Latest reviews from those using the CBT for Tinnitus E-Programme are here (6 Module course - no longer used since development of the 12 stage course) and here (12 stage course)
From 'Tarotgaladriel', UK
"I too just wanted to say how grateful I am for this group [TEP Support Forum] and the programme. I was in such a state when I first joined, near suicidal in fact. I really thought I would never ever cope. I followed this course and very quickly I gained control over my reactions to tinnitus.
Now it's such a nothing in my life, I forget I have it. I hear it from time to time, but it means nothing to me now, absolutely so unimportant. This course put me on the right track when there was no help elsewhere.
Thank you Debbie x. You saved me :)" (2017)
From Pauline, UK
"Dear Debbie I have sent my completed 2nd THI questionnaire and was amazed to see that it had dropped from 40 to 8. Thank you so much for providing this programme. It has been a life line to me. I now feel in control of my life and have found ways to deal with my T that are now part of my every day routine.
I go to the gym regularly, have cut out caffeine, drink a small glass of wine only 2 or 3 times a week and keep myself busy either reading or cooking etc in the evenings. I can now sleep without sleeping pills and can even sit in a room without music playing. My T just doesn’t bother me in the same way anymore.
The one thing which made the most impact on me from this course was in week four, I think. It was the understanding that wherever we are in life, and whatever befalls us, is meant to be. From that I realised that fighting my T, getting angry and laying blame on the medication which I suspect brought it on, was counter-productive to me getting better.
My situation has not changed but my outlook has, and I actually think that my life is now better then it was before I had my T because the course has given me a much deeper understanding of what it takes to have contentment; it comes from within. The relaxation and reading I have done through this course have brought me to this conclusion. I now deal with my T and also the rest of my life in a much more rational way. Thank you once again for providing this course. Please feel free to use these comments as a testimonial. Pauline" (2012)
From Phil, UK
I first noticed my Tinnitus in the morning after a session playing my HiFi a little on the loud side the evening before. I had a very bad feeling about it from the start and felt it was not the kind of ringing that would wear off in a couple of days.
I quickly became really negative and constantly checked it for improvement. After about three weeks it did go away for a week or so but then came back suddenly although twice as loud as before. By this time I was into a situation of considerable stress and unable to sleep for more than a couple of hours per night. A visit to the G.P. offered no hope but eventually a few sessions with a hynotherapist got the anxiety down and I began to get some sleep again.
Months went by with some improvement, only followed by quite frequent relapses until I found that I could not get in a positive state of mind at all.
It was then that I turned to Debbie's programme, feeling that I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. I was amazed by the almost immediate improvement, both in the Tinnitus level and also my awareness of it. I have had some flare-ups since, but they have all passed in a day or two and no longer cause the anxiety that they once did. Thanks to Debbie, I have got my old life back.
Just for info I include what I have learned that helps/hinders my tinnitus:
- Sound enrichment at night is a massive help. I use a thunderstorm played through a mains powered MP3 player and speaker - I always liked the sound of rain on the bedroom window.
- Caffeine and alcohol do turn the volume up avoiding loud noises is vitally important, however my threshold at which the T is affected is gradually going up with time - at first I needed the television on at a volume where it could only just be heard clearly. But now sensible volume levels are not a problem Hynotherapy was vastly better than sleeping pills during the 'no sleeping phase'
- Not looking for a total cure does help. That was a barrier I had to go through. Aiming for a vastly improved situation that may need to be managed is a realistic goal. If I get to a situation in a couple of years where I only realise it is still there when I remember to think of it - that would be nice. However, I am no longer having a good day spoiled by it.
I did have T in my early twenties in my left ear only - It did go 100 percent after about 5 years - gradually diminishing over time. For some reason I don't remember getting that worked up about it. Thanks again. Phil. B." (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. Jim" (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 infection. 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 "banish 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. Karen" (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 especially liked 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. Tom" (2010)