New to Tinnitus and Depressed. Please Help!

Discussion in 'Support' started by RobMA, Mar 23, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Hi everyone,

      I am 38 years old and have had tinnitus for about three months or so now, mostly in my right ear. I've read some of your posts and am feeling very anxious. I know I am supposed to try to focus on something else, but it is very difficult to do. On top of this, I already suffer from a long list of health issues. I just never imagined things would get worse so quickly. I haven't been able to make it to a doctor for tinnitus yet, but I am worried that, from what I have read, insurance companies don't cover many of the treatments for tinnitus (am I wrong?). I also suffer from back and neck problems, joint pain, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, cluster headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and a few other things, and am losing faith in doctors and in my own body's ability to get well. I am not sure where to go from here.

      I've read that ENT doctors are so so, since they usually tell you to "learn to live with it". Should I try going to a neurologist instead? Is there a different type of specialist I should try?

      I have tried a few things to help with this issue:

      (1) A white noise device at night (waves, water, air, static sounds). The problem is that when I lay my head on the side (on the pillow), which I need to do to relieve the neck pain and stress, I hear the ringing in my ear louder. And if I wear headphones, it is uncomfortable and sometimes even painful in the ear.

      (2) I'm taking Klonopin occasionally, Ambien (not very often), Valerian root, vitamin B complex, Melatonin (extended release), Magnesium, and other vitamins/supplements. I haven't got much help from anything, really, at least so far. The Ambien knocks me down, it I take it on an empty stomach, but I don't like taking it much. It makes me drowsy the next day and also gives me muscle aches sometimes.

      I am wondering what other supplements or treatments I should try.

      I should mention that my tinnitus started out not so bad and then it got suddenly worse in the right ear. I was taking an anti-depressant at the time (Venlafaxine). After a few months on it, the tinnitus started. It didn't occur to me right away that it could be a side effect from that medicine, but eventually I quit taking it. That was about two and a half months ago... Recently the left ear has worsen a little bit too, and I am not sure what is causing all this. I suspect my neck might have something to do with it. Also, I am a musician and that may have something to do with it as well. But I cannot say for sure. Sometimes the ringing in the ears gets worse for no apparent reason.

      Any ideas, suggestions, comments? I welcome any feedback you may be able to give me. I am feeling very anxious and lost at this point.
       
    2. Matt01

      Matt01 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      28/11/14
      Sorry to hear this. I would stop or taper down as much medication as you can and start eating lots of healthy antioxidants. Keep the magnesium, that's about it. If I could go back, I would take no medication at all for anything, seriously.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      I've been trying to do that, actually, since January. I take Protonix for my acid reflux, and even that I am trying not to take, but haven't been able to get off of it. I only take Ambien when nothing else works. Same with the Klonopin. The Magnesium, Potassium, and other supplements I started taking in January, a couple of weeks after my Tinnitus started.

      Also, since January, I've been eating a lot more vegetables and making vegetable juice every week (carrots, celery, spinach, cilantro, ...). It has helped me lose weight, but it hasn't had an effect on my Tinnitus.
       
    4. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Sorry you are hurting, Rob. The thing about your T is that it is still quite new. So your body considers this alien sensation a threat and it tries to reject it. Since it can't do anything about T, the body reacts in a negative way causing all the stress and anxiety, depression, sleeplessness etc. Also because of the trauma of T and the fearful reactions, the limbic system takes over and you now function in the fight or flight mode. This is making things a lot worse than it is. Every bad sensation is magnified and the brain is trying to protect us to get ready to fight or flight. This is a mis-guided response to a non life-threatening stimulus of T. You need to re-educate the brain to not treating this T ringing as a threat. It will take time to reprogram the brain but it is doable. The thread by I Who Love Music in the success stories forum called 'Back to Silence' offers a simple approach to handle the T ringing probably. Go read it up. There are also many other success stories which will offer you other approaches to help you deal with T. That are many roads to Rome and so you can pick and choose whichever strategies and insights of the posters which fit you best. Success stories have been a great tool I relied on to help turn around my T suffering as they offer hope as well as proven success strategies. So try read up as many as you can. Here are just some.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/it-got-better.7660/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/back-to-silence.7172/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...w-i-recovered-from-tinnitus-hyperacusis.3148/

