I’m Getting Better, but I’m Depressed

Discussion in 'Support' started by Nathan, Oct 3, 2018.

    1. Nathan
      Musical

      Nathan Member

      Location:
      Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/23/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music, Concert, Bad Luck
      So I’m 3.5 months in, and even though I’m slowly getting better, I’m pretty depressed.

      My tinnitus at times is very quiet, and I sometimes have to listen for it to hear it. Other times, it’s a high, shrill, screech, usually when I am stressed.

      My main problem is music, which has always been my passion. I have had perfect pitch for as long as I can remember. I taught myself how to play piano when I was 3 years old, and won a gold award in 8th grade at the state contest. I also played recorder in elementary school, oboe in 6th grade, and clarinet from 7th through 10th grade. I was always a top student, often a section leader, and I have won multiple awards, including most valuable player.

      I also loved listening to my personal music, which includes classical, childhood music, and many genres of rock music. I rarely used headphones until 9th grade, and initially, was only on about half volume, and I didn't use them super often. Then, in late 2016 and early 2017, I got into rock music, and decided to crank up the volume on my Apple earbuds from 50 percent to 65-70 percent: just below the "Orange Bar" on Android phones. On Christmas of 2016, I got my first pair of headphones, which I used at 50-55 percent due to the max decibel level being 115. I knew that sounds above 85 dB would not be good, and 70 percent volume was that 85 dB mark on apple earbuds.

      I was an avid user up until my first concert in late June. I originally brought earplugs, but my friends, who blast music at high volumes through their headphones and frequently go to concerts, said that "Earplugs are for wimps, you'll be fine." So I took them out and let my ears be exposed to 110 decibels for 2 straight hours. After the concert, I got muffled hearing, which went away in an hour. I then noticed a low ring before I went to bed, panicked, went back to bed, and woke up with a high eeeeeeeeee.

      I have had my ups and downs, and it has trended toward a softer volume. However, the fact that I can not enjoy music the way I used to really brings me down. I used music as a therapy to help with my stress and anxiety. I can only do this at home now.

      My dad used to blast his Walkman at full volume while mowing lawns for years and went to concerts. No T.
      My sister has a 40 dB hearing loss, goes to concerts, and plays music at 90 percent volume, no T.
      Many of my friends are in marching band, play music at full volume on headphones, and go to concerts. No T
      I listened to music at 70 percent volume max (rarely 75), only went to one concert, disliked loud noises in general, and can hear up to 18500 hertz, and I am the one who gets T and H.

      I had multiple other things I had/have to deal with too, including severe anxiety, severe ADHD, and school. I have a 3.5 GPA, and with all the stress, it's hard for me to handle. I can't play my clarinet anymore due to H, Most of all, I really, REALLY miss playing my favorite music through headphones.

      It just seems so ironic that this would happen, especially with many of my peers damaging their ears much faster than me. However, I would like to say that I took Prozac for years, which is ototoxic, and the doctors have said that this could have partially contributed to this.

      Sorry for ranting, I just need to vent.
       
      Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
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    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Nathan

      I am pleased that you are making improvement but remember, you are still in the early stages and likely to improve a lot more with time. Please talk with your doctor about the low moods/depression that you feel. This is not unusual with tinnitus especially in the early stages. It may be suggested to try and antidepressant. I am a believer in AD medication for tinnitus which I have discussed with you before. Contrary to what some believe they do not always make tinnitus worse. If they do this is usually short term but the benefits of helping one's mental and emotional wellbeing with medication far out-weigh the negatives in my opinion.

      Since your tinnitus was noise induced. I advise you never to use headphones again even at low volume. Please read the entire contents of this thread: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...n-it-get-better-once-again.31608/#post-374353

      All the best
      Michael
       
    3. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Hey man, I'm a musician and my tinnitus has ruined my love of music for the most part so I feel you. Contrary to what other people may say I highly reccomend against the use of anti depressants. They distort your brain chemistry and many people on this site even have reported that their tinnitus was caused by them. Just hang tight. There may be cures coming soon, you still may even recover. Best of luck. Be careful with the white noise too. I myself have noticed the louder my fan is at night the louder my tinnitus is the next day. Best of luck!
       
