Anxiety - tinnitus and the brain

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lisa88, Apr 15, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I wonder how much our anxiety embeds the tones in our brains. If I had taken anti anxiety meds from the onset of t, I would have slept, brushed off the noise, and maybe t would not have taken such a hold on my brain, minimizing brain plasticity and t loudness, number of tones etc. It's a thought anyway.
       
    2. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      Indeed, i've wondered the same
       
    3. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yes, from Day 1. How would our t be today?
       
    4. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      It most likely plays a major role unfortunatelly...
       
    5. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Why not take anxiety meds now to see if it helps?
       
    6. Penelope33
      Torn

      Penelope33 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2013
      I don't believe myself that anxiety causes the sort of t that's sticks around . I think some physiological factor has occurred that causes it. Otherwise it would disappear when we are not anxious .
       
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    7. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Anxiety, fear, stress... these can 'teach' the brain to become aware of the T and it can become a chronic state, which does not go away when we start to feel better.
       
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    8. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      But what would be curious is does T go away if it was caused by anxiety and the anxiety on the whole, as an episode of anxiety in ones life, passes away?

      Do people acquire mild 'stress' tinnitus, and then it passes, and we don't necessarily hear much about it, because it's sufferers don't have the chance to fully internalize it, if the episode is short enough, say a few weeks or even months?
       
    9. tom68
      Wishful

      tom68 Member

      Location:
      East Mids, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Is there evidence that the brain learns tinnitus? Given that something must trigger the tinnitus in the first place isn't it more likely that the continued noise is due to that trigger remaining?
       
    10. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I guess scientists are still figuring all this stuff out. I think yes, we have the trigger. But from Day 1, anxiety, lack of sleep and monitoring may feed the t. I heard a story of a DJ who got t, and thought to himself, this is ridiculous, I am not going to pay attention to this, I don't have it. His t completely disappeared. Now it may have gone away anyway. But from what I know now 6 months into t, I would have tried to handle it differently from that first day - an anti anxiety med straight away, self talk. I think, for my case anyway, my t would be much reduced now if I had gone that route.
      If habituation counts on the brain tuning t out. Then tuning it out from onset before plasticity sets in - well there's something to be said for that.
       
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    11. bill 112
      Studious

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Maybe your right about this anxiety thing when my symptoms first started it started with a fullness in my left ear and then one day I scratched my right and there was a weird popping sound and all of a sudden there was a fullness in my right ear.Of course anxiety set in as doctors didnt know what was causing it as there was no sign of infection or anything like that.I was on anxiety meds throughout this time to calm me down until the docs got to the bottom of it.Eventually the fullness disappeared and I was left with T.I often wondered if my anxiety throughout this time brought on T but I can tell you the anxiety meds didnt stop it from happening.
       
    12. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014

      Really, wow. Where'd you hear that about the DJ? I think I'm going to take that lexapro after all.

      But just the same, I would definitely think that ignoring it and not letting it bother you is absolutely the thing to do from the get-go. On any level, that's the thing to do. Easier said than done in some cases, but that's definitely the thing one should try to do as soon as possible. Thanks for that post.
       
    13. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      I was sitting at my audiologist today in a very quiet room. There were minutes when my T was so low, I thought it is no longer there. But then I concentrated so hard finding it that it came back.

      Sometimes I would love going back in time checking if I had T already before T onset. So am I just concentrating on something which was already there? Could it be that a stress situation just tuned up what was already there? I have no noise induced T. Mine came by stress. I don't think that stress at this particular point caused hair cell damage.

      Also my wife was sitting there with me, too. She said later she could also hear a sound in her ear. So she also has T, probably mild. But she just said OK and doesn't think about it anymore. Why does she not suffer, but I have such a hard time? I think mine is more intrusive, but I would probably even freak out with a mild T at first.
       
    14. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yes, right. Not freaking out from onset is much easier said than done, even though it looks like the sensible thing to do in hindsight :)
      Yes, the physiological mechanisms of t are in place. That's for sure.
      I take lorazepam, and it reduces my sounds a lot. So for me, I know on top of the mechanisms, it is anxiety that drives my t and the volume switch.
      Having said that, we are all different.
      Also, just on a side note to a comment above, I remember silence, sitting in sound proof rooms, or the stillness of a quiet night. I am a musician, and pick up the smallest of sounds. For me, the idea that everyone has t (although soothing) does not seem accurate somehow.
       
    15. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      I don't know to much about it but I believe I saw a something about t sufferers who had the auditory nerve cut and still had t. So there is some evidence of the brain learbing t.
       
    16. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      is there a correlation between cortisol and t?
       
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    17. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      "I was sitting at my audiologist today in a very quiet room. There were minutes when my T was so low, I thought it is no longer there. But then I concentrated so hard finding it that it came back. "

      Really? Dude, if I sat in an audiologist booth, my tinnitus would be as loud as if I was standing in heavy traffic. Why in the world would you try HARD to find it?
       
