Thank you to all who have been kind enough to send in testimonials for the Tinnitus E-Programme
Jim, USA 7 June 2010
"To put it simply, the Tinnitus E-Programme has changed my life. My tinnitus developed suddenly and at great volume in February 2010. I was terrified and depressed at the same time -- with the horrible, constant ringing I couldn't function, and I feared for my sanity. I was convinced I had some awful illness, despite doctors telling me that my hearing was fine and that there was nothing medically wrong with me. I had to take multiple doses of Xanax every day just to barely cope, and even with that I was truly miserable. My tinnitus was ruling (and ruining) my life. I was fortunate indeed to come across the E-Programme while Googling for "tinnitus support." What a blessing -- to find a place that clearly explained what was causing my tinnitus, and laid out a course for improvement. Improvement was slow at first, but by the end of week 3, I knew that the programme was indeed working. The tinnitus started to fade, first for a few hours, then for a couple days, and then even longer. The support from Debbie, the moderators and the participants on the Programme Forum was fantastic.
I still have T -- some days as loud as ever, but typically it's hardly even noticeable. And even when it is on the louder side, thanks to the knowledge and techniques I learned through the E-Programme, I do not allow it to bother me -- I no longer get consumed with fear and anxiety, and I no longer need to lean on Xanax or any other pharmacological nostrums. (Doctors here in the US could learn a lot from the E-Programme!) I have my life back - a better life, actually -- as I've taken the relaxation and visualization techniques to heart and use them every day, regardless of the state of my tinnitus, because they just make me feel better all around.
I would urge anyone suffering from tinnitus to use the E-Programme -- the materials are clear and easy to understand, the relaxation exercises work better than you might imagine, and Debbie and the moderators on the forum are always available to answer any questions, or just to lend a sympathetic ear. I can't thank Debbie and the E-Programme enough."
Karen, USA 3 June 2010
"Thank you so much for offering your program to everyone and free of charge. When I came across your website I was desperate for relief from my tinnitus.
My tinnitus began in January 2010 following an ear nfection. My primary care doctor told me it would not go away and I just needed to get use to it. She sent me to an ENT who checked my ears and ran some tests, he told me my ears were fine and my hearing was great.
It is sad that doctors don't offer any advice on how to deal with tinnitus. My primary care doctor offered to give me something for depression, but I don't want to take pills. I scoured the internet trying to find something to help me. I was shocked at all the websites saying they could "bannish tinnitus" if you used their vitamins, etc. I'm sure a lot of people are wasting money on those sites.
I don't even know how I came to your website, but it was a blessing for me. I now know what makes my tinnitus louder and more importantly, how to deal with it. About 3 weeks into the program, my friends even noticed I was much more relaxed.
I still have days where my tinnitus is very loud, but I practice my deep breathing and I find I can deal with it. In fact, there are days when all of a sudden I will think "it's quiet, my tinnitus is gone." I find I don't need to use the relaxation tapes as often, but I will continue to use them as needed. Thank you for giving me the tools needed to deal with tinnitus and giving me back my life."
Tom, UK 29 May 2010
"I first came across the E-Programme in February 2010, via a link on a Tinnitus Forum. I first developed Tinnitus in 2006, but it was at a low level and caused few problems. During the Christmas holidays of 2009 however, I noticed a considerable deterioration in the Tinnitus, making it quite intrusive, and I decided to do some searching on the net to find the latest ideas, research, etc.
I completed the various questionnaires and e-mailed them to Debbie, then I printed off all 44 pages of the E-Programme. BUT, I followed the instructions carefully, only reading as far as I was told.
Back in February, I wasn’t aware of being particularly anxious about the T, more irritated and slightly fearful it might continue to get worse. My score on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory was 44, placing me in the “Moderate” category. Thus, I realised that for some people the noises are very much worse.
So, I followed the programme, learning a lot on the way about the mechanisms of T, the levels of hearing, positive thinking, etc, and doing the deep breathing exercises and listening to the relaxation recordings, which I found particularly beneficial. (I especiallyliked numbers 2 and 3.)
On completion of the course, I scored 12 on the THI, a significant drop. The T is actually a little louder than in February, but I am much better at coping with it – success for the Tinnitus E-Programme.
For anyone thinking about starting the Programme, you have nothing to lose and lots to gain. The only commitment is roughly 40 minutes a day for breathing/relaxation. I wish you well – luck has nothing to do with it. As Debbie wrote in her December 2009 Report, “the E-Programme – a combination of education, understanding, and stress management/ relaxation – is the way forward.”
To Debbie and the other Moderators of the Yahoo Message Board, a big thank-you for your help, support and encouragement."
Samartha, India 3 January 2010
(Samartha was the first person to complete the E-Programme in August 2009 and has kindly sent in his testimonial)
"In more ways than one, Debbie has been my guardian angel for the past seven months or so. It was my 26th birthday when I reached out to her and asked for help in managing my tinnitus. I had been 'gifted' the noises in my ears after a casual visit to an ENT surgeon who syringed my ears for wax impaction. Debbie decided she would put me on the exact same tinnitus management programme that was on offer on the NHS in the UK. The difference was that the programme would be online in my case. As we were communicating, she thought it would be a good idea to launch the E-programme free-of-cost for access by anyone located anywhere in the world. Thus was born the present Tinnitus Self Help E-programme that has so many 'students' from diverse backgrounds.
I embarked on the programme and learnt many a thing about the nature of tinnitus and how to tackle it with positivity and resolve. The e-programme made me realize that my reaction to tinnitus mattered the most. That there was life beyond tinnitus; that tinnitus, in the end, was just an electrical signal that had run amok in my head. Debbie never promised that the e-programme would give me something magical or would take away my tinnitus. She made it amply clear that the e-programme could just provide me with the tools to take control of my condition. That is exactly what the programme did. That the programme is free-of-cost puts it within easy reach of so many needy patients from the developing world. I am now convinced that the things that really matter in life are beyond money.