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    4. sky_high

      sky_high Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Berlin / Bucharest
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      lexapro / stress / unknown
      emphasis on not always

      "If they do this is usually short term" - I do hope you are right... My SSRI induced tinnitus is still present approximately 6 weeks after stopping the medication. I admit that I feel slow improvements as the time passes.

      @Nathan if you want to the take the of path antidepressants, maybe try something else, not selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

      https://news.ohsu.edu/2017/08/22/study-suggests-serotonin-may-worsen-tinnitus

      "If you’re a physician treating a patient for depression who also has hearing loss or tinnitus, you may want to be careful about prescribing a drug that compounds their feelings of anxiety,” said Trussell, who also suffers from tinnitus and, in addition to his other roles, has an appointment in the Oregon Hearing Research Center at OHSU. “The SSRI may be enhancing the thing you’re trying to fix."
       
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    5. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      Exercise is a great way to deal with depression. I understand your depression and I feel your pain. Possibly get musician ear plugs and continue your piano playing. This is 100% up to you, possibly give it a try and see how you feel. It's not uncommon for folks with tinnitus to have a bit of depression. The key is to deal with it and try to move on with your life.
       
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    6. Bam

      Bam Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/stress
      .......And its not uncommon for folks with Alzheimer’s to be a teensy bit forgetful.
       
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    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      There are some people in this forum that have had tinnitus for about 5 mins and come here thinking they know everything about it when in reality they know absolutely nothing. They are not willing to listen and therefore will never learn. It takes time to understand the way tinnitus can affect a person's mental and emotional wellbeing. People that are veterans like myself and those seasoned to tinnitus for a while know this, particularly "noise induced" which is one of the most common types, know the overwhelming impact of what tinnitus can do to a person when it is severe and this level of intensity is sustained.


      Tinnitus and mental health.

      Type tinnitus into any search engine and you will see links to thousands of websites. They will explain its symptoms, causes and a variety of treatments that are available in the medical field. It seems everyone is catered for, because there is no shortage of information on alternative medicine or natural remedies for anyone wanting to pursue these routes. Those new to tinnitus sometimes feel isolated by it and therefore, it might be comforting to read, that millions of people around the world experience this condition and most learn to live with it.

      Reassuring as this seems, learning to live with tinnitus and getting to a point where one accepts it and is not troubled by noise is easier said than done for some people. The reason being, the habituation process can be a mysterious one with many twists and turns along its path. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on it and a corner has been turned. A spike or the sudden introduction of a new sound can be a stark reminder that you haven’t quite reached there yet. This is particularly true for those new to the condition and similarly, for anyone that has been seasoned to it for a while and noticed a resurgence in intensity for one reason or another.

      Since the majority of people learn to live with tinnitus it is reasonable to assume the condition stays relatively mild or moderate for them most of the time. Therefore, it might not always be necessary to see the GP. If it does, a consultation will usually allay any fears that there is nothing drastically wrong. Providing no pain is experienced in the ears and there is no problem with balance, dizziness or deafness, patients are usually told it’s tinnitus and they will get used to it. However, nothing is for certain as we are all different. It is not uncommon for some people to be feeling stressed or anxious by the noise in the early stages. A light sedation or an antidepressant can often help a person to cope until the tinnitus settles down and one habituates. A referral to ENT for tests might be recommend just to make sure everything is as it should be and there are no signs of hearing loss which can cause tinnitus.

      If there are no additional symptoms as mentioned above, when does it become necessary to seek more professional help for tinnitus if habituation is proving to be difficult? There is no definite time frame for this, although someone new to the condition a period of up to six months perhaps a little longer, is considered an acceptable amount of time to habituate. A lot depends on one’s personality and emotional makeup. If they find coping with daily life too difficult, this can increase stress and affect their mental well being and this needs to be kept in check. Although an antidepressant can help a person not to become too down, some people are averse to taking them and prefer to go it alone, which isn’t always the best choice.

