The Cause Was Generalized Anxiety Disorder — I've Recovered from My Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Fire2Flowers, Jul 27, 2019.

    1. Fire2Flowers

      Fire2Flowers Member

      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      November 17th, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Generalized Anxiety Disorder
      Let me start by saying that I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

      This diagnosis came to me at roughly 10-12 years of age (not sure of when, exactly). I was bullied throughout my entire school life, which is what caused (and worsened) the condition. I've since been in and out of hospitals for panic attacks mistaken for more serious ailments, always had trouble making friends, and I was sensitive at heart. To my peers I was an easy target, and that really messed with my head. In order to cope with the never-ending stress of being a social outcast, I listened to loud music. The logic behind this was: It's not as dangerous as drinking or smoking, and it's not as risky as partying late at night. I thought it was the safest thing to do. With every tune, my imagination ran wild. Music took me to places where I was in control, where no one could hurt me. Music was my safe haven, it still is today.

      But come years later, on November 17th, 2017: I developed a loud and viscous ringing in my ears, this comes along with a horrid ear infection on top of it. No one had told me about the horrors of tinnitus until then, and my family never spoke about the condition. It wasn't until I experienced it for myself that my knowledge of tinnitus was obtained. At first, my research destroyed me.

      >"It can be permanent"
      >"There is no cure"
      >"It is often difficult to treat"
      >"It can be constant, twenty-four/seven"

      Needless to say, I went into a full blown panic. I visited three GPs, one ENT, and even tried finding answers through alternative websites. Their consensus was that I developed an eustachian tube dysfunction and that once I waited it out, it would go away.

      I wait two weeks, and despite the significant decline in the volume of my tinnitus, I still couldn't enjoy the silence around me. Now knowing that the previous doctors all failed at relieving my condition, I assumed I'd damaged my hearing, and this would last with me for the rest of my life. My anxiety spiked and I became depressed, for the next three years my life was in shambles with no habituation in sight. It wasn't until I had moved states and got myself acquainted with a more competent doctor who tested my hearing, that I would find answers. She became aware of my anxiety, and prescribed me with "Sertaline" (generic name for Zoloft). She told me to take it every day in the evening and that's just what I have been doing. The good news? I am now three days in, and I've noticed the once brief moments of silence getting longer and longer. This was unprecedented, as I had already come to terms with the fact that this was a life long affliction.

      That's when I came to the conclusion, the cause was anxiety.

      This isn't to say I didn't have noise-induced tinnitus at first. It's true, I was listening to loud music when this horror-show started. But what I didn't realize then (and am realizing now), was that the physical manifestation of my tinnitus already recovered years ago. I was just so worked up about it that I began to psychologically repeat these sounds. Over and over again, even after I healed during my two weeks of rest. But since I've been on Zoloft, I don't hear it anymore. Provided I am not focusing on it, I don't hear it when I'm plugging my ears, when I'm lying down, or even in quiet areas like my bedroom. I have come to the conclusion that my ongoing tinnitus was caused by severe anxiety, and there is a speck of hope for me if I keep going with this new form of treatment.

      With what little time I've spent on here, I hope I have been able to provide fellow sufferers with some insight. Tinnitus can have a variety of causes, and can be a combination of different things at once. It's important that you make the efforts to find yours, because it might not be as serious as you think. I've also learned that it is very important to take care of your hearing! I will continue to protect my ears, no matter what happens. This was an experience I never want to repeat. To whatever god exists in this universe, if there even is a god: Trust me, I get the message.

      Thank you everyone for the hope you gave me, even if only for a moment. I may come on from time to time, but not as much anymore. This has been Fire2Flowers and this is my story, take care.
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    2. AVIYT

      AVIYT Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Interesting, as I tried Zoloft for 2 weeks and it made my tinnitus significantly worse, which in turn worsened my anxiety and depression. Getting off of it was terrible, as with many SSRIS and similar. But my tinnitus is most likely caused by ototoxicity from Pregabalin, so in my case whether my anxiety is high or low doesn't make too much of a difference.
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    3. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Yeah this is really interesting because there are quite a few reports of Zoloft and other SSRIs worsening tinnitus. These drugs appear to have different effects on everyone though. Happy for you.
    4. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      Thanks @AVIYT for sharing your experience. -- @Fire2Flowers, congratulations on your improvements, and thanks for sharing them with the forum. I would however, suggest you carefully consider the above negative Zoloft experience, which is not an uncommon one. Though you're enjoying improvements now, drug dependent solutions are often not be a good long-term solutions. I'm a big believer in natural alternatives, and have read about MANY that often work very well for anxiety. Sometimes a combination of natural things work best. And the long-term solutions are usually much better.

      All the Best...
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    5. Codeflowd

      Codeflowd Member

      Helsinki, Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication / Anxiety / TMJ|TMD
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