Tinnitus Week: Talking about isolation Tinnitus and isolation. The two so often go hand-in-hand and so I’m thrilled that for Tinnitus Week 2019, the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) has chosen to highlight isolation and offer its invaluable guidance and support to those living with the condition. It was unfortunately no surprise to me that the BTA’s recent survey revealed more than 60% of people with tinnitus feel isolated. It’s a condition you can’t see and which all too often, those around us don’t understand the true impact of. If you’re living with tinnitus, reaching out and talking about how you’re feeling is vital, and support groups play a crucial role in allowing those with tinnitus to do just that. Meeting others who are going through the same experiences as you can be incredibly rewarding and can reassure you that you really are not alone. Equally, speaking to your GP is important. The BTA is working hard to ensure GPs are better equipped with the knowledge they need to help tinnitus patients - it’s so important that people feel empowered to share with their GP the impact their tinnitus is having on their lives. Additionally, it’s important to recognise that if your GP says your tinnitus isn’t ‘severe enough’ to warrant referral – you still have every right to feel isolated and to reach out for support from those around you and organisations such as the BTA. If you’re living with tinnitus and feeling isolated, remember you are not alone. Support is available, in a variety of places. You can find your local tinnitus support group by visiting https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/find-a-support-group or you can speak to someone about your tinnitus in complete confidence, by calling the BTA’s confidential helpline on 0800 018 5257. Patient also offers a wide range of support and resources around isolation. Visit https://patient.info/mental-health for further information.