Tinnitus Causes Depression — Negative Cycle

Discussion in 'Support' started by cjb2811, Feb 4, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      I am in quite the difficult place here. I have been in some form of depression for the past 11 months. I made some bad decisions in life that led to my entire world crashing down. Prior to this I had the best 4 months of my life, as my severe tinnitus somehow vanished. I was given a second chance. I was on top of the world.

      Severe depression in March, April, May of 2015... The bad decisions (read: legal trouble) were cleared up in May, but my depression did not lift. I caved, and agreed to go back on antidepressants (Tegretol) because I didn't see any way other out. After taking Tegretol for only two days my severe tinnitus returned with a vengeance.

      Now I had depression and tinnitus. Fucking great. Here's my problem: I don't see either one getting any better because they are so intertwined. The severe tinnitus I have PARALYZES me. My life is a disaster. Nothing gives me any happiness and I have no motivation. I go to therapy, but what is my psychiatrist going to do for my tinnitus.

      Okay. There is the idea that it got better once so it could get better again. But it seems DIFFERENT this time. WORSE. More SEVERE. I do not see a way that I can have this condition and be happy in life. Everything has been taken from me. Help.
       
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    2. AnxiousJon
      Magical

      AnxiousJon Member

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety, Insomnia, and a Fan at Night
      When I was on the benzodiazepines I felt terrible. Lots of crying spells. I think it gave me a little glimpse into what you go through. Yeah happy is not a word I would use to describe that season of my life. I couldn't do anything. I would pick up my pen to write, or my language studies and I would just set it back down and cry.
      So you have tried serotonin reuptake blockers(SSRI), have you tried taking serotonin in the form of 5-HTP, St. John's Wart, etc? Also things like NAC, GABA, L-theanine with inositol, L-tryptophan, L-yrosine, Ashwaganha, etc...?
      Also I have a blue LED array that helps your body produce serotonin. Helps with circadian rythm and mood. Maybe if you took alot of different things like those above and tried using the blue led array, you might get some results.
      Try going through the amazon reviews for different supplements like those above and look for people who have severe depression and/or anxiety and are helped by it.
      I know it can be lethal to take those supplements with SSRIs; you'll have to check to see if you can take any of them with the drugs you are taking now.
       
    3. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Sometimes AD can spike your tinnitus as they effect your brain but over about 4 weeks it will settle down back to your base sound so try stay positive and let the AD medication do its job and by weeks 2-4 you should start to feel the benefit of your AD meds and more if you have to have a medication increase weaning up to a stronger dose .

      Depression is hard and the lethargy makes you want to stay in bed but try plan your day with some short walks and build up the distance.

      I was in a bad way but got through it and now my happy self and came through it stronger.
      I was a sad withdrawn person looking back at myself in the mirror looking lethargic and no interest in anything finding each day hard to get through.

      stay strong it will get better with meds and talking therapy and small steps building back your confidence ...lots o
       
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    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I tend to be on the drugs-are-bad side of the fence, but I think the odds of a two day regimen of tegretol doing anything permanent to your or your tinnitus seem... pretty low. I think there are 3 possibilities here:
      * you have experienced a completely undocumented, unprecedented neurotoxic side effect of Tegretol (a drug which is not known to be neurotoxic).
      * you encountered a spike, which may have had something to do with the tegretol, and this set off some kind of cascade in your nervous system which made you become stuck in tinnitus-fixation again, and that fixation is some kind of feedback loop.
      * you have some kind of cyclic issue with your moods and overall health, and tinnitus is just one unpleasant manifestation of that.

      Think back to when you were feeling well; you say your tinnitus was "gone". Is that really true? If you went into a quiet room and plugged your ears, did you hear silence?

      You say you think your tinnitus and depression are "intertwined"; this makes a good deal of sense, both seem (in some cases, anyway) to relate to abnormalities in serotonin regulation.

      I'd say the million dollar question is, what happens to your tinnitus if you can really get a grip on your depression? From what you have said, it doesn't sound like drugs are a very good option for you, which leaves you with the basic toolbox of: diet, exercise, meditation, self-compassion, love, good sleep hygiene, and above all else patience and faith. You didn't walk into this overnight; you will not be able to wake up tomorrow and have it gone. But, also have faith that the extremely dysphoric, unpleasant mood you are in is coloring everything, which means you cannot really trust your own thoughts right now. "I cannot have this condition and be happy in life" is both a judgement, and a projection into the future. Neither of those things are "real".

      If you're in this stuff really deep, internet message boards may not really be great because they're actually pretty isolating. It's great to be understood, but, human contact (and especially touch) seems pretty important to overcoming severely challenging mental states. What is your real-life support network like?
       