    18. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Dan. Believe me, it was not by intention. Hard was maybe not the correct word. But I was listening where it is. And of course it was still there. But it was really low like seldom. I don't know why.

      Unfortunately I still think too much about T the whole day. I don't know if I am obsessed. But it consumes nearly all my time. It is difficult for me distracting from T. It is so frustrating. Maybe if I would have a job which would need my concentration the whole time, it would be easier. On the other side, my manager gives me all time and possibilities to give it time.

      Sometimes I think if my T would be gone, it would listen so long until I would hear it again. :(
       
    19. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hey Lisa. You are probably right. If T would be gone, we would recognize it.

      I also can remember when I took diazepam (probably the same as lorazepam), my T was reduced a lot. I was a totally different person - like before T. Be careful when taking it. Don't take too long. But I guess you know that.

      I also recognized that when taking anti anxiety meds, my T dropped in volume (at least for two days). But I don't know if that was because of the medical change in the brain or if it would also go down when my anxiety would be gone. Unfortunately I cannot tell myself simply being no longer anxious. If it would be that easy...
       
    20. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014

      I remember silence too, at least insofar as I enjoyed it before the T I currently experience. But I feel like I remember at least a little ringing/buzzing or something in a very quiet place if I cupped my ears. But maybe I'm imaging that, or confusing it with the occasional ringing we all get from time to time that only lasts several seconds. What ever "T" I might have previously experienced, it was so mild and essentially unnoticeable that it barely passed the threshold of consciousness.

      This other T I now have is definitely noticeable. I wonder if mine was caused by stress. I figured it was the years of listening to headphones, or maybe my tender ears and tubes. But these last two years have been rough, and at times incredibly stressful. But the worst stress/anxiety by far was two years ago, and there was no T then.
       
    21. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Martin69, have you been to a tinnitus counselor or a therapist?
      From what you're saying you have a very bad psychological problem regarding your tinnitus.
      It sounds as if you have ocd type behavior. There are psych therapies/meds for that...
       
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    22. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      There is some evidence about tinnitus happening in the "attention center" (? dont know the correct term) and the limbic system (responssible for emotional response). They (scientists) are not quite sure though. There is also some evidence that distressing about tinnitus will increase the activity of the nerves. :)
       
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    23. Mpt

      Mpt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      hi Dan,

      it seems like you have a relatively severe case, exactly when can and when can you not hear your tinnitus... is it reactive at all?, mine can be very severe at times, but at other times it can be not "silent" but very quiet
       
    24. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Dan. Yes, I was in a tinnitus clinic here in Germany. They did counselling with me, explained limbic system, hair cell damage and all that stuff. There were other severe cases like me with intrusive tinnitus and all had the same problems (anxiety, depression). Recommendations from the therapists and psychlogists were living a normal life as possible, distract myself with hobbies, masking etc. I follow all advises. I do not react to my T. But there is still much anxiety that I have to live with this sound 24/365. I guess I haven't accepted it yet. Don't see much need in talking to someone again telling me the same again.

      Btw, which meds do you mean? I take Mirtazapin against depression and for sleep.

      And when I said "Sometimes I think if my T would be gone, it would listen so long until I would hear it again. :(", this was more kidding. It was more a response to that we were told T is a normal sound the body makes (Jastreboff and Hazel). And that everyone can hear something in a sound-proof room.
       
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    25. JTP
      No Mood

      JTP Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shit happens
      Martin, I would not say you have "very bad psychological problem regarding your tinnitus". Intrusive tinnitus takes the center stage for everyone who has it, until it becomes an old hat and distress fades. It will happen for you at some point too.
       
    26. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      I agree with jtp, you dont have ocd its just severe T, and you will get there. Should fade over time. Everyone that has T always goes and "looks" for it, its just an anxiety reaction to T and totally normal. Eventually you will just let it run its corse and still has forever to calm down if not your reaction/anixety to it will and make it seem like the Ts more and more less.
       
    27. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      I can hear my tinnitus under all circumstance except while taking a shower - and I mean ALL cirumstances.
      Yes you could say it is reactive as well with associated mild/moderate hyperacusis and ear discomfort/pain.

      I would not call that severe T, but his reaction is severe relative to his tinnitus intensity - that is common with psychological conditions. If one has to look for it in an audiology booth - that is not severe T. He should be encouaraged by this fact.
       
    28. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Yeah reaction wise, but whats severe to him may not be severe to someone else. Everyone handles it differently.
       
    29. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Dan. As I wrote in my post, it was "low like seldom". Usually I cannot mask my T. It is the same as for you. I can only NOT hear it in the shower. So I hear it 24/365, high-pitched like an old TV. I really don't know if it is intrusive or not. I myself think it is severe and intrusive. Because my tension and stress is at the roof.

      As I said I remembered times when it was low - because of meds. This was something I could live with easily, because it was covered by environmental sounds.
       

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