      My opinion on this is that tinnitus and a person’s mental health are integrated. The more stressed we become the more intrusive the tinnitus will be and vice versa. Anything that helps to relax us will usually have a positive impact on the tinnitus and make it more tolerable. Counselling with Hearing Therapist or Audiologist trained in tinnitus management can be of immense help and should be considered.

      The therapist discusses with the patient how the tinnitus makes them feel and how it has impacted on their life. Often people say they have lost interest in the things they once liked doing, which is understandable. Those they are close to particularly loved one’s don’t understand what they are going through which can put a lot to strain on a relationship. Talk therapy can help a person to look at life differently and with a more positive outlook. Over time the negative thinking that is often associated with tinnitus is gradually dispelled and demystified. The therapist does this in a controlled and precise manner so that the patient feels relaxed and not pressured. In many instances the tinnitus is gradually pushed further into the background making it less prominent. I believe tinnitus counseling with or without medication can go a long way in helping a person to have a better quality of life.

      Michael

      PS: When someone with tinnitus is referred for counselling, I believe this is best done with a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist who has been trained in the management of tinnitus. Often these people have tinnitus or experienced it at some time in their life. Therefore, they will have a depth of understanding and be able to empathize with a patient rather than someone who is just a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychiatrist with no experience of tinnitus.

      People have contacted me who have been referred to the health professionals I have mentioned, and the first thing they have been told: I know nothing about tinnitus.
       
    8. sky_high

      sky_high Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Berlin / Bucharest
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      lexapro / stress / unknown
      I did not pretend to know everything about tinnitus... I apologize if I offended you, it was not my intention. The link that I provided is to an article that explains a potential connection between increased serotonin levels and tinnitus. It is not my personal opinion, it is the conclusion of Laurence Trussell, Ph.D., a professor of otolaryngology in the OHSU School of Medicine who is also a tinnitus sufferer.
       
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    9. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Such as? Name some names.
       
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    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      On the contrary you did not offend me. I have had tinnitus for 22 years and have met quite a few people that have tried to ruffle my feathers alas, unsuccessfully. It is water off a duck's back as we say on this side of the pond. My comments were not particularly directed at you. As you are a newbie I would like to give you some advice. If you choose to listen it may be of some help to you. Please do not pay too much attention to tinnitus research and website information on tinnitus. The people that write these papers know very little about tinnitus as the majority of them have never experienced it.

      I wish you well and goodbye
      Michael
       
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    11. Twinkle18

      Twinkle18 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lexapro
      I also got tinnitus from and SSRI. Considered getting back on some medication to help stabilize my mood but found that meditation, walking around outside, doing a puzzle or coloring in a coloring book had helped my anxiety substantially. But i would agree with @Michael Leigh. If you can’t find a way to cope on your own it’s okay to get help. I think it’s very very unlikely to make you tinnitus worse permently. However, I do believe if you decided to take medication also do therapy to find ways to cope so you do not become dependent. But look up ways to help manage anxiety. There are literally a billion ways to do so as I mentioned above. Also it’ll help keep your mind off your tinnitus :)
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Nathan
      Musical

      Nathan Member

      Location:
      Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/23/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music, Concert, Bad Luck
      Michael

      I have used anti-depressants/anti anxiety meds before and after tinnitus, and they just aren’t the best for my body. They make me feel weird and jittery, and so I don’t like taking these. I do take vitamins, curcumin, GABA, and Gingko daily, as well as neurofeedback, which helped out my ADHD and anxiety. I also listen to my music when I get home from school, and occasionally play video games, which does help.


      PS: I am in the middle of a spike caused by having my phone on speakephone right next to my ear by mistake. Can you send some more links about positivity so I can stay positive during this time period?
       
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    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Please go to my "started threads". There you will find my articles on positivity.
      Hope you start to feel better soon.

      Michael
       
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