      As much as possible you should get back to some simple form of exercises for you list of heath issue. I have quite of few of those health issues you have on the lists. All you can do is to deal with each as calmly and methodically as you can. Perhaps swimming (this is good for bad back) or short walk will help improve things. Life is hard sometimes with heath challenges. We just have to take 1 day at a time. While you try to find something to heal or lower T, it is also important to look at the mental side of the battle with T. A lot of the suffering of T is mental. So try as much as you can to deal with the reaction. Dr. Nagler's Letter to a Tinnitus Sufferer is a good start to guide you in that direction. Try to counter you distorted/negative thoughts as much as possible. That is a good way to deal with it. I will add mindfulness meditation to the arsenal on the mental battle with T. Here is the letter link:

      http://www.ata.org/nagler-letter-to-tinnitus-sufferer
       
    5. Matt01

      Matt01 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      28/11/14
      Hi.again,

      Where are you based? What is your t like?
       
    6. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Hi again.

      Thanks for the suggestions, Billie. I will look at those links for sure.

      My Tinnitus started about three months ago, not so bad at first, then it got really bad on the right ear. Sometimes it seems very loud, sometimes not so much. I get better when in the shower or listening to music or watching tv (if there is noise/sounds around me). The Tinnitus is mostly in the right ear. I suspect the neck problems might have something to do with it, but I cannot say for sure. I've been trying to schedule an appointment with an audiologist and/or neurologist, but haven't been able to, partly because I'm busy with work and also because of money.

      I live in Fort Collins, CO.
       
    7. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      I have a question. I am trying to be positive and measure my response to the Tinnitus rather than the loudness of the T itself, as suggested in one of the success stories. I am trying to ignore even, so that it doesn't bother me. But, if I want to watch a TV show or listen to music and the T is so loud that it gets in the way, how can I ignore it then? How can I watch tv, listen to music, etc. and not notice the T? I know it may be possible, I just don't know how. Can someone help me?
       
    8. Rina
      Energetic

      Rina Member

      Location:
      florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really don't know
      I'm having a very tough time at the moment with my own... But it is possible... Try to focus on the show you are watching, play music that kind of mask your T... I found this video it helps to take my mind off my T... Hang in there... Better days will come
      Relax 8 Hours-Relaxing Nature...
      I pray for fast recovery for you...
       
    9. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      I have an appointment this Thursday at a hearing clinitc. I hope I can get some answers. My tinnitus is weird. I am not sure that loud noises make it worse. Also, alcohol is normally supposed to worsen it, but in my case it seems to be the other way around. When I drink, the ringing in my ears gets softer, so I don't notice it as much...
       
    10. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      It`s true while being on alcohol it softens, but the day after there is usually a peak. I havn`t drunken alcohol for a few weeks now and my high peaks are gone. T is more steady.
       
    11. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      I guess this Tinnitus thing is very different for everyone. I haven't noticed a peak after drinking alcohol, at least not usually. I've been cleaning my ear wax with ear drops and a pump everyday to see if that helps at all. I'm not sure it makes a difference, although sometimes my ears pop for a while after I clean them.

      I chew gum often, Spry. Does anyone know if chewing gum could make Tinnitus worse? That's something I'm not sure of either.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. Dubbyaman
      Angry

      Dubbyaman Member

      Location:
      Northern Indiana
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Excessive loud noise
      Im having the same problem. Its very annoying. I really miss hearing nothing but the TV. :(
       
    13. Dubbyaman
      Angry

      Dubbyaman Member

      Location:
      Northern Indiana
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Excessive loud noise
      I really miss hearing NOTHING at all!
       
    14. LifesABeach
      Depressed

      LifesABeach Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wish I knew
      Thanks for posting this link.

      I've had tinnitus since 2006 and have read loads of stuff online about it (mostly back in '06 - '09 when I was struggling to habituate, find something to reduce the noise, etc.), but never saw this (although I have seen that little umbrella vignette in print before). It was a good read now that the tinnitus kicked up to a ferocious level about 3 months ago and I'm flapping in the breeze once more.
       
