Is Tinnitus a Psychosomatic Disease?

Discussion in 'Support' started by George, Mar 28, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. George

      George Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Is tinnitus a psychosomatic disease? or is it a symptom of an underlying physical/mental illness?
       
    2. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Definitely not psychosomatic considering some people get it and don't even know what tinnitus is before getting it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    3. jchinnis

      jchinnis Member

      Location:
      USA: Northern Virginia and Seattle area
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1989
      It isn't somatic. So it can't be psychosomatic.
       
    4. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      It is somatic, as in the end it is physical. And it can be psychosomatic sometimes, when it's provoked by an emotional trauma, extreme stress, a bereavement, extreme fear, any intense negative psychological state. In most cases is a symptom of a pshysical problem, but sometimes can be triggered by a psyche problem. I wouldn't say mental illness, cause to experience stress, fear, horror, bereavement, doesn't mean you are mentally sick, it means you are crossing a traumatic event.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Rina
      Energetic

      Rina Member

      Location:
      florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really don't know
      @Dana ... Hi... So if extreme stress and traumatic event can trigger tinnitus once we can manage our emotions it may improved? Before I got T in mid February this year I alwas considering divorce, going back to my country in South America and I was overwhelmed by thoughts of fear, anxiety etc.... I had to take Valium for an MRI on Thursday and I barely heard my T the whole day and I was able to sleep without masking it... I only took 2 pills of .5 mlg.. May I assume my T is due to emotional stress?
       
    6. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      Valium is a known drug for its power to reduce T. Definitely you sound like you got T due to stress, fear, anxiety.
      The good part is that T is expected to resolve once you get out of the stressful situation, once the psychological factor is resolved. I don't recommend to stew in the same stressful situation and diminish somewhat your T taking Valium forever. I heard many cases of people who got T because of extreme stress, and they got cured once the stressful situation ended. Do what you have to do to get out of this situation. Take care! Your health, well being, your life are the most important things!
       
    7. MarioT
      No Mood

      MarioT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress + SSRI medication
      I was about to open a new thread but I discovered this one:

      I usually come here to visit this forum during "bad days/periods/moments" for support. Today is a "good" one though, I had a rather enjoyable day at the office, was not aware of my T for many hours and even now where I am back at home, although I hear it somewhere in my ears and in the backround of my head, it is easily maskeable. Although slightly annoying, it does not cause me significant distress. I woult rate it as a 3.5-4/10. This is today and now, as we speak.

      Yesterday though, it was nearly catastrophic! I would have rated it as a 8-9/10, not maskeable by anything, permanently aware of it and causing me significant distress throughout the entire day. I was feeling depressed, exhausted and hopeless from the moment I woke up. When I came back home from the office I had to take 0.5mg of xanax to calm me down. When I woke up today I still felt the usual anxiety auto-pilot but somehow I managed to calm myself down after a long shower before going to work.

      This is hardly the first time this has happened, it seems to switch between days of super-anxiety and depression to almost back to normal without any obvious (concious) cause.

      I strongly believe that there is a psychosomatic component to T. And I hope that in many cases, what seems to be an irreversible neurological problem might be indeed a mostly reversible psychiatric condition.

      EDIT: I am not just talking about my perception of T, I am actually talking about the T itself. It changes in volume and frequency!
       
      • Genius Genius x 1
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    8. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      All I can do is reinforce what others have stated w/my own twist. I had been hearing periodic sounds and I knew they were inside my head. They reminded me of having a hearing test. About three or maybe four years ago, I finally gathered it was tinnitus. It became extreme. Earlier this year, I deduced (and discussed it in some thread here) it was likely from bi-lateral otosclerosis (a hardening of the bones in the middle ear) and guessed it had entered my inner ear. A cochlear implant exponentially compounded it.

      I had been taking klonapin (a benzo) on and off but it didn't alleviate anything. My physician suggested something shorter and faster-acting, so I reluctantly tried valium and ativan and stopped each (all at different times). But my reaction and anyone else will likely be different.

      I did the usual things that caused issues - cutting back on sugar and caffeine (can raise blood pressure and I heard the blood pulsating) and opting for better food - what I could afford. There are a lot of chemicals in non-organic foods in the U.S. that Europeans tend to not use to such an excess. I stopped eating corn (a love from childhood) because so much is GMO and I don't know what's really in it. Nothing worked (except a bit of weed and that's money-dependent and may not work for you). I tried desensitizing the noise and that helps a bit. When in doubt and buzzing away, I'll go for a walk in the woods in our backyard to breathe fresh air (?), refocus, and feel the lovely woods around me.

      While tinnitus is in your head, there's absolutely nothing psychological about it but stressors, as mentioned, do increase the sounds. I have to be careful, even on this forum, because I learned that negative emotions compound it. There are success stories here you may want to read. Mario said T changes in volume and frequency. That may be one of the common threads we likely all share. I'm now always am aware of some level of sound in my brain. That's recent as of a couple weeks ago.
       
    9. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      @Dana
      My T was caused by stress/anxiety/burnout.
      I am still on the way finding out what exactly caused it.
      Job, Private, Family, Others?
       
    10. George

      George Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      My tinnitus is cyclic in nature with a cycle period of about 7 days. For 7 days, the tinnitus is loud and clear, followed by 7 days of no tinnitus at all. This cycle has been going on for the past 2 years.

      I believe that this type of cyclic tinnitus is psychosomatic in nature in which the "soma" (bodily) part is the dominant part of the disease.
       
