Chronic Anxiety and Depression

Discussion in 'Support' started by garywi, Feb 21, 2017.

    1. garywi

      garywi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I keep reading that anxiety and depression cause Tinnitus. Does that mean if I get my anxiety and depression under control, my ringing will go away.

      I only have ringing in one ear, no hearing loss or other health problems. My ringing starting during a period of bad anxiety and depression and now I am being treated..

      Thanks
       
    2. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      '11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      I've long heard that anxiety can cause one's tinnitus to worsen but not necessarily be the cause of the tinnitus. Now if you are taking medication for anxiety and/or depression, the medication itself could be the cause.
       
    3. BLane
      Dreaming

      BLane Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've seen a few medical articles that state tinnitus doesn't cause depression and anxiety, that these are pre-existing conditions. I just think, "Wow, I guess the doctors who wrote these articles don't have T." I was not depressed before T and when I have a good, mild or even moderate T day, all that depression and anxiety dissipates.
       
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    4. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      You say you weren't depressed or anxious before onset of tinnitus, and that would likely put you in the minority camp as anxiety and depression tend to be part of the perfect storm of ingredients making up tinnitus due to elevated cortisol levels in the blood stream. I also believe some don't think they are anxious or depressed but really are.

      But let's say you are right and you weren't anxious or depressed when you contracted T. Most of us agree...I do that bad T days contribute to anxiety and depression....I clearly agree with that...I just believe T heightens an already anxious or depressed person in many cases.

      But OP, to answer you question more succinctly, the answer is no. If/when you get your anxiety/depression under control in the vast majority of cases the ringing is still there. In some albeit perhaps a minority of cases the ringing can soften a bit but certainly not in the majority of cases. But what happens OP by normalizing brain chemistry is, you no longer hyper focus on your T and then with time tend to ignore it more....referred to generally as habituation. T because less of a big deal in your life. Somedays it will still bug you when it spikes...many with T it goes up and down like a yoyo day to day...mine does and on loud days its like oh....its there today and 'I wonder when it will quiet down a bit?' will come to mind....just not the freaked out reaction many get when anxious and depressed which is often the case.

      Hope that makes sense. If you feel you are constantly agitated, I strongly suggest you seek a therapist and experiment with meds and dosage to normalize your brain chemistry which you aren't achieving naturally. This btw is largely trial and error. Before you take anything perform a search on the forum to determine if the med prescribed has any tinnitus side effects.

      Good luck and great question btw and a question more should ask as they try to will themselves to better mental health. Brain chemistry trumps free will btw, just like somebody who is drunk doesn't make the best decisions generally.
       
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    5. Sooner Arrow
      Cheerful

      Sooner Arrow Member

      Location:
      Fountain, Colorado
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @garywi - There appear to many causes to T but I personally don't believe that anxiety and/or depression is a cause. That's just me though. I've had T for 30 years now but only in the last ten has it started to affect my life and in the last five years, it has impacted so severely that it's major day to day struggle.

      I have to agree with @stophiss regarding the brain chemistry:

      Anti-anxiety and pain meds (I've had my lumbar fused) help to slightly minimize the hyper-focus that allows me to temporarily focus enough to write this in less than an hour. However, ignoring it is not an option for me. I tried it from 2007 to 2016 but it severely affected me so drastically that I had severe anxiety attacks multiple times daily. I thought I was going crazy until I realized it was my T causing all this. Since I was doing as my doctors said and ignore it, I never thought T would cause such havoc with my mental state.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      garywi

      garywi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks guys. I may not have been clear. In my case, I have no hearing loss and a normal MRI. I have never listened to loud music and am pretty healthy physically. My tinnitus is in one ear. It started two months ago when I was trying to go off my meds for anxiety and depression just to see if I could do it and live OK. During the time I was off, my anxiety and depression was nearly debilitating, and it was during this time when my T started. I am back on meds for anxiety and depression and I am hoping when I am stable, my T lowers or goes away.
       
