Can Anxiety Cause Long-Lasting Tinnitus Spikes? My Tinnitus Has Been Worse Soon for 2 Months

Discussion in 'Support' started by Here2utopia, Oct 3, 2021.

    1. Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      Sorry, this is a long one.

      Little background: I’ve had tinnitus for about 7ish years. The first few months were hard as hell and I definitely didn’t want to live anymore. Eventually it calmed down (or more likely I just learned to tune it out) and I really only noticed it occasionally and the vast majority of the time I noticed it there was no anxiety about hearing it. I had spikes but never more than a few hours.

      About 6-7 weeks ago my girlfriend was in the hospital for mental health reasons and we usually talk every night but it had been a few days without her. We are really really close. I’m also going through some intense life changes (divorce, lost job due to anxiety/panic attacks, not the best living situation).

      Anyway, I was up late playing games on my computer to kinda distract myself. The whole house was quiet and there were no lights on besides those from the computer screen. Suddenly the power went out. It startled me and I just kinda sat there waiting for it to come on when I noticed my left ear had this strange sensation. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it but it was similar to a whooshing sound that got louder and louder and I felt head pressure building along with it. This was completely unlike my normal tinnitus and it immediately started a panic attack. My regular tinnitus sound also increased from a 1-2/10 to a 9/10.

      I was able to calm myself down and get to sleep but my tinnitus was still loud the next morning. I tried to ignore it at first but it just seemed to be getting louder throughout the day. The next day I tried masking it but that didn’t help either. At this point I’m obsessing on it, checking every few seconds, nothing helps. I spiraled big time. It got bad for days and days. It felt like a 11/10 all day and night. I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. Eventually I went to the ER where they found nothing wrong. I went again a few days later and still found nothing. At this point I was suicidal and ended up in the mental hospital for a couple days. It helped being there but it was still pretty noticeable (4/10).

      I’ve been out for about a month now and it hasn’t improved much. I wake up immediately with it at a 5/10. It’ll fade a bit for a few hours then build up all day until it’s screaming again at night. The thing is I CANNOT stop thinking about it. I’m checking it every few seconds. It’s like a compulsion at this point. I’ve been given an antibiotic for a possible sinus infection that I’m also terrified of taking in case it makes this worse.

      My questions for y’all are these:
      1. Can anxiety cause a tinnitus spike this bad and this long?
      2. How do I stop checking/thinking about it 24/7? “Distract yourself” isn’t really what I mean because I already tried that. It’s consuming my thoughts which if nothing else is making my perception worse.
      3. Can a spike this long go away/is it still likely to? It's been 7 weeks now.
      4. Should I take the antibiotic?
       
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    2. Damocles
      Spooky

      Damocles Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      TL;DR: girlfriend got put in hospital because she's crazy about me.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      Yeah sorry, it’s a very long post lmao.
       
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    4. MBH

      MBH Member

      Location:
      Upstate NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Overloaded stress
      Your tinnitus was originally lower so I will assume it will go back. But it can take time. For anxiety go back to a Doc and see what treatment you can do. You should get that under control, once that's controlled you will be able to deal with tinnitus. Mine is from stress.
       
    5. 2noist

      2noist Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/02/2015
      What is the antibiotic? There's various kinds, some nicer to ears than others.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      Amoxicillin.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      So there’s still hope even after 7 weeks?
       
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    8. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      Yes - you should be back to baseline in a few more weeks. Stay calm.
      What most likely happened, was a brief rise in blood pressure that started the whooshing sound. It appears that you're young, so no permanent artery damage.

      For those older than 55-65, a whooshing sound from hypertension/stress or from a hypertension crisis (HC) (dramatic rise in blood pressure) can cause physical problems and pulsatile tinnitus. Written many posts about blood pressure hypertension/pulsatile tinnitus for those older than 60-65. This has been a life long medical study for me and ironically I had two very brief HCs since the age of 65 where I received some heavy bodily damage. I'm now 69.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      Thanks for this. I still get that whooshing sound basically anytime I’m in a room with no sound or that causes air pressure. I’m assuming I had it before and just didn’t notice it.
       
    10. TinaRuns

      TinaRuns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sept 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / perforation
      I'm becoming a big fan of CBD oil. I'm still experimenting with brands though. Make sure there's no THC. Labeling can be misleading for some brands. Also I take 450 mg Magnesium L-Threonate (bisglycinate also good) + 200 mg L-Theanine about an hour before sleep. Both help relaxing and sleep. CBD you can take during the day or night. Takes time to get dosage that works though. "Start low, go slow." Only higher doses help with sleep.