      • Genius Genius x 1
    11. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      My T and H was caused by meds- Cipro and a ton of stress. It turned into major anxiety. My hands still shake more than ever, me feet sweat. The hands finally stopped sweating. It messed up. I can spend months calming down, eating well for some benefit and it can be blown away with more anxiety from a situation. No job, hardly any cash flow...
      You gotta have some serious faith! Im telling myself a cure or relieve is around the corner. If it is or not you gotta have faith.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      One more thing millions upon millions have this awful malady. Theres some serious money there- the winner
      can put on major feed bag for huge money! To lucrative to not find a cure!
       
    13. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      @Martin69
      I am pretty sure that your brain made a sum operation with all those problems you were having at that time.
      If officially our professional live and family life are separate, in our brain they are not that separated, they are intertwined.
      So don't waste your time trying to figure out what problem in which department was the last drop in the glass and threw you in overwhelm and T, but try to fix all the problems in all those plans (Job, Family, etc).
      I know that having T makes it difficult for us to solve problems and I know that some problems are independent of us and we can't make a difference, (the illness of your wife, for example), but my advice would be to gather all the strength you are left with and try to fix what you can. Any relief is a progress. And maybe your wife will heal.

      I can say that I had two onsets of T, as in the beginning of 2013 i was almost cured with a cocktail of meds. But after that something else bad happened and in spite of my prayers for T not to returne, it returned in full blast, really violent, once I gave some thought to that one bad thing that happened to me, to that one problem that has to be addressed and could not try to ignore anymore. Now in vain I would take the same cocktail of meds, after I wake up I will remember the problem and I will be in stress again. The problem has to be solved, if I want to get rid of T one day. Meds can only help, but they can not do all the job. If we have psychological problems we have to solve them. There is no getting around.

      About what a psychological/emotional problem can do, in how many ways the psychosomatisation can take place, I have several examples. Not only that the emotional problems can get somatized in the form of T, but also in many other conditions. One time, because of overwhelming stress, all my muscles in the body got stiff and I could barely walk. I was able to do only very little steps, with a lot of effort, crying on the street that I won't be able to get to the Court to get my parental rights back (which were taken away from me by my loving parents, after I got T also because of them)
       
    14. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      I was under a lot of stress before i got the T,
      i was having nervious breakdowns, because i tought i had a heart condition,
      i think it might be psychosomatic...

      "I heard many cases of people who got T because of extreme stress, and they got cured once the stressful situation ended." is that true?
       
    15. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      According to my GP.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    16. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      stress..nervous breakdowns..anxiety disorders..panic disorders..OCD, perfectionists...yea..I hear this ALOT and most definitely think there is a link in there somewhere
       
    17. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      YES!
      I Know in my heart, that there must be a connection, i wouldnt say i was having a really "happy" life before i got T, i was in a bad place emotionally, there must be a link...
       
    18. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      Same. Agreed...I stand by the perfect storm analogy.
       
    19. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      :D Yes, and psychosomatic conditions can be "cured" :)
       
    20. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      I have that problem and my audiologist says it cannot happen. its my perception which changes and I am thinking about so make it happen.
      I have to say I disagree with him but I don't know the reason either its being doing a cycle now since last June
       
    21. Andrew Bailey
      Balanced

      Andrew Bailey Member

      Location:
      Whitley bay
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise damage - caused by a power tool.
      It may well be the case for some T sufferers! stress could bring it on. But for millions of others like myself, it's caused through noise damage, trama to my ears, there's nothing to do with stress causing it for me. For others sometimes it's bought on by medications! and for almost everyone it is a consequence of some degree of hearing loss. So stress is not the cause for the majority of people in my opinion.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    22. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      Sure but when other factors are also present, to create "the perfect storm" there we have tinnitus. Now some people can take antidepressants and find great relief as in habituation. I've yet to hear someone say it cured their tinnitus.
       
    23. Andrew Bailey
      Balanced

      Andrew Bailey Member

      Location:
      Whitley bay
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise damage - caused by a power tool.
      yeah I don't think there are any anti depressants that will stop the noise! but they do keep you much calmer and help people to cope.
      I think in a few years from now! we'll all have a pill to pop to at least aliviate the intensisity of the tinnitus.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    24. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      This question comes up a lot here...

      Research (not to mention a lot of people's personal stories) suggests that there is a link between anxiety and tinnitus. In my case, I know that barotrauma from an airplane flight "caused" my tinnitus because tinnitus occurred directly after the injury. But I think that the fact I had been going through a very intense two years of job stress immediately prior to the barotrauma event laid the groundwork. Perhaps without the prior stress, my auditory system would have recovered from the trauma without me developing tinnitus -- or that I would not have been bothered by my tinnitus, as is the case with the majority of people with tinnitus as a symptom (Because that's what tinnitus is: a symptom of some other medical condition. It is not a disease or disorder unto itself).

      I think one reason so many of us here at Tinnitus Talk have stories about anxiety and stress is that we are the ones who have struggled to adjust to our tinnitus -- possibly because we were stressed out and anxious in the first place. I know that dealing with my extreme anxiety that came with the tinnitus definitely helped improve my T. And yes, in many cases, tinnitus will respond to anxiety medications. But using them long-term is a slippery slope. Just search the forums here for "benzodiazapenes."
       
      • Like Like x 2
    25. Andrew Bailey
      Balanced

      Andrew Bailey Member

      Location:
      Whitley bay
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise damage - caused by a power tool.
      it's true! long term use of anti depressants isn't good! i know I took them for the first two years when I got the T, but after that I think I was pretty much getting habituated to the constant noise, then after that I no longer needed any meds, and I've never relapsed and required them from the beginning then 1992 when I came off them.
       

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