Psychological Tinnitus? Is That Possible?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Rorro, Dec 21, 2013.

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    1. Rorro

      Rorro Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/18/2013
      Hello. My name is Rodrigo, 30 year old male. Please excuse if my english is not perfect because it isnt my main language.

      First of all, thanks in advance for reading my post because it may be a little long. :)

      Well, during the past months i have been a little anxious about my health, because some changes in my body. It all started 3 months ago when i began developing some white spots in my skin, which at first i though was vitiligo (you know, the Michael Jackson disease), but it turned out to be "Bier Spots", which are totally benign but not very cosmetic. After that, some chronic abdominal pain, which turned out to be Irritable Bowel Syndrome, some shortness of breath, rapid palpitations in the morning, some vision issues...

      All this issues began after i developed the white spots in my skin, which made me VERY anxious and insecure about my appearence because even when they are benign, they are not cosmetic and i have them in my arms and legs and there is no cure or treatment for them. So, i suspect that all the other symptoms were caused by this anxiety.

      The thing is, that 3 weeks ago i was starting to feel very good. I didnt have any issues (except for the white spots in my skin, which are permanent), so i started to feel a lot better. Sadly, that is when my vision issues started, which were seeing starbursts and halos around lights, having photophobia, etc.

      Now, 4 days ago, my vision issues started to fade for the most part. That day i began to remember all the symptoms that i had for the past 3 months, which included the skin, lungs, heart, vision, etc. I remember specifically saying "I had issues ALL OVER my body, except my ears... but if that happens that will be the icing on the cake...".

      The following day, i became aware of a ringing in my head. Now, I say "in my head" because i cannot tell exactly if it comes from both my ears or inside my head, because i cannot point out the noise from a specific ear.

      The sound is mild. Its the same noise that some electronics (such as routers or modems) make. In fact, that was the first thing i though when i became aware of it, that it was my router, but after i turned off all electronics in my house and changed rooms the noise was still there. It becomes more apparent in quiet enviroments, so, if im listening to music or watching TV i almost cannot hear it at all. To this day, It doesnt bother me to sleep but it is anoying and noticeable. In fact, first thing in the morning when i wake up is notice it.

      Now, after some internet research, I read that tinnitus is supposed to happen after a ear trauma or loud noise. Well, that doesnt apply with me. I dont listen to loud music or anything. In fact, all my life i hated loud noises (like motorcicles, concerts, etc), so I always try to avoid them. The only thing i can think of is that i use earbuds to watch netflix but always at a confortable volume, and I must confess that i watch a lot of netflix, every day.

      So, I really dont know if this is in fact tinnitus, or if im becoming hyperaware of the normal ringing that any person can hear, or if my anxiety is kicking in again... But there is an important detail: Since the day this ringing started, my ears feel weird. Its hard to describe it, but its like they are full or something. After i blow my nose, for example, my ears become completely "clogged" (like when pressure changes in an airplane). Also, there is this weird sensation like there is something moving inside my ears, like a bug or something, and it only goes away when i scratch the outer side of my ear. If i dont touch my ear that itching and the feeling of something moving can go on indefinetely.

      Also, when im hearing anything that is constant (like music), and i press the "mute" button, i cannot hear the ringing at all, but after 5-10 seconds i can hear that the ringing starts to gain "volume", little by little, until its noticeable again.

      Any hints of what can this be? Im kind of worried that the tinnitus can become permanent because everything i have read about tinnitus in the web is about people that become aware of it and it never leaves. All the symptoms i have had during the last months have gone away (except the white spots in my skin) and im very worried that the tinnitus has arrived to stay. :(

      The thing is, that im considering that this kind of tinnitus is being created by my brain and anxiety, because i hear it in my head and not from a particular ear, and because it wasnt caused by a loud noise or trauma... but the fact that my ears feel weird and thouse itchy "moving" sensations that i have in them make me doubt about it... so im not sure if this is psychological or if there is really something going on in my ears.

      Thank you very much to have taken the time to read my post and i look forward for your comments. Have a great day.
       