    7. Florida John

      Florida John Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, and possible head trauma
      I am very much where you are, at Tinnitus for over 20 years at least (Not sure) lived with it fine at a low level, have high feq hearing loss in a bad way, 3 to 4 months ago it got very bad on a quick withdrawl of gabapentin,,,I have had bad thoughts, and a very hard time dealing with life, are you currently taking any meds for your problem? I have taken some ativan, but have limited as much as possible, dr wants me on antidepressant, but have not taken as I am reading lots ob ad stuff, I tried nortriptyline before but woke all 3 nights on it with bad ringing so I quit it,,I have been searching what to do, it has me depressed with anxiety, but dont want to make it worse,,,,what do you take?
       
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    8. RaZaH
      Cheeky

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      So maybe its not anxiety and just ototoxic drugs that caused you T, pretty classic if you ask me.
       
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    9. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      @garywi ,
      Coming off medication can cause tinnitus as alters your brain chemistry so a really slow taper is needed and I would go a month between reductions so your mood will stabilize before another reduction .

      I'm not sure what medication you are on for depression but
      Nortriptyline or Amitriptyline are the best out that can reduce tinnitus for a lot of people.
      Dealing with depression and support for it and anxiety puts you in a better mind frame to cope better with tinnitus and regain your confidence and shelf worth.
      You will get through this I promise..lots of love glynis
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      garywi

      garywi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am struggling big time in the last week. I have been on desipramine 20mg for the last 30 days. When I increased the dose from 10 to 20, my ears became sensitive to loud sound. After a few weeks it seemed to stabilize. I increased from 20 to 25mg last week and my ears became incredibly sensitive to sound, now causing me distress and anxiety. I backed down the dose to 20mg 4 days ago and am hoping the sensitivity lessons. So far, maybe just a little bit. The troubling part is desipramine (along with Deplin) have taken away all my depression and most of my anxiety.
       
    11. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Medication side effects upping and reducing medication can cause anxiety and tinnitus spikes.
      What ever you decide to do just take it slowly with each medication alteration as even though you feel ok your brain chemistry needs extra time to adjust so slowly gets you to where you want to be ........lots of love glynis
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      garywi

      garywi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have been searching the internet incessantly. I can't find anyone that was on Desipramine that had an aggravation in Hyperacusis. I am on such a low dose according to my doctor, 20mg, and its helping my depression so much. I hate to go off it. It been a long battle for me finding a depression med. Right now sounds are maddening.
       
    13. Sooner Arrow
      Cheerful

      Sooner Arrow Member

      Location:
      Fountain, Colorado
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      First, please do not let the bad thoughts take over. Tomorrow is another day and eventually things WILL get better. Also, those bad thoughts only lead to a permanent solution to a temporary problem, even if it seems like it's permanent problem, it's not.

      Sorry for the late response. Well, I don't really take anything for it for the last year. I have a very hard time dealing with life to the point that I'm a hermit and am not able to work. I've had back surgeries, so I've taken hydrocodone on and off and that seems to help me focus my mind for the short term (a few hours a day) but its side effects can be pretty substantial too. I was taking both clonazepam and Adderall to help me function at my last IT position but the daily mental rigor required was something that failed me after 25+ years. I've got to find work again (any kind of work), so I'm going to try Adderall again and hope that it can help me at keep from being a hermit.
       
    14. Florida John

      Florida John Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, and possible head trauma
      How are you coping these days,,,,your situation sounds like mine,,,,I am looking for answers,,,,have you tried any meds to help?
       
    15. Sooner Arrow
      Cheerful

      Sooner Arrow Member

      Location:
      Fountain, Colorado
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yes, I was on Nortriptyline for the last month but it didn't help with the T and in fact, increased the volume dramatically, in addition to other serious side effects. Over the weekend, I started on Seroquel as a replacement to Trazedone (that one of my new doctors prescribed) but I'm stopping it today because it doesn't help me sleep at all and I feel like a zombie all day.

