Introducing Myself...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by MarioT, Mar 6, 2014.

    1. MarioT
      No Mood

      MarioT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress + SSRI medication

      like so many others afflicted by this symptom/disease I have been a passive user of this forum since
      the onset of my tinnitus one year ago. Although I have also been active in other forums which helped me to gather a lot of real and valid information about the condition I find that this one is the best, in the sense of being a "support group" with people I can actually relate to.

      As I 've been slipping down in a hole again lately, I thought that maybe the time has come to introduce myself here as well.

      I ll try to keep my story short. One year ago, during an episode of greater anxiety and moderate depression I decided to take an SSRI antidepressant (citalopram/celexa). I never had real trouble with anxiety or depression before in my life, except that one time 7 years ago where I took the same medication for a small period of time and it worked wonders for me. Not the second time though.. Although the dosage I took was very low (5mg/day), after 5 days I came back home from work and noticed a very loud and disturbing buzzing/screetching in both of my ears... that's where the suffering began... Now many doctors that I consulted about this dismissed the idea that the medication was the culprit. But as many of you might probably be aware of, there is enough anecdotal evidence on the net that there is a connection between SSRIs and tinnitus.

      I would classify my tinnitus as moderate to severe... I still have normal hearing (no measurable frequency loss) and fortunately no significant hyperacusis. But the frequency of my tinnitus is so high (>10KHz) that on "bad days" it is not maskeable by any environmental sound. On "good days" I found that it is possible to mask it as long as external noises cover at least 40-50dB. When I am in utter silence (< 30dB) the noise becomes unbearably loud.

      I tried many therapies, including cortisone treatment, acupuncture, cranio-sacral-therapy, TRT (white noise generators) etc. Unfortunately all wasted time and money...

      The only thing that I can validate is that my tinnitus volume/intensity strongly correlates with my mood and my anxiety levels. When I feel somehow more relaxed and in a good mood it is easier to filter the noise out.

      Now I don't know what and how, but somehow I managed to overcome the initial panic after about 3/4 year... there have been moments and days where I thought that I can live with this and that habituation was kicking in as I was managing to forget about it, sometimes for hours a time. Unfortunately for the past 3 weeks I have been experiencing a spike that still doesn't seem to calm down and I feel I am back to square one again.

      Now my 2 questions for starters:

      1.) Habituation: I ve read many success stories about it. I understand that it is a process which requires time. But all authors describe something like a "key moment" from which on it gradually gets better until it stops bothering them. I thought that I had reached that moment many times in the past only to be disappointed again when realizing that I still suffer from it. Is that also part of the process? I still have trouble to imagine that one day I will reach a state of mind where I will be at peace with the noise, even in silent surroundings.

      2.) Antidepressants: I am in a great dilemma on this one: on the one hand I swore to myself to never touch that stuff again. On the other I believe that they could be the solution since I understand that my tinnitus and my depression are entangled. What are your thoughts/experieces on that?

      Thank you very much in advance,

    2. Karen

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Mario, and welcome to Tinnitus Talk!

      We're very glad you've joined us; here, you'll find a lot of people who are going through the same things you're going through. We certainly empathize, and are here to help.

      To answer your questions, here are my opinions:

      1) Habituation is a process, and it can be a SLOW process, depending on the level of your tinnitus, and the degree of anxiety it produces. Yes, it is very likely you'll experience a lot of ups and downs on the way to habituation. When my tinnitus first began (about 25 years ago), it was fairly mild and I habituated to it within a few months. The second time around, my tinnitus became much more severe, and it has taken me 3 1/2 years to get to where I am now. I'm not totally habituated, but I have come a long way, and it is much more bearable now. I believe you will get to that point, too, but it's hard to say how long it will take, and how many ups and downs you'll have along the way.

      2) I'm not the best person to ask about antidepressants. When my T first became severe, more than one doctor suggested antidepressants for me, but I turned them down. Instead, I used natural supplements, such as holy basil and pharma GABA, to deal with my anxiety. It wasn't easy, but now I'm glad I took that route. For many people, however, antidepressants have been a real life-saver. I would say that, for the short term, antidepressants might be very helpful to you, but not long-term.

      I'm sure others will want to weigh in on these questions. Anyone else?
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    3. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      Welcome Mario,
      What took you so long,,, to get to the best Tinnitus forum.

      Habituation-I'm kind of with you, half believing it could happen, the other half with reality, Not.
      Just when I thinking I'm getting better or when my life distracts me, then it's back - loud, for a few days, insane.
      At least I think that what happens. In reality it never leaves me. If I'm alive, my ears are ringing. Don't think about it.
      Anti-depr, I take a low dose, not sure what it does to me. I just want a great night sleep.
    4. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I think mine was caused by a very similar drug. At one point I took Remeron and that seemed to amplify the T in a very bizarre way. Fortunately, when i got off the drug it seemed to go back down. Not sure if that would happen to you but it is what happened to me.
    5. glynis

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk @MarioT.

      Habituation will come in time and as you learn how to cope with tinnitus and spikes your unwanted emotions towards your tinnitus sound won't be as bad.
      You will 're learn how to live your life the same as before with your sound and over time your brain won't see tinnitus a threat and will filter it out so you will go minutes to hours not noticing it.
      AD medication is always best have talking therapy along with it as it's a great support and helps lift your mood and gives you reasurance your not going mad .....lots of love glynis

      Depression comes to 1 in 3 people at some point in time and sometimes with a reason or for no reason.
    6. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello Mario. I can imagine this is a troubling time for you. If it makes you feel any better, I'm a teen with T. Habituation starts with acceptance. Think of it as a part of yourself. Think of the positive decisions it made in your life. Without T, I probably would have been blasting my music, not wearing ear protection, etc. I wear noise cancelling headphones just to hear my T loud and clear. I listen to the annoying sound until my brain no longer focuses on it. I have accepted that I will be spending the next 60+ years with this in my life. For anti depressants, I wouldn't recommend them. That's just my opinion though because I think you have anxiety. You're probably thinking about the "What ifs". Maybe try to chill out for a day. Go do something quietly like meditating. Take vitamins and minerals to keep your body in tiptop shape. However, if you ever feel like you're at your lowest point, please seek professional help so they can provide medication. I wish the best of luck for you in your journey.

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