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    5. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      Quote from @linearb

      I tend to be on the drugs-are-bad side of the fence, but I think the odds of a two day regimen of tegretol doing anything permanent to your or your tinnitus seem... pretty low. I think there are 3 possibilities here:
      * you have experienced a completely undocumented, unprecedented neurotoxic side effect of Tegretol (a drug which is not known to be neurotoxic).
      * you encountered a spike, which may have had something to do with the tegretol, and this set off some kind of cascade in your nervous system which made you become stuck in tinnitus-fixation again, and that fixation is some kind of feedback loop.
      * you have some kind of cyclic issue with your moods and overall health, and tinnitus is just one unpleasant manifestation of that.


      I agree with the first two points of yours as possibilities. I was severely depressed for three months before taking Tegretol, so the chance of the HUGE increase coming as coincidence is very low. I was also on Depakote for ten days a few weeks before Tegretol (discontinued because of the horror stories I read about it) and it did not affect my tinnitus either way.

      Think back to when you were feeling well; you say your tinnitus was "gone". Is that really true? If you went into a quiet room and plugged your ears, did you hear silence?

      Both when I was feeling well and when I fell into a depression my tinnitus was not gone, but it was at such a low level I would have to go out of my way to focus on it to hear it, and then it was at a level of 1 or 2 compared to previously being at an 8.

      You say you think your tinnitus and depression are "intertwined"; this makes a good deal of sense, both seem (in some cases, anyway) to relate to abnormalities in serotonin regulation.

      I'd say the million dollar question is, what happens to your tinnitus if you can really get a grip on your depression? From what you have said, it doesn't sound like drugs are a very good option for you, which leaves you with the basic toolbox of: diet, exercise, meditation, self-compassion, love, good sleep hygiene, and above all else patience and faith. You didn't walk into this overnight; you will not be able to wake up tomorrow and have it gone. But, also have faith that the extremely dysphoric, unpleasant mood you are in is coloring everything, which means you cannot really trust your own thoughts right now. "I cannot have this condition and be happy in life" is both a judgement, and a projection into the future. Neither of those things are "real".


      I agree and disagree with you here. I didn't walk into the depression overnight but I did get the return to the severe tinnitus overnight. I agree that my mood is coloring everything, but I believe that my mood is caused by the tinnitus. Thus the negative cycle that is so hard to deal with.

      If you're in this stuff really deep, internet message boards may not really be great because they're actually pretty isolating. It's great to be understood, but, human contact (and especially touch) seems pretty important to overcoming severely challenging mental states. What is your real-life support network like?

      In some ways I live a pretty isolated life (e.g., I own my own sole proprietorship rather than working for a company and I live alone) but I do have a good support network through friends and family. Unfortunately they really don't know how to help me.


      Here is my main problem: After taking Lamictal in November 2013 and having my tinnitus go from moderate to severe, I had essentially accepted that the rest of my life would be impaired. When it got better in November/December 2014 it was nothing short of a MIRACLE to me, and I felt like I had been given a second chance. When the tinnitus came back in June 2015 I was so depressed that it didn't affect me much. Latuda pulled me out of that depression in August 2015, but I sank back down into the depression because I realized just how severe the tinnitus was.

      I really see no way things can improve right now. I am absolutely paralyzed, doing the bare minimum in life. I feel that I have psychiatry to blame for my problems, but I also blame myself for agreeing to go on Tegretol, which is in the same class as Lamictal, which messed me up in the first place. I try and cope, but I don't know how. The tinnitus has such a grip on me that every aspect of my life is affected and I can't function. Perhaps these boards aren't the best place to be, but this seems to be the only place where people understand.
       
    6. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma from airplane descent, noise exposure? ETD? TMJD?
      I was on 100mg of Lamictal in 2008 when I had my first episode of tinnitus. Of course I blamed Lamictal on my tinnitus, but it could have been caused by barotrauma that year also. I was going to a depression group at the time and a woman there was on several hundred mg of Lamictal, but she had no tinnitus from it, so maybe just coincidental or our differing brain chemistry, who knows?

      To me Lamictal is very mild for side effects versus SSRI's for example, but that may be just my perception and experience not others. I currently take 50mg/day I believe. I was on 25mg for a long time.

      Oh I forgot I was eating hard dog food in 2008, so that may have contributed also....just kidding on that.:)
       
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    7. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Since you already had things get a lot better once after they had seemed hopeless, why are you assuming that couldn't happen again? Your brain has already recovered from this same kind of trauma once, and this time you only took the drug for 2 days.

      It's super hard, man. Drugs and doctors did some bad things to my life, too. I refuse to let that stuff win, though! The noise is there, I can't change it, but I can basically stubbornly refuse to let it impact my life any more than it has to.

