Hi guys, So a couple of months back, I registered on here, wrote a post, but quickly regretted my decision. The reason was that I didn't and still don't believe that being active on a tinnitus forum is a very good idea for me - I'm a hypochondriac and y'all can imagine how well that plays with reading reports from other patients! I'm well aware of the fact that people who get better rarely still post on tinnitus forums (would you?). However, I'm experiencing a crisis at the moment and really didn't know better. Here I am back - at least for now! So since none of you remember me, I'll quickly tell about my tinnitus history. I've had my first, "original" tinnitus since I was 16 or so, due to a noise trauma. It didn't bother me at all (well, after a difficult adjustment time in the beginning). I never consciously heard it! I was merrily going out to concerts and raves, playing live music myself, and no problems whatsoever. Vol. 2 appeared sometime end of May - beginning of June this year. I had just split with my then-girlfriend of one year, I was unhappy with my job and general life situation, I was coming off a major rave/MDMA/ecstasy spree and was generally not a happy camper. I had a bunch of other issues including daily headaches and dizziness, and at some point I'd gotten it into my head that my hearing was diminsihing (complete bullsh*t - my hearing is perfect aside from a slightly diminished hearing in my left ear which I've had for a while and which is stable. Confirmed by multiple hearing tests, as well as subjectively). No wonder one morning I woke up and my left ear was going like an alarm clock. I'll spare you all the details of what I went through and the long story of my pilgrimage through the doctors (I'm bored of telling it myself!) Suffice it to say, it's ups and downs. Right now it's a down. So here, in bullet points, is what I've tried and/or found remarkable: - Tinnitus likes to change frequency, intensity and location. This all leads to me "rainmaking" - if I try X and the tinnitus happens to get better, I assume it's because of X, if it doesn't or gets worse, I try something else. - Multiple cortisone treatments, no notable effect - Tried magnesium, placebo effect (I think) - Tried gingko, no notable effect - Lack of sleep seems to worsen it, surprise - Tried good food, regular days and lots of sun. Results inconclusive, but seems to improve overall condition, mood and thereby tinnitus. - Did one more ecstasy session in early June, due to being drunk and totally pissed off at myself sitting at home and being depressed. Went to huge rave, rolled. Woke up with noise trauma, needed a couple of days to recover. BUT remarkable effect - tinnitus vol. 2 disappeared for three days, then came back on slowly. Gave me some more pointers on what might be causing it. - Doing physical therapy (manual therapy) at the moment for my screwed up neck and back. Second session in, so far no notable effect on tinnitus (interesting effects otherwise, though). I highly suspect, as probably do you after reading all of this, that my tinnitus is very directly linked to my depression/serotonin levels. As I wrote before I rolled a lot last year, resulting in an even more destabilized psyche and cumulatively with the other events in my life (breakup, general discontent, best friend currently preparing to leave the country, tinnitus) triggered a depression so heavy I haven't had it this hardcore yet. I suspect my serotonin levels are low, though I have no idea how to get that tested. It's also telling that the tinnitus subsides when I'm interested in something, like listening to good music, watching a good movie, having an interesting conversation, and then gets barely bearable once I don't do any of those things or concentrate on it. It's a world of difference, which I guess is testament to the fact it's psychosomatic. I went to see a psychiatrist, who prescribed Zolpidem (Ambien) and Escitalopram. The Escitalopram is known to cause tinnitus or an increase in tinnitus, so I did not take it (I asked him to give me something that does not have this side effect, but he was having none of it - I want to look for alternatives now. Maybe someone on here knows about antidepressants that aren't ototoxic or cause tinnitus increase, and which would fit my profile?) I really want to feel better because in better moments I do realize that it's all psychosomatic and I don't actually have a big problem - just another sound I can't turn off, and which hardly should affect me - after all, I can still listen to music alright, I can make music, what's even the problem? But in the worse moments it totally gets me down. I don't want to risk an increase in intensity through meds, though. The Zolpidem I did take for three nights, since in the past few days it's been so bad in the night that it was too loud for me to go to sleep. But it's not a good solution, even short-term - it does send me to sleep, but I wake up after 5-6 hours, just like I would without taking it, plus I wake up horrendously depressed, with suicidal thoughts and tears right behind my eyes. After some research I found that Zolpidem increased depressive symptoms in other patients, too. I would like to use a benzodiazepine as a band aid solution for a night or so, since benzodiazepines usually give me a better mood and help me sleep longer, or so I remember. 5-6 hours doesn't sound so bad when you say it, but over many weeks it really wears you out - I used to sleep 9-10 hours easily on a free day. I live in Germany though, where doctors are very cautious with prescribing any chemistry. I am well aware it can't be a permanent solution, but honestly the place I'm at, I think I just need to get over the mountain first before I can really go about improving my life otherwise. So this is my introduction here. Any thoughts, comments and questions welcome.