. We had a total of 6 sessions and after each session I felt progressively better. He listened, gave me good advice, good exercises to do on my own, and was very professional and compassionate. Through my sessions with Dr. Hubbard and the support that he gave me, I am now able to manage my tinnitus very well. Before meeting Dr. Hubbard, I never thought that I would be at the place where I am now: my tinnitus is always there, but there are long periods of the day when I forget about it. I'm playing golf again, going to movies again, and enjoying friends and family. My final message is that if you are bothered by tinnitus, don’t give up. There is help for you. Call Dr. Hubbard!