It is now some 5 months since I completed the programme. As I sit here and write this note on the 3rd of January, 2010, I remember clearly that in June 2009, I never believed I would come this far. I was depressed and thought I would never survive my annus horribilis. I still have tough days when things seem to drift beyond control, but, hey, who doesn't? Debbie has been always there to counsel me all these months, as she does for all the patients that she communicates with. This noble lady, somehow, has 48 hours to a day! She has answered my umpteen, often repetitive queries, with patience and helped me discover the stronger self within me.
I wish her all the best in her endeavor to take the e-programme a step further. She really is one of the finest people I know in life."
Geoff, UK 15 December 2009
"Having just completed the 10-week eProgramme, I thought I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you and all of those who have helped set-up the eProgramme. I actually feel that what you're doing here is enormously important – providing help in a form not available anywhere else. Certainly from personal experience, I stumbled across the eProgramme at a point where I didn't seem to be getting any help locally, and searching the internet for help elsewhere was quite confusing:
- Many websites obviously trying to sell some "instant cure" based on dubious claims
- Some websites offering useful literature, but in quite an impersonal way
- Even the RNID website, although very good, having an online forum showing people who are suffering – but not always getting help.
What I was searching for was a definite plan to tackle the problem, and the eProgramme provided that exactly. Within just a few days, things were starting to improve. And quite quickly I found I was positively looking forward to reading each new week's reading material, and trying the new relaxation exercises. The "week 4" material was particularly thought-provoking, as I discovered lots of negative thinking which is holding me back... and this is an area I want to return to and do more work on myself.
The really special aspects for me were: the online forum, and your personal responses. I don't know how you manage to find the time, alongside your day job and the MSc! But having your direct answers to questions, and your encouragement, did make all the difference.
The online forum does sometimes seem a bit `quiet', but I like your suggestion of occassional `online chat' sessions – and I'd be happy to participate in these if you decide to go ahead.
So in closing, thanks once again for all your work and I do hope you'll feel able to continue the eProgramme for many years to come. If at any stage there is anything I can do to help, please do let me know.
Best wishes, Geoff"
Susan, UK 16 September 2009
"I am so pleased to have had the chance to use this Tinnitus E Programme and to find that after a number of weeks it works. I feel less anxious and stressed having tried out the techniques for 10 weeks. Debbie's genuine care compassion and concern for sufferers of tinnitus is evident through out the course. She has devised this programme freely for the use of any one anxious, depressed or upset by the relentless noises in the head called Tinnitus. Sufferers of this most unpleasant condition now have information on the theory of Tinnitus, with relaxing music, videos and breathing exercises to do, all aimed at reducing the natural response system.
My tinnitus started over a year ago following an ear infection. I felt desperately unhappy and very stressed out, not able to enjoy life due to this noise 24/7. Debbie has helped me understand this condition and realise that it is my emotional response and reaction to the noise which can vastly improve my stress levels. When I am calm and relaxed my tinnitus is not roublesome. There is no quick fix with tinnitus and no magic recovery but with Debbie's help and support I am determined to continue the programme regularly, keeping a positive healthy out look on life with out anxiety."
Mary, Australia 16 September 2009
"Thank you for the opportunity to take part in the Tinnitus E Programme. It has been more than I could have hoped for or even thought it would be. I have realised through your programme that the constant battle I had been having was futile and counterproductive. With the relaxation and positive mind set, I slowly, over the weeks of the course, felt my perception shift and realised I was no longer stressing or getting angry with my Tinnitus.
The relaxation therapy was something that I had never even considered before but loved every minute of and will continue to do. I still have my Tinnitus, it still rings, but I now know that I can live with it and have a good and productive life. I would tell anyone contemplating doing the course: "Go for it. You both gain and lose. You will lose your fear, anger and anxiety and gain a whole new lease on life."
Adam, UK 2 September 2009
"I was suprised to get such a good result. A few months on this course my tinnitus induced anxiety and depression have reduced to more or less zero. This in turn lead to my perception of tinnitus going from severe to mild. Sure I still have flair ups, but I now deal with them a lot better. As far as I am concerned these are extraordinary results.
I had to commit myself to a small amount of reading every week and to listening to some relaxation MP3's/ CD's on a daily basis. So in essence the time committment was 30 or so minutes a day for a few weeks. Sounds a good deal to me. 30 minutes a day committment to relaxation and in return a massive improvement in my dealings with tinnitus.
I still can't believe that this course is free. I would have paid a lot to get these results in such a short space of time. I've had tinnitus since 2001, I wish I had this programme all those years ago.
The Tinnitus E-Programme works. Thats the bottom line."
A truly inspiring piece of poetry sent in by Samartha:
If You Kept Silent
If you kept silent
the voices scattered around
you would hear -- clear.
You would be astonished to hear
the low buzzing of your fan
that works perfectly mum.
Lower the volume of the TV
you would hear
the piercing voice of the lizard
pursuing some omen -- good or bad.
The cricket would suddenly produce
the terrifying environs of a horror show.
Just turn off the tap of your bathroom --
the stream of water
from the broken pipe
is falling straight onto your neighbour's wall.
If you kept silent
you would hear
the silent flakes of the milky snowfall
and the anhadnad*
springing from the inner fathoms
Come, now in the garden,
Did you hear
the mild footfall
of the fragrance
of the only rose in the flower-bed?
Dr Jitendra Vashishtha
Translated from the Hindi by Samartha Vashishtha
* anhadnad in Sanskrit means the inner sound