      I've also become a pretty strong advocate for mental health issues, I have spent a lot of time communicating with people going through similar struggles, and I've had a number of people -- online and off, some in my close family -- tell me that my experiences have directly led to them not medicating their kids, or questioning their own doctors when drugs are pushed on them. I think that's pretty good; life is a big thing, I'm just a small part.
       
    8. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      Tegretol is not an antidepressant, its an anticonvulsant. What am I missing here? Get off it. There are lots of other drugs to choose from. I am sure it will diminish again..
       
    9. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      Yes it is an anticonvulsant used as a mood stabilizer for treatment of bipolar disorder. I was misdiagnosed. I only took it for those two days then stopped immediately. That was 8 months ago and the tinnitus hasn't diminished, hence my distress.
       
    10. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma from airplane descent, noise exposure? ETD? TMJD?
      I think I have some Tegretol. I thought that was a med some people used for tinnitus when Gabapentin + Klonopin quit working, but I may be mistaken. I thought there was more side effects though, so I only took a couple pills then quit.
       
    11. AnxiousJon
      Magical

      AnxiousJon Member

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety, Insomnia, and a Fan at Night
      My mom takes that class of drug for sleep and anxiety(Lamictal); It's been amazing for her; turned everything around. She's had some serious health problems with extreme chronic adrenal fatigue, anxiety, insomnia. But yeah for others it's a nightmare. But that's true with SSRI's also. They have been a God-send to me, but @Andersson was just rushed to the hospital recently in an ambulance because of a reaction to an SSRI(make sure to give that guy a virtual hug).
      Just like everything else in this world, it's a poker decision about the possible outcomes and the liklihood of those outcomes: no guarantees.
       
    12. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      That drug is like poison. Very Harsh. I could not tolerate it for more than 3 days.
       
    13. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      Ahh well that makes more sense and I am very sorry to hear. sorry I must of misread because I thought you meant you went back on it recently. If it was the tegretol then I would be very surprised it hadn't diminished with discontinuation.
       
    14. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      Tegretol itself is nasty. You need to have your liver monitored while taking it. Of course Anticonvulsants when you look at possible side effects, one would prefer not to take them. I say they should be reserved for those who absolutely need them. I luckily discovered clonazepam in lieu of Tegretol that made me feel like death, and it since has treated my symptoms well enough.
       
    15. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      I can see it as a mood stabilizer. .On my days on it I felt like a zombie..Guess they figure it's better than extreme highs and lows. Bi Polar Disorder can be difficult to treat. Most get off the drugs because of the side effects. We need more research regarding Bi Polar Disorder. My aunt essentially died because of it.
       
    16. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      It really is a poker decision. I wish I never touched psych meds. I've been burned three times: Wellbutrin causing moderate tinnitus, Lamictal causing severe tinnitus, and then Tegretol bringing back the severe tinnitus after it subsided. Each time a drug caused tinnitus for me the psychiatrist said, "It will go away when you go off the drug." It took one year for it to go away after Lamictal. The other two it didn't go away. :(:cry:

      I understand what you're saying @linearb . I really hope I can recover again, but right now that seems so far away. It's the fucking cycle - tinnitus causes depression which causes tinnitus which causes more depression. It's so hard for me to see what a normal, functioning life would look like. I've had it before, so you would think I would be able to get there again, but I don't know.

      Like I mentioned in above posts @Blackbird26 starting Tegretol was the only variable in my life that changed when the tinnitus went out of control. I had already been depressed for three months so I don't simply attribute it to depression, and there were no other changes medication or otherwise in my life except Tegretol.

      I do have an interesting hypothesis about why my tinnitus improved a year after taking Lamictal (around December 2014). After having a year of turmoil for most of 2014 for two reasons - my tinnitus and a very toxic, unhealthy relationship - I made several improvements in my life. The relationship ended, I stopped smoking cigarettes, I started eating healthy and going to the gym, and really cut back on drinking. I was feeling better all around but I still had the goddammed tinnitus. I brought up Potiga to my psychiatrist, and she referred me to a neuropsychiatrist (he is a neurologist and a psychiatrist) to discuss Potiga.

      I've been to my fair share of therapists but nothing like this guy. He is European, and practices very differently than anyone I've ever experienced. He's very intense and in your face, challenging everything you have to say and making you dig deep. Without realizing it, it turned into therapy with him, even though it was supposed to be a medication consult. He said I should not take Potiga (nor would he write an rx) because so little is known about it. However, in the talk therapy that evolved, some really deep issues came out. It was during this time that my tinnitus subsided. Again, I had made all those healthy changes in my life, but I truly have to wonder whether this intensive therapy with this doctor is what caused my brain to have some kind of shift, taking away the tinnitus.