    2. Dr. Ancill

      Dr. Ancill Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      It is something going on and you are not imagining it. Many more people have tinnitus than go to seek medical help or are diagnosed with it. In some cases, the tinnitus becomes progressively louder until the patient begins to notice it and then once noticed, it is hard to ignore. Research suggests that many tinnitus sufferers, even those who say it came on suddenly, will admit to having had previous periods of mild tinnnitus that they just ignored. Psychological/emotional processes 'amplify' the tinnitus but it is not a psychological condition. Over the history of medicine in the last 100 years, the following diseases were first described as 'psychological' - asthma, colitis, excema, endometriosis, chronic pain and hypertension. 'Psychological' is what bad doctors call what they don't understand. If you have tinnitus, go to an audiologist who is experienced in the condition and speak to your own doctor about getting the various causes of tinnitus (which is a symptom, not a disease) investigated.
       
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    3. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      :huganimation:Rorro, at this point you are so new to tinnitus that it could easily go if you don't get anxious about it. I think probably at least 80% of tinnitus is first heard because of people being under stress or very anxious or after some kind of trauma. The very fact that you worried about your ears being affected meant that you were more likely to get it. Your mind can create illnesses but the good thing about that is that it can also get rid of them. I had such a fear of tinnitus that I could not even say the word and know that I have it because of being very anxious.

      I think most people would recommend that you see your doc then an ENT and have it all investigated but I would disagree. The symptom of tinnitus does not need to be diagnosed......if you can hear sounds in your head that are not from an external source then you have it. Most ENT visits and scans are just to reassure people that they don't have a brain tumour and it is so rare anyway that I didn't bother having a scan when offered, it would just make you worry more and focus on the noise which is the last thing you should do. I read about patulous (may not be spelt right) eustation tube and thought how that would be the very worst thing to get on top of tinnitus and guess what? Yes, I got it. It didn't last long but remember the law of attraction, you often get what you think about whether you want it or not so please let your thoughts be of being well and peaceful. Do not think about how awful tinnitus is or you are making it bigger in your mind.

      You will be OK. You are probably just hearing the perfectly normal sounds of your brain/hearing system/blood flow etc which have always been there but you're now hearing due to your high levels of anxiety. You will get back to how you were before because it seems obvious to me that yours is 100% stress induced, there is no damage because of loud noise etc so you WILL be OK. I wish you well, take care.
       
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    4. Rorro

      Rorro Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/18/2013
      Thanks for your comment Dr. Ancill.

      Thanks for your kind words Beth. Im pretty sure too that this ringing is caused by anxiety. Also im very hypocondriac so imagine anxiety + hypochondriasis + internet info... you can easily drown in anxiety when you read so many things on the internet.

      Of all the symptoms i had during the past months, the tinnitus is the most bothersome because it can be pretty stressful to imagine having this for years or even the entire life. The curious thing is that, even when i became hyperaware of the ringing, at the same time my ears started to feel weird and sometimes i get this itchy feeling and also like something is moving inside my ears, specially the left one. So, im not 100% sure that this is an anxiety caused symtom...

      What about your case Beth? Do you still have tinnitus?
       
    5. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      Hi Rorro, the only time tinnitus bothers me is when I am anxious about something else which is why I am so sure of the anxiety connection. I won't go into the boring details but I have a lot of trauma from the past to deal with and when that comes up the tinnitus always bothers me. I can't say the tinnitus gets worse because if I'm feeling OK and not anxious or worried about anything else, the tinnitus does not bother me one little bit even though the volume is the same. I just don't give a damn and within seconds I've forgotton about it.

      I had all kinds of 'feelings' in my ears and itching, pain and fullness and when I fully understood and accepted the anxiety connection they went away. You seem a classic case of anxiety induced tinnitus and as you've not got any damage to your ears through very loud noise you will most likely not have anything at all physically wrong so once you accept what has caused it and try to ignore it (and I know it can be very difficult at first) you will lose the fear of it, stop reacting negatively to it and it eventually will not bother you. Remember how powerful your mind is so please concentrate on the positive things in your life. Look at some of the youtube postings on power of attraction and power of positive thinking. You'll get there. X
       
    6. Rorro

      Rorro Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/18/2013
      Im very glad that you are able to manage your tinnitus like that. I hope I get there too. I will follow your advice, and trust me that has been very helpful to read about your case.

      Take care and the very best wishes to you. Thank you very much for sharing your story. :)
       
    7. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      @Rorro , hi.... Maybe the earbuds have caused wax to build up in your ears which is causing the T ?
       

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