Really Loud Electric Buzz Inside My Head: Probably Due to Benzo Withdrawal

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ErnieMassri, Jul 27, 2020.

    1. ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Hello everyone,

      I'd like to share my experience, maybe someone can relate. I'm not actually new to tinnitus. I first had my first bad spike in 2010 after taking high doses of fluoxetine. I remember didn't know where the sound was coming from, I thought there was a problem with an electric grid or something. When I realized it came from inside my head I almost fainted and vomited (don't remember in which order).

      After lowering the fluoxetine, and giving some time, my tinnitus became manageable for years. Several months after, it was almost gone (a slight hiss in the silence), except when I had a bad night or was under lot of stress. But I would say, my tinnitus remained under control for many years after the 2010 situation.

      Now, moving forward to 2020, a magical year full of adventures. I was infected with COVID-19, my mom too, went through a lot of stress, including economic problems. I had Alprazolam available, so I decided to take 0.25 mg every day for a few weeks since Mid March (till things got better).

      I started taking it every other day since April (about 4 times a week) until the end of June. Add to that high doses of caffeine, sweets to calm me down, and voila... the tinnitus was back, more powerful than ever... with an electric noise waking me up in the middle of the night... every night. If I'm lucky, it will change to high pitched sound, or a loud hissing.

      I've lost weight, I vomit out of nervousness, and so far, my only hope is that once I'm completely off Alprazolam, my tinnitus eventually will get better.

      I never thought I'd have to face this old demon, so here I am sharing my experience. Hope it can be useful to someone. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
       
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    2. tbuzz89

      tbuzz89 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Good question.
      @ErnieMassri

      I had my first experience with tinnitus in 2008, albeit a much more mild tone and easily masked, but I remember being freaked out over it when trying to get to sleep at night or while in a quiet space. Over several months, I pretty much forgot about it and eventually it faded to nothing. I attribute the onset of that to anxiety and depression at the time.

      Fast forward to March 2020 after almost three months of the worst anxiety and depression I've ever experienced, an incredibly intrusive pulsating electric buzz began out of nowhere, which has now also developed into a constant electrical buzz as well. From your post, it looks like your 2020 has been extremely stressful, and I'm a believer that stress can induce tinnitus. Since yours has faded once before I believe it'll fade again once you get through the stress and ultimately your body recovers from the Alprazolam.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Thank you for your answer @tbuzz89

      Yes, this year has been definitely stressful in every possible way. On the other hand, it brings hope that once things improve, tinnitus will get better for many people.
       
    4. Bobby Sinatra

      Bobby Sinatra Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ambien Windrawal Suspected
      I got tinnitus from benzos too. It got manageable with time after fully stopping the benzos. I'd say about 6 months.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Thank you Bobby Sinatra,

      Glad your T has gotten better.

      I'm still on Clonazepam (0.125 mg) 4 times a week. I'm supposed to stop completely taking the medication after August 16.

      I hope mine improves as well. Don't how how bad it will get after stopping completely the medication.

      I do know that every time I reduce the dose, I experience several hellish days. Hellish on the other hand is an understatement.
       
    6. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      When you say "supposed to stop taking the medication....", is this from the advice of a doctor? The average doctor knows nothing about the complicated cases of benzo withdrawal, which affects a minority, but nonetheless a significant percentage, of users.

      I'm not a doctor or benzo expert, and cannot offer any medical advice, but I have had some experience with benzos, which includes Clonazepam and Alprazolam. If you plan on stopping that dose (0.125 mg) in two and a half weeks, this might be too soon. I would highly recommend, if you haven't joined already, the website BenzoBuddies, before you stop, for help.
       
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    7. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      @ErnieMassri -- Sorry to hear how your tinnitus has spiked. While it's sensible to closely look at the role of your medications, I wouldn't overlook the possible role of those high doses of caffeine and sweets. Both are known culprits for beable to spike tinnitus, sometimes by a lot.

      Sugar in particular can have effects that go beyond the current consumption. It can cause a variety of gut issues, and can cause candida overgrowth, another known cause of tinnitus. If your gut environment got changed enough to allow candida to thrive, that could be another factor in your situation.

      Take care!
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Thank you Lane for your answer. Yes, I have taken into consideration the candida overgrown. I'm cutting down on sugar, but as it happens with benzos, it's highly addictive, so I have to fight 2 fronts...

      Sugar and caffeine definitely affect my tinnitus (it's a fact for me), but I believe the main culprit (but not the only one) is the medication.