      Needless to say, once the tinnitus returned to the severe level it is now at, the logical conclusion would be to return to this doctor for treatment. Unfortunately, when I terminated with him I left off on a very bad note and I actually insulted him pretty badly. I contacted him this fall, and he met with me once, but then told me he did not have any availability to see me. I think he does have availability, but simply does not want to see me. I could be wrong though.

      So I am blaming myself for screwing up the chance to work with this brilliant doctor and trying to replicate the treatment with him as best as possible. I saw two other psychoanalysts (his style of practice) and they were nothing like him. I'm continuing therapy with one of these doctors and he really feels he can help me. He wants to get to the root issues of my self-sabotage and my suffering. But what can he do for my tinnitus? He set me up with an appointment with the "best ENT in the city" but I've already seen every "great ENT" and "tinnitus specialist" in New York. I ended up blowing off the appointment with the ENT but I guess I will reschedule. On one hand it can't hurt, but on the other I will probably leave frustrated, being told for the tenth time, "We don't know why these medications affected you like this."

      If I can somehow try and put the tinnitus aside for the moment then maybe I can see a life without depression, and maybe my current doctor can give me that. And then maybe the healthy life will lead to tinnitus improvement. Brain plasticity and all that. I'm still working on getting in with the doctor who probably doesn't want to treat me, having others advocate for me. We'll see how that plays out. But in the meantime I am trying to work on myself because I know I have a lot of issues in addition to tinnitus and depression. I carry around a lot of shame from my childhood, which causes me to experience a lot of anger and aggression, manipulative behavior, substance abuse, and I even exhibit some Cluster B personality disorder traits. But I'm putting all the cards on the table in therapy and working on myself. I'm aware of my problems and am trying to see that tinnitus is just one piece of the puzzle, not my whole life, even if it feels that way.

      Thank you all for reading and for your support.
       
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    17. AnxiousJon
      Magical

      AnxiousJon Member

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety, Insomnia, and a Fan at Night
      @cjb2811
      Speaking of brain plasticity, you should get a balance board; They use them on people with severe brain trauma, and kids with learning disabilities/mentally challenged, etc...
      Get one that has a variable/adjustable level of instability.
       
    18. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      @cjb2811I think you have articulated yourself quite well and ty for sharing. I do find your story interesting but not original. So many times, over and over I read this story, but with all different kinds of triggers. It is my firm belief that in most cases, it is the emotional part of the brain that sets up this malady and the auditory part of the body that gets assaulted (they're connected) Sometimes over time..loud music, a loud job, medicines (frequent) and like a perfect storm BOOM! I think you know what you need to do to attempt being free from this severe t again..at least hope to be. I wish you much luck and positive vibes. Man, just the fact you recognize all that about yourself and want help puts you ahead of the game. Of course with these ailments it makes it 100 times harder ( I know, trust me) but it's 100 times worth it to STOP blaming yourself for taking Tegretol because that just will not help you. Look it, I have severe h and moderate t that fluctuates to Severe t..and many times I have done things, as in taken a "risk" and gotten worse..Yea, you're damn right I do the blame game, and it hurts man, ALOT, but I remind myself that if I recovered before, I can again. .and even if i don't, I will live one day at a time until I figure out how to accept it.Wishing you wellness * apologies for no sentence breaks my phone won't allow me to do any.
       
    19. AnxiousJon
      Magical

      AnxiousJon Member

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety, Insomnia, and a Fan at Night
    20. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Can you explain more?
       
    21. AnxiousJon
      Magical

      AnxiousJon Member

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety, Insomnia, and a Fan at Night
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    22. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Have you tried hearing aids with maskers built in? Get a free hearing check and ask if you can have a free trial with hearing aids to see if they will help. Sometimes the hearing correction can help with the tinnitus and the maskers can bring some relief. If you do this, ask the guy who programs them to turn the noise reduction feature off at least on one of the programs and also ask for the highest bandwidth aid. I hope you can get better asap.
       
    23. cjb2811
      No Mood

      cjb2811 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lamictal & Tegretol
      Two month update:

      Tinnitus is just as bad or worse as it has ever been. I am not making any progress with my therapist so I am going to terminate with him and try and find someone else. Part of me wants to try and throw drugs at the problem because they are what caused it in the first place.

      If anyone has recommendations for a psychiatrist and/or a psychologist who is well-versed in patients with tinnitus (specifically medicine-induced as mine is) I would greatly appreciate it. I have already tried working with Dr. Hubbard and his treatment did not help me.

      Thank you.
       

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