      I take 67 mg to sleep but at first that had the opposite effect. Sometimes I take 33 mg in morning for anxiety but I'm usually okay.

      I'm also a big believer in Curcumin. I take Thorne (good brand). Plus 1/4 tsp black pepper which increases absorption 2000 percent of Curcumin. I just drop from measuring spoon onto my tongue then drink lots of water. Try not to eat or taste pepper. That gets easier.

      I'm taking NAC (Pure Encapsulations). But I am not sure that helps or hurts. Sometimes I stop and just take Curcumin. I've had Curcumin help with spikes before. Or at least I thought they helped

      I also take 2000 mg EPA (Thorne) daily. That is supposed to help with depression.

      I take some other stuff but those are my requirements. I feel pretty good most days, despite the overall great sadness about the sound in my ear. I have struggled with a recent spike but finally managed to sleep last night with a combo of supplements, which I'm hoping will keep working.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      Thank you! I’ll look into these. I had my first good day in almost two months today. It came back tonight but I’m hopeful that means it’s improving.
       
    12. TinaRuns

      TinaRuns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sept 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / perforation
      I've continued to have good luck with my supplement combo. I'm hoping to share a detailed sleep success story soon! :) It has taken a lot of trial and error, talking to experts, spending boatloads of money trying various supplements. But I think I'm finding on a good path to finding my sleep solution. I'm still trying to raise a very low ferritin level, which I think will help more. Don't give up! :)
       
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    13. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      Based on my own experience, being in an anxious state increases perceptual awareness which literally makes tinnitus be heard louder.

      And this effect will last as long as you're in a hypevigilant, anxious state.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      Have you ever had it this long? I don’t feel anxious 24/7 but the tinnitus increase is pretty much 24/7. I should say I don’t feel consciously anxious but maybe I am below the surface.

      Anything you’ve learned to break that cycle of hypervigilance?
       
    15. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I'm predisposed to protracted anxious states, it predates my tinnitus, and I remember having a strongly dysphoric disasossciative episode in my teens that lasted 9 months or so.

      I haven't found any silver bullets. My life is okay at the moment between a mix of medication, meditation, and having filled my life with things I find satisfying and awesome, but the black figure of depression still stalks the background of my landscape, with their baying hounds of anxiety nipping at my heels.

      Simply accepting that these things are normal for me is a fundamental part of existing in a fairly happy way, too. The existence of my heightened anxiety is as obnoxious and irrevocable as the ability of my ACE2 receptors to get hijacked by spike proteins from novel coronaviruses: it's a basic part of my anatomy. It causes me to wake up much more easily than anyone in my house, and I suspect there are evolutionary reasons for that kind of diversity of brains; having some anxious people around that wake up at the drop of a pin, made it harder for a wolf or enemy to get into your cave and eat your babies. The fact that people who are hardwired to be this way may also struggle to "enjoy life" as much as people who are wired to be calmer, is a fairly modern invention of thought: for most of human history life has just been brutally difficult and mostly pretty short, and the whole idea of someone my age (early 40s) agonizing over getting the most pleasure or satisfaction out of each moment, would seem very ridiculous.

      My point is that to some real extent, suffering is universal and things like anxiety and hyper-vigilance are "normal". Consumerist society has programmed people to be dissatisfied if their lives seem more uncomfortable than the lives of the characters in the TV, books and movies we consume are. This is just a lie, suffering is reality, it exists for everyone, and no one gets out alive.
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      That is well said and definitely true. Suffering is universal, I just wish I could make peace with mine again. I keep thinking to myself “I know this didn’t bother me a couple months ago why am I letting it now” I’m not even sure it’s any louder than before, in fact I’d guess it’s not. I am working to come to peace with it again and let go of that anxiety around it.

      Thank you though for that thoughtful response.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Here2utopia

      Here2utopia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma/Zoloft
      Just wanted to update and say that the general trajectory seems to be improvement. I had a few days where I didn’t notice it more than just in passing. Tonight it seems loud and intrusive again. I’m hopeful the good days will come back but I’m going on 3 months of this spike and I have to admit I’m losing hope of it getting back to where it was and me being able to adjust fully.
       
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