Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 30, 2019. A day to talk about mental health and mental illness. To end the stigma of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. People with tinnitus and hyperacusis are higher risk than people in general.
I’m re-posting this blog that lists lifelines or helplines for tinnitus hyperacusis suicide prevention. If you’re struggling with distress and thinking of hurting yourself, you are not alone. There are millions of people around the world trying their best to cope with hyper ears. Social media is a good way to connect without having to leave your home.
There are helpful websites, twitter feeds and private Facebook groups whether you want people to “chat” with who know what it’s like to have hyper ears, are interested in sharing or getting coping ideas, or want to see what’s current in tinnitus-hyperacusis science. Also try #tinnitus and #hyperacusis
Something can be done. There is no cure. Yet. Despite cure $ale$. But people can still learn to cope better, sleep better, and have a better quality of life. Tinnitus associations are a good start for finding hyper ears (tinnitus and hyperacusis) coping info whether you live in that country or not. These are just a few in the world:
Anti-depressant prescription medication can make depression worse. My neuropsychiatrist says 90% of people are not helped by prescription medication for depression and chronic pain. People with hyper ears taking these meds are often left with side effects like imbalance, grogginess and worse depression. Weaning on is withdrawal in reverse, often taking weeks of feeling horrible before you even get to the recommended dose. (Weaning off withdrawal is even worse.) Mental anguish from pills is added on top of what the person was already having trouble dealing with. The problem is that a depressed person doesn’t always realize the pill is making depression worse.
If you’re starting or changing Rx meds, especially if the Rx is an anti-depressant or has depression as a side effect, watch out for the side effect of suicidal thoughts. Your doctor should be asking about depression on follow-up appointments.
If you know somebody going on or changing this type of Rx med, try to keep an eye on them. If they don’t seem less depressed with the Rx med, they need to know it doesn’t seem to be helping. They might not realize it themselves. If you’re worried the person is thinking of hurting themselves, ask. It’s better to ask than not to ask at all. Really listen. Sometimes having somebody to listen without judgement is what the person with hyper ears needs most.
If you’re feeling emotional distress or despair and need crisis support, there are websites, live chat, and helplines or lifelines to call or text. Please do not call if you’re not in crisis. Use regular contact info through their websites. Emergency lifelines in different countries include:
British Tinnitus Association
Helpline Telephone: 0800 018 0527
Action on Hearing Loss
Helpline Telephone: 0808 808 6666
Helpline Textphone: 0808 808 9000
American Tinnitus Association
Help Network Listing: People can talk to or email volunteers with T and DST for support, guidance and resources.
Tinnitus Advisors: in 2018, ATA is launching a Tinnitus Advisors program. Distressed callers will be able to speak to an audiologist who can answer T-DST questions and help them find local care providers.
Australia www.lifeline.org.au or contact 13 11 14
Canada National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Or Text Telephone: 1-800-799-4889
Association Québécoise de Prévention du Suicide (French): 1-866-APPELLE
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or Live Chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.ca
UK: contact 116 123
USA National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line 741741
Wikipedia has a List of Suicide Crisis Lines by country. Depending on the country, this list includes specific lines for kids, youth, military, and LBGTQ community.
Suicide is not the answer. Please don’t do it. You’re not alone. Something can be done. Reach out for help and a lifeline to get you through this.
I’m a multiple suicide attempt survivor for different reasons. In the past when I was really distressed, I had suicidal thoughts over my T. I know if you get help, things can get better.
The website for a MY3 mobile app has support for persons living with suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. It describes how you can “stay connected when you are having thoughts of suicide. With MY3, you define your network and your plan to stay safe. With MY3 you can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to others when you are having thoughts of suicide. Remember: there is hope and a life to look forward to, even in your darkest moments. MY3 can help you get through your most difficult times.” At first I thought I didn’t have 3 so that was depressing. But doctor + 2 different lifelines = 3. Or doctor + support person + lifeline = 3. Check out the My3 app website for more info.
Jan L. Mayes
Author, audiologist, educator, quiet activist, playing with words.