      I still struggle with the severe lack concentration ability. It manifests itself in many ways like in conversations when I reach for something that I know I know but cannot retrieve it. So mid-sentence I'm staring up trying to retrieve it. Also when I'm trying to do something with my computers (I've been an IT Engineer for over 30 years) and I cannot consistently provide myself answers from own brain which means I'm struggling do what I've always.

      I have good days and bad days. Last week after I weaned myself off the Nortriptyline and before I started the Seroquel, I had a string much better days. Not even close to 100% but somewhere over 60%, which is tolerable.

      How about yourself?
       
    16. Florida John

      Florida John Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, and possible head trauma
      I am not coping that well, I am 52 and have had Tinnitus for approx 20 or more years,,,,It was at a level I learned to live with just fine (From hearing loss) then approx 6 months ago I came off gabepentin for neck pain, and came off too fast as I was feeling really bad, it gave me bad anxiety and extreme ringing in my head/ears,,,all sorts of noise,,,i too tried nortripyline but only 3 days and stopped because of louder ringing, it would make me sleepy as I took before bed,,,but middle of the night really loud screaming in ears,,,,I have had head/neck trauma too a whiplash injury,,,,a year earlier,,,,i a few annoying sounds after that, but got really bad when i came off the gabapentin,,,,I am depressed with bad dark thoughts, but been fighting,,,although I am wearing down,,,I am on ativan,,,,but hope to wean off it,,,,and find something long term,,,,,however its not looking good as I am hearing so much bad about meds,,,,I also clench and grind teeth,,,,so even harder finding something that wont aggravate that problem,,,I need something but not sure what to take,,,,if i find something I will let you know
       
    17. vermillion
      Whistles

      vermillion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly from Fluconazole / H + Dysacusis later on
      That's excatly how i feel, but my therapist claims the opposite. She tries to convince me that this T s...t is a product of my pre-existing depression. From the moment it started about 4 months before, it worsens and i am really concerned. Will it ever stabilize? Today i feel really down. Generally i do not cope. I am in despair. My life is falling apart day by day...
       
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    18. BLane
      Dreaming

      BLane Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I think alot of these 'professionals' believe tinnitus is just a very minor sound in the ear that any normal, healthy person should be able to easily shut out from awareness...but because of our depression/anxiety we tune into it and are unable to. Maybe that is true in some cases, but many cases like mine it is a major sound that comes of it's own accord. It is as real and substantial as say a heart attack is. Mine is very loud and intrusive....even when I'm not focusing on it. I've just chosen to accept it and get on with life, so my mind loses awareness of it more and more often. But it's always there. I'm sorry you're struggling with yours, I think eventually we all get to a make or break us moment and that's when habituation really starts. It's a choice we make when all is lost. When you stop fighting it, you will begin to get your life back. At least you're able to seek help, not a good idea over here in the states, if you go in with depression, you can be put on a watch list and even have your right to bear arms revoked. That probably discourages a lot of people from getting the help they may need. Hang in there!
       
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    19. Paulmanlike

      Paulmanlike Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      My ex girlfriend suffered serious depression (not because of me might I add) and developed tinnitus. It disappeared when she got better.
       
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    20. Scared111

      Scared111 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      did she end up taking meds? how long did her tinnitus last?
       
    21. Paulmanlike

      Paulmanlike Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      It was years ago, think it was around 2 weeks she had it for and I think she said the depression caused it and went away when she got better.
       
    22. vermillion
      Whistles

      vermillion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly from Fluconazole / H + Dysacusis later on
      Dear @BLane,
      I've came across with posts of yours few times. Your words are always well balanced. Thank you so much for your response. It gives me hope and right now it soothes a little bit my mental distress. I have lost any hope that my tinnitus will eventually vanish. I'm not that case. It started mild and in one ear. Right now it had spread everywhere. Various sounds. Don't know what's going on. Medical tests all good. I don't know about pre-existing depression. I am 32. Running the most creative and productive era of my life. My profession (dance instructor) has to do all with music. 4 months before i remember myself vivid, smiley, full of life and force in the class. This is history. Each day i wither. On top of that making my living in a country that economically is falling apart is an extra stress. Eventually i will have to quit my profession. After that i cannot imagine myself finding the strength to begin building something new. Long-term planning is impossible with T. I just hope my T to stay in that level. At least only that, thus i may be able to reach the state of habituation.

