Tinnitus and Stress — Is Anxiety a Common Pre-Existing Trait in Tinnitus Sufferers?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Hunter Ellingsen, Aug 31, 2021.

    1. Hunter Ellingsen

      Hunter Ellingsen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/ stress
      I am naturally a fairly stressed person and don't usually handle it too well at that.

      If we are being honest with ourselves, is anxiety a common trait pre-tinnitus in current tinnitus sufferers?

      Just interested as the tone in my ear is a month in and no better, so am going to try new strategies to deal with it and wondering how much anxiety impacts things.

      Thanks.
       
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    2. PortugalTheMan
      Shocked

      PortugalTheMan Member

      Location:
      Portugal
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety / Maybe years listening to music on headphones
      @Hunter Ellingsen, if you look at Dr. Dirk De Ridder's Tinnitus Talk Podcast interview, he mentions that the difference between a person with the same symptom (hearing loss, etc) with and without tinnitus is the fact that the person who gets the tinnitus was suffer or in stress.

      In other words, for you and me, if we hadn't had the moment of anxiety, we certainly wouldn't have tinnitus.
       
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    3. Alex Kerr

      Alex Kerr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Damage cause by music and infection
      Hello

      When I got tinnitus I was relatively young and didn't understand what anxiety was back then. Anxiety is a type of stress characterised by a stressor that will potentially happen in the future as opposed to something happening to us right now in the present (which is stress). Whether the stressor is physical in the present or a mental thought about the future, our bodies still experience the stress response, therefore it is extremely likely that anxiety could be a pre-existing condition for someone getting tinnitus.

      Anxiety will increase stress in the moment and so could very well make tinnitus louder.

      Not sure if that helps at all?

      What strategies are you trying?
       
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    4. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      I do think anxiety is a common trait among people who struggle to cope with tinnitus.

      Around 30 percent of the U.S. population has tinnitus. Perhaps many have mild tinnitus, but as we can see on this forum, even mild tinnitus can elicit a strong emotional and anxious response. We have members who struggle with tinnitus only heard in quiet rooms and members who have learned to live with tinnitus that can be heard over noisy traffic.

      Speaking to people IRL, I was surprised early on to find just how many had what others on this forum would classify as loud and debilitating tinnitus. While they may have been anxious about it when it first happened, none had anxiety in response to it years later and were living their lives like normal.

      That realization was a pretty big turning point in my own ability to move forward.
       
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    5. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Not in my case. I think tinnitus and hyperacusis play on the nervous system and may trigger anxiety.
       
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    6. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      Don't cite me on this, by any means, but from some therapists' point of view, one of the key common denominators is that people prone to stress and anxiety, and also detail oriented persons, may easily have a more negative response to tinnitus.
      In general. They have a harder timer to ignore it - or habituate to it over time.

      I believe tinnitus and hyperacusis also could be a result of some sort/degree of post traumatic stress syndrome. OR you may get a post traumatic stress syndrome if you get tinnitus and hyperacusis for instance after a traumatic incident.

      It's so complex really. But having a high strung personality certainly doesn't make things easier either way.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Hunter Ellingsen

      Hunter Ellingsen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/ stress
      @Alex Kerr, I didn't have any other than waiting it out. Given only brief moments of improvement, I am going to drink less alcohol, drink more water, meditate, eat better food and let whatever happens happen. I am not getting anywhere by stressing that it won't go away.

      Besides that, I have nothing much else. The MRI was clear, the hearing test was normal, I am fit and not overweight. I do have a stiff neck though so might go to a chiro...

      Any other tips?
       
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    8. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Mine ramped up significantly after the end of a 10-year relationship. I was also abusing the hell out of my ears though, as a coping mechanism.
       
    9. Alex Kerr

      Alex Kerr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Damage cause by music and infection
      @Hunter Ellingsen, I'm glad to hear that you are trying to stay focussed and positive and also have some strategies in mind for managing. In my experience, it is the attitude and approach that can make the difference to the outcome.

      As for tips, I have many. I have deep dived into holistic health over the last 6 years due to facing extreme stress including tinnitus. It got to the point where it wasn't 'if' I should do something, but 'what'. Through podcasts and reading, I implemented strategy after strategy and did many courses as well. I not only overcame my stress but I went in the opposite direction. My energy levels massively increased and I habituated MORE to tinnitus.

      The weird thing I realised is that there seems to me at least that habituation isn't black and white. On or off. It's a sliding scale in line with stress levels.
       
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    10. Peter Q

      Peter Q Member

      Location:
      Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Hunter Ellingsen, I certainly think that anxiety is a common trait pre-tinnitus. Anxiety and hypochondria seem to go hand in hand.
       
    11. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Have you had your thyroid, testosterone, and Vitamin D levels checked?

      On two stressful days, I found out that my testosterone was low each time.. Low testosterone can cause depression. I also found out I had low Vitamin D levels which I am in the process of getting them up. I did notice some improvement when I started taking Vitamin D and also got a huge boost my first few testosterone shots.

      I am not saying I recommend testosterone shots to people because they come with the side effect of making men sterile and stop your body from producing it's own testosterone. I just finally gave up and decided to do it. Stupidly, I never really gave PhytoTestosterone a chance with a pine pollen tincture, even though I bought it. From what I read, PhytoTestosterone can raise testosterone levels without your body stopping making its own. Someone on here said stress causes the body to metabolize testosterone more so that made sense why my testosterone levels were low those days I checked it.

      You might want to get a complete blood lab work done on hormones, etc. to see if they find anything you are deficient in because in my experience, it's much harder to habituate to tinnitus when something is physically off and who knows, maybe if you found something and got it corrected, it may lower the tinnitus some.
       
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