      Thank you for your input. I'll watch out my sugar and caffeine intake even more.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress

      Thank you Lulman for your opinion. You're right, I've noticed Doctors have no clue of the damage benzo withdrawal can cause, even at small doses.

      The other part that concerns me which you have also mentioned, is that 2 and a half weeks is not enough for my doses.

      I am already in Benzobuddies, but even though they all agree it's a little bit too soon (they also mention the plan is weird for it leaves days off in the middle), they haven't provided a plan or suggestion.

      I'm too overwhelmed to know exactly what to do. I'm trying to see another Doctor, and ask around. The level of my T can be unbearable and I don't want to see myself in the middle of August (pretty soon) going to ER for having a terrible spike.
       
    10. TomBradyGOAT

      TomBradyGOAT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows
      Believe I got mine from Prozac or benzos withdrawal. Definitely in the head sound. It was so bad I reinstated the benzo which helped for a bit. Didn't get ride of it. Definitely went off the Prozac and never went back. Now I have switched to Valium and slowly tapering. About a year and I will be done. I am on Nardil I do have OCD and possibly atypical depression. I have heard of possibly Bacopa helping. It is supposed to I believe reset the GABA after a bit. Not bind to it. Nardil can cause upregulation of GABA but I don't expect cures. Do be careful of benzobuddies or any of these types of websites. The amount of times on that website where people would say this or that binds to GABA was insane. Most of it not true. Also I believe the Ashton manual in instances went to fast and she has contradicted herself in her writings. You will hear about Glutamate storm. I have taken enough glutamate drugs to say from what I have seen I don't think that causes benzo tinnitus. But you could try memantine (sp?) Mostly benzo tinnitus goes away. Mine was just so loud at the time I wasn't sleeping which put me under even more stress. So reinstated.
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Hello everyone,

      This is not the first time I talk about the subject, but I guess since the problem is persistent, I keep looking for an answer. I know there are not definite ones, but your experience and point of view are greatly appreciated.

      I've been experiencing loud tinnitus in the past 2 months. I had tinnitus before, but tolerable.

      I suspect the reason I've been experiencing this loud tinnitus is because I took Alprazolam (0.25 mg) every other day for 4 months. At the beginning of June I stopped abruptly and I came across with this torment.

      An electric buzz, or loud hissing that is driving me nuts day and night. At present, I'm scared, depressed, and completely hopeless.

      I have a taper plan to quit the benzo, because I feel deep in my heart is one of the main reasons (besides stress). However, the more I taper, the louder it gets...

      I've been told that the taper plan is rather brusque. Every 2 weeks I cut down 25%. The dosage intake is not every day but leaving days off. I switched from Alprazolam (0.125 mg) to Clonazepam (0.125 mg) a week a go because it lasts longer.

      All this under medical supervision. I've asked many doctors, and most of them have opposite opinions... so I decided to ask the general public that might have suffered the same.

      Should I slow down, and extend the current week for 2 weeks since I recently changed to Clonazepam?

      Based on the time I've been on the medication, how long will it be for my tinnitus to stabilize or be reduced/ideally be eliminated.

      Thank you so much for your help.
       
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    12. TomBradyGOAT

      TomBradyGOAT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows
      Wow wow big guy. I think 25% every two weeks is pretty fast. You could be setting yourself up for feeling great for a few days then bam anxiety hell. I thought it was 10% every one to two weeks. Depending on how withdrawals hit you it should be slower. Just because you get off faster does not mean your receptors will heal faster. The last bits you have to take even slower. Water titration or compounding pharmacy could help.

      As far as expectations of when it goes away. I get that being where you are mentally. Nobody should give you a concrete answer though. The more wide open answer is that it can improve within six months, by a year you might not notice it as much or only in quiet rooms. Or it could take a year or two. In worst case five years. John Bliss who talked to many people it doesn't go away people just deal with it. John Bliss and I would get cremated for saying this on benzo buddies is an idiot.

      You will find a way no matter what to at first to live with it and then thrive even with it. You are mentally in the hardest part time wise. It gets better. If there were a formula of I took benzo x for so long therefore how long should this symptom last is not possible. If it was figured out then I think a lot of benzo withdrawal would be too.
       
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    13. TomBradyGOAT

      TomBradyGOAT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows
      Try nac over the counter depending on where you live. Or see if your doc will give you memantine to help with withdrawals.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Hello Everyone,

      Yesterday for the first time I experienced what I would consider a level 10 of tinnitus. It was bad enough during the day, with an electric buzz piercing my skull. I imagined the night ahead would be ugly, but reality surpassed expectations... as usual.