      I am not familiar with the US medical system. This doesn't sound good. However i was considering consultation in Baltimore. My brother lives there. But then again i am not sure if those tinnitus clinics are of any use. What's your opinion? In Greece there is great lack of expertise on the subject. It's very disappointing. The recommended "top on the subject" neurologist i visited was totally unaware of the debilitating cases. There aren't even any support groups. As for the depression... i think the psychiatrists here are not helping in relation with tinnitus. Just take pills and all good. I am refusing ADs right now due to all the horror stories. I feel unsafe.

      @Paulmanlike for how long? Was it constant or intermittent?
       
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    23. Paulmanlike

      Paulmanlike Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Constant just remember her saying she hand ringing in her ear for a couple of weeks
       
    24. BLane
      Dreaming

      BLane Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I don't feel that I had pre-existing depression either, although I did have a stressful day when T started...so more likely to do with cortisol. I am a graphic artist, and like you, I thought my future was over after T. I couldn't concentrate, couldn't be creative....I saw no way out. That was depressing for certain. Getting T is such a HUGE change to one's homeostasis, it's not something one can prepare for or adapt to easily. What worked well for me was choosing to accept it as a lifelong condition...like, "Okay, this isn't going away. This is the new me from now on." You have to sincerely accept it as the new you....um...a new stage in your life and be okay with it, that's what I mean by not fighting it. Then your nervous system can begin to calm down. It then ceases to irritate you. I also looked for inspiration in people with chronic conditions who have also adapted. Lastly, I didn't change my stressors, but I did change the way I react to stress so that my risk of spiking cortisol levels is decreased. Then I was able to relax even with the T. My concentration returned, as did my creativity. I pretty much do everything I used to and feel pretty good about my life and future. Once I accepted that I was disabled by T for life, I was no longer disabled. You can't control what T does and you can't control how long it takes for your brain to get so used to T that it stops being aware of it. That's just a slow, time-consuming process that we have to suffer through. I think staying busy and finding new ways to cope help speed up the process. Sometimes I think staying with one's profession is the best cure, it helps keep your mind off T and teaches you how to function with it. I think you'll dance again Vermillion, I really do. Do you?

      I can't speak for Tinnitus clinics as I haven't been to one. I think they're mostly for people who have a harder time habituating. The doctors, ENT's and Audiologists I've seen have all been a waste of time and money.
       
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    25. vermillion
      Whistles

      vermillion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly from Fluconazole / H + Dysacusis later on
      @BLane thank you so much. I really needed this encouraging. My friends are supportive, but it's different to get good advice from someone who knows this first-hand. I'm really happy that you manage to cope. If cortisol is a factor then i must address this. That said i must find a way to manage the fear. To tell you the truth, i'm not sure, but i think the fear of getting worse and worse, so that will cost me the things that i love... oh god! this seems much more distressing then the current T itself. I hope i can keep up with my profession and resume playing the piano. As you said it needs time. Have a good one!

      Same old story. :p
       
    26. Sooner Arrow
      Cheerful

      Sooner Arrow Member

      Location:
      Fountain, Colorado
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I too, am 52 and still deal with those very dark thoughts on an occasional basis. I just push those out of mind and think that my life will get better at some point in my future. I'm struggling to accept the fact that I'm probably going to have this the rest of my life so I'm trying to think of something productive I can do earn a living with this disability. It's a struggle to even think of that, since I cannot concentrate for long enough periods to understand if something will fit me. I still want go do the things I've always loved to do like camping, canoeing and now hiking, since I'm living in Colorado.

      Do you have any support at all? I've been talking to a psychologist regularly, which has helped me to cope somewhat better.
       
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    27. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      that makes it sound like you're dealing with a well-documented unfortunate side effect of drug withdrawal, not some kind of psychogenic condition.

      What drugs are we talking about? Benzos? SSRIs?
       
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