David C's Story

Dealing with lifelong mental health issues can be draining and recently I contracted Tinnitus which is related to my Panic Disorder and PTSD .

I'm a Falklands War veteran and unfortunately I lived with PTSD and Panic Disorder for a long time before I finally got the support I needed. I'd been too busy working in my photography business and I didn't recognise or know about these conditions but thankfully I got help. Sadly the medication's side effects meant that I sometimes put myself in vulnerable situations just to prove how strong I was.

One night in 2015 I went to a concert. It was way too loud but I told myself not to panic; nothing bad would happen. I just had to tough it out and try to enjoy the gig. The next morning I woke up with hearing loss and Tinnitus which is a constant ringing in my ears and head. 

Just imagine a world where you are never free from a constant hissing in your ears.

Yes you're right, it’s horrendous. Tinnitus is an awful condition that leaves the sufferer with a constant ringing or buzzing in the head and it can lead to people suffering from depression and ultimately completing suicide. Yes, it really can be that bad.

After 2 years of constant suffering for myself and my family I have exhausted the NHS' capacity to deal with this horrendous condition. Unfortunately in the NHS Tinnitus this is often treated as a mechanical by-product of hearing loss when that isn’t always the case.

Therefore  I've made the difficult decision to try Tinnitus Retraining Therapy using a private clinic but it's expensive and I wasn’t in a position to be able to pay for it all myself so I started a crowd funded project on Just Giving. 

I'm a proud man and I've never sought financial help from strangers before so it's been a difficult decision to make. Just recently I was given an anonymous donation that made it possible for me to have this vital treatment. I am eternally grateful to that stranger and perhaps it is the first step on the road to getting my life back.

It’s important to know that my life isn’t consumed by my mental health.

But neither can I ignore it. I’m a filmmaker, writer and photographer and I try to work and pay my way but in an age of sharing everything and giving away everything for free something has to give. This is the world I find myself in. We also have the added pressure of coping with elderly relatives and friends getting sick and family dying as people get older. The pressures on the over 50’s are enormous. We weren’t all baby boomers you know; some of us were baby blunderers.

I hope my story can prevent people going through what I have gone through. People with PTSD and Panic Disorders are much more likely to suffer from Tinnitus because of the way it is triggered by the nervous system, so, if your gut is telling you that something is too loud, then listen to it and leave.

 

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