      Like I mentioned in other posts, I'm in the process of cutting down Clonazepam. After 5 months taking a relatively small dosage of benzos (one a day), I suspect I developed tolerance and due to a chemical imbalance a terrible tinnitus kicked in gradually.

      It has been fluctuating in sound and volume. The one I dread the most is the electric buzz, which is the one I get when things get worse.

      Yesterday, I fell asleep out of exhaustion (I wasn't supposed to take the Clonazepam, but I took just a 1/8 (0.0625 mg) to ease the bump.

      Regardless, I woke up in the middle of the night and I noticed a very loud tinnitus (like electric wires at a deafening volume), I felt nauseated, started sweating, and went to the bathroom to try to throw up.

      I fell asleep again, woken up many times by the very high tinnitus.

      Today it has been loud, between a loud hissing and electric sound. I want to believe it is the result of weaning off benzos (even though I wasn't taking high doses, nor it was for such a long time).

      My question is, how bad will it get before it gets better? (if it ever gets better).

      Apparently my tapering program (prescribed by a doctor) is not working. I've seen several psychiatrists, and none of them have been able to help me. They either want to prescribe more medications, or are dismissal about my problem.

      The Ashton Manual doesn't show my case (only with higher doses). I'm on 0.125 mg of Clonazepam (4 times a week)...

      Next week I'm supposed to completely stop taking the benzo and I'm not ready.

      Any thoughts, ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm really scared, terrified and overwhelmed. I cannot think straight with this loud noise in my head.

      It is so loud, that white noises are not doing their job. Naturally, that is freaking me out like there's no tomorrow.
       
    15. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      It might not get better. :( Some people's tinnitus keep getting worse to the point of being jet engine loud, this is also called suicide tinnitus.

      Nobody can unfortunately offer you guarantees. But the chances are you will feel better in 6-24 months. Time so often helps one to adjust.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Well, I'm quite there then:(
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Hello Everyone,

      I wish I was more helpful to others. Since I joined this forum I haven't been able to gather strength to put things into perspective and help others and maybe provide some input to help someone feel better.

      I know there are a lot of people here suffering. I'm suffering too...and the worst part is that this suffering is combined with uncertainty, fear, anger, and hopelessness. On top of that, living this experience in 2020... the year of surprises.

      Anyways, just wanted to vent out what I've been going through and if anyone can relate.

      When the pandemic started, I had trouble sleeping... self-medicated benzos (Alprazolam 0.25) for more than 3 weeks, then took it 4 times a week until May... the nightmare begun: very loud intrusive tinnitus.

      Tinnitus is no stranger to me. Had it in 2010 due to Prozac and benzos... it went away (or at least got really manageable)... but for some reason, I have amnesia remembering how did that resolved. I'm certain that even though it was scary back then, this time is much worse.

      I've been wanting to hold on so badly to some form of hope. But every time I try to find the bright side, something happens that pushes me down.

      One day my tinnitus seems less aggressive (a hissing instead of the electric buzz)... not so fast, it gets louder the next day, or the very same night... but wait... it's because I'm tapering down benzos... it will get better once my brain figures it out. Not so fast, my tinnitus got louder last night even though I took the benzo.

      Then I wake up and it seems better, I start talking, being social, not so fast... it increases its volume to remind me I'm doomed.

      At this point, I'm not even sure my tinnitus was worsened by benzo withdrawal/taper. I'm not even sure it will ever go away. What about habituation? Not so fast... My tinnitus changes in tone and volume... What about masking? Not so fast... It gets reactive sometimes...

      Ok... What about sound therapy? Hold your horses... My tinnitus fluctuates a lot in tone and volume, need to find my frequency or else it would be detrimental...

      What if I increase the dosage of benzos, and reduce the taper? It might not work out...

      Oh, but wait... there's sleep. Nope... it gets louder at night, plus sometimes it can get intrusive to the point of waking me up... terrified, scared...

      And the worst part... people who don't have tinnitus don't get it... oh but you don't look sick. Why don't you listen to some music? Oh, I'm sure it will go away. I once got tinnitus too!, it lasted 30 seconds!

      I'm 41, going on 42, living in 2020. Economic Recession, the Pandemic, and a thousand more things are more important for humanity than tinnitus...

      All I want, is some hope. I'm not even aiming for complete silence (although it would be greatly appreciated). I'm just scared this tinnitus gets worse and worse and never becomes manageable. I just want some hope.

      Thank you for reading me.
       
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