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Reply with quote  #1 
It would be nice for us to share ways that we each use to think positively about sounds.  One of the network members emailed me privately asking what methods I use.  I am happy to share what I have found to work for me.  Here is what I sent him.  I would also be glad to learn what methods others are using. 

I try to not put any negative words into my mind.  Don't think, "This sound will not hurt me."  Instead think, "Sound is my friend, it will help me."  "Thank you God for sending this sound into my life."  "It is good for me to hear this sound."  Think such thoughts when the sounds are at a level you can tolerate.  Also think such thoughts when the sound is too loud, or lasts too long, or is too high pitch or too sharp and repeated, and you must move to a quieter place or put in hearing protection. 


At times when the sound is too much, it is most important to think positively.  I find it so easy to become sorry for myself, angry at the situation, and upset that others are subjecting me to the sound.  Such thinking is my Achilles' heel.  I have found that I can quickly drive my hyperacusis worse in that way.  It is easy for me to be positive for weeks or even a few months, but eventually I slowly slip into negative thoughts, and then I seem to plateau on any improvements to my hyperacusis.  This past summer my hyperacusis worsened in that way.  I recommitted myself to happy thoughts, regained my lost progress, and improved beyond that. 


I am convinced that anyone can alter their emotions through the simplest of things.  Just smile more often.  Think happy thoughts.  Recite Psalm 118:24, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."  These actions may seem trite and too simplistic, but they really do work.  There are benefits to having hyperacusis.  One benefit is that we have a very big incentive to become happier individuals.  By managing our hyperacusis with positive thinking, we can also become happier people. 


There is certainly a spiritual component to my therapy and that helps me, but I am convinced that the above recommendations would help anyone regardless of their religious views.  If you are a Christian, make sure to pray about the situation, place it in God's capable hands, and look to the Scriptures daily to be reassured of God's great love for everyone.  I firmly believe that God is in control of everything.  God has used my hyperacusis, and several other long term medical conditions, to increase my trust in Jesus and decrease my trust in myself.  Faith in Jesus is trust in him and not in one's own abilities or merit to become right with God. 



Mark Bergemann
The Hyperacusis Network saved my life (that's the way I see it)

Posts: 1,951
Reply with quote  #2 

Hi Mark,

We're very much on the same page on this. Thanks for sharing those good thoughts. I got a lot of negative information about my hyperacusis when I was trying to find help. This led me on a phobic path of avoidance of sounds and led to my self destruction.  ENT's gave no answers and I  read horror stories about hyperacusis in medical Journals, like people who repeatedly hurt there ears becoming deaf with really loud ringing. Lies!

That is one thing I tell myself when a sound gets on my nerves or hurts me, "That's a lie!" Other good thoughts when sound bothers me or hurts are, "Don't care about that," "It's all good," and "It smells like victory," (Robert Duvall's words in Appocolypse Now).  Maybe, "It sounds like victory" would be more appropriate, but I never say that.

Like you, I've also found that when things are the most difficult, that is the most important time to think good thoughts, otherwise my progress can spiral down hill. And this makes perfect sense given how our hearing works and that how we respond to sound is a function of our beliefs about it. 

So, keeping those goods thoughts when my ears are hurt and more sensitive, helps me avoid taking a tumble. 

I also have done this on my own for the most part, but also with lots of help from Dr. Hazell and his website ( ). And I owe all my progress to Dr. Hazell and I am extremely grateful for his help. When I started TRT on my own my situation was pretty dismal. As a result of my phonophobia and wearing ear protection for 9 months indoors, I also had global brain sensitivity. That is, I had increased sensitivity to most activities as well as sound. 

I couldn't walk more than 20 feet, and had aversion to most activities ... everything hurt. I got that way due to wrong beliefs about my condition, and not knowing how to do more without hurting myself and having big setbacks.

Once I learned about TRT I was able to make slow forward progress. Dr. Hazell said my inappropriate beliefs about my condition had to go, that's what fueled the phobic fire. So, I pushed ahead every 5 days, and would walk a bit more and take my ear protection off a bit longer, and think good thoughts. Made really good progress starting out.

It's been a long road though and had some big setbacks due to a variety of things, like using sounds I had aversion to for sound enrichment, and being dependent on my parents to get me out of the house. I couldn't drive myself due to a very weak upper back, as I had hurt it lifting and couldn't rehab it due to my sensitivities. 

But in so many ways I'm better off than before some big setbacks I had. I can drive myself now easily just need to get my license and plan on doing that soon.

I am Christian, but like you say, being religious is certainly no prerequisite for good thoughts or making forward progress. I can thank God for helping me into this mess, but that's another story. I feel this is something I was meant to deal with.   



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