    15. LifesABeach
      Depressed

      LifesABeach Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wish I knew
      Hi Rob:

      Here's to hoping you find relief or peace of mind soon.

      As for this part of your post, I can at least tell you that when I first started in with tinnitus and hearing loss about 9 years ago, I was despondent and my doc put me on clonazepam (the generic form of Klonopin). It didn't reduce the volume of tinnitus, but it didn't increase it either. My doc was adamant that I take it on a daily basis, though, and not as you are doing - which you note is "occasionally."

      I'm no doctor, but you might want to discuss with your prescribing MD whether you should be taking it just once in a while or taking it on a daily basis. For some folks, it has been known to lower the volume of tinnitus when taken on a daily basis. I've never heard of it working that way when only taking it from time to time. Plus, taking benzodiazepenes like Klonopin on an on-and-off schedule could make it difficult for your prescribing MD to devise a schedule of weeing you off of it.

      Just my two cents.

      As for the zolpidem (Ambien), I have tried it via an Rx from my primary MD. He didn't prescribe it for the tinnitus at all, just to help with sleep as I was really strung out from many mostly sleepless nights at that point. Took it perhaps every other day for two weeks, for a total of 7 doses. The 4 hours or so of sleep it provided per night was a blessed event as far as I was concerned, but at the two week point my tinnitus sounds started shifting around in my head and increasing in volume and so I stopped taking it just in case the drug was the reason for the changes.

      All the best.
       
    16. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      I read the "Letter to a Tinnitus Sufferer", by Stephen M Nagler. I have started trying this technique. Countering my illogical negative thoughts and reactions with logical and positive thoughts. But I have one question. What if some of those negative thoughts are not illogical? For instance, I am a musician. I play the flute and the piccolo. I also suffer from neck problems. I am not sure, but I think that my tinnitus may be related to these two situations. Now, if I think: "If I practice music or listen to music too much, my tinnitus may get worse", would this thought, while negative, be logical? What if it is true that music (especially loud and high pitched sounds) is what is worsening my tinnitus? How can I know the difference and what should I do?

      I definitely do not want to stop playing music, and do not plan on doing so. Is this a wise decision, though? What do you think?
       
    17. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I am not a musician. So I am not experienced to answer your question or concern. Just an observation. Not all musicians and singers with T & H have to stop their performance. Some may have to use ear plugs or adapt the kind of music they can handle. I think I Who Love Music should be able to give you some advice there as he loves to play music too. A lady jazz singer Melody Gardot is someone with severe T & H, and she is known to play music and sing jazz tunes with ear plugs all the time. This is of course not comparing your situation to them. Just to give an example of what others have done in their music/singing career even with T.

      http://www.justpressplay.net/articles/4824-the-beautiful-and-talented-melody-gardot.html

      She also went on David Letterman's show as well as doing shows all over the world, all the while with ear plugs on

      Melody Gardot: Who Will Comfort Me? on David...
       
    18. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      I went to an audiologist today. My hearing is supposedly within the normal range, so I am guessing my tinnitus is not due to hearing loss, unless my hearing was better before and now it's just not as good. They talked about some treatments using headphones and soft music, but they are too expensive and insurance doesn't cover any of it. Does anyone know about these types of treatments? Also, what do you think my next step should be?

      I am thinking I should see a ENT and/or other types of doctors to try to pinpoint what is causing my tinnitus (but is there much hope to find out?) and try to find out about other treatments. I am really headstrong and am not willing to just cope with this thing for the rest of my life, especially when I am already dealing with so many other health issues that I am also supposed to live with.
       
    19. RobMA

      RobMA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      I have a strong feeling that my tinnitus is related to my neck issues (bulging and extruded discs). I was grading some papers tonight, sitting in my reclining chair, but with my head facing downwards for a while. I tilted my head to the left side a little and my right ear stopped ringing for a brief moment. Then I heard a high pitched sound, which lasted for a few seconds and then my tinnitus, all of a sudden, had almost completely gone away, at least in the right ear. This was about 10-15 minutes ago, and I don't think it has ever happened before. Has anyone experienced anything like this with their tinnitus?
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.