Tinnitus Due to Anxiety? Benzo Withdrawal? Modulates Up and Down — Maybe Pulsatile Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by bobbygolucky, Oct 8, 2020.

    1. bobbygolucky

      bobbygolucky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi there,

      I have generalized anxiety disorder, and. was dealing with a bad bout of anxiety for about a month (like, barely functional most days). I had come off of Lexapro months earlier (April) and sometime over the summer I noticed I could "hear the silence", just like listening to air, or a conk shell or something. Nothing that bothered me and I thought I was just more edgy off my SSRI. (I came off as I was trying ketamine treatments for anxiety to see if I could do better than an SSRI).

      Then the anxiety spike started in August. Several months after my last ketamine session. I didn't get on an SSRI right away, but after a week of intense anxiety I did start taking my 0.5mg clonazepam (which I almost never take) roughly every other day or so. About a month into that bout of anxiety, I was starting to maybe come up again, when I noticed some ringing in my left ear. I hadn't taken clonazepam for 3 or 4 days, so I took one and it wasn't so bad and I thought maybe it would pass. It didn't. This eventually sent my anxiety back into epic levels where I thought I wouldn't survive and went to the hospital after I tried staying off Benzos for 11 days as I feared it was somehow withdrawal. During that time I also experienced hyperacusis at least some of the time. (Someone crinkling tin foil was insanely loud.)

      My tinnitus is hard to describe. In addition to the conk shell ringing in both ears, which doesn't bother me, sometimes it's like a shimmering pulsing sound maybe behind my left ear or the back of my head. Sometimes that seems to maybe go to my heartbeat. Sometimes it seems like a constant sound instead. When I'm anxious it is almost more like an electric/tv frequency whine, but it modulates with the tiniest movements of the muscles in my head (like raising my eyebrows or eye movement), and sometimes seemingly on it's own (heartbeat?), and definitely with neck and jaw movements. It wobbles too, like a super quick up and down. There are times when that part is quiet (or I'm maybe tuning it out) and I hear a little whisper of buzz/pulse in my left ear. The buzz is a lower pitch (maybe a midtone) and has a consistent pattern.

      I started back on an SSRI (Cymbalta 30mg) 3.5 weeks ago. It's possible it made it louder, but I'm not sure. It's hard to remember exactly. I almost feel like it's louder during the day after I've taken it (I know it has a short half life), but it's also quite possible it's just my anxiety making it worse at those times. I was taking clonazepam again as well after being assured by several doctors I couldn't be having withdrawal for using 0.5mg every other day for three/four weeks. But then I read about clonazepam being used to treat it sometimes, and I didn't want to get a false sense of being able to handle the tinnitus then coming off of benzos and having it be super loud.

      Also the hyperacusis. Sometimes it makes everything really loud, but lately it's not doing that as strongly, but I notice weird things like distortion maybe of my tinnitus when hearing certain sounds/pitches, like hearing the wind instead I got a weird buzzing mixed in. Almost similar to the buzzing I hear when it's quiet. From what I've read that's hyperacusis as well.

      I had a hearing test and my hearing is fine. My ENT gave me a kind 45 and shrugged his shoulders.

      I'm not handling this well. I'm having trouble getting through a day at work or spending time with the family. My worry about it is through the roof, and when I worry is when it screams that tv whine modulation sound. I'm not sure if this still could somehow be Benzo withdrawal, as I've read that can happen even after 3-6 weeks of use. I'm not sure if this is just due to anxiety. There have been a few times (sometimes with the help of clonazepam sometimes not) where I've been able to ignore the high pitch pulsing/tv whine whatever it's doing and then it has seemed to go away. But I'm extremely bad at relaxing/not worrying about something. I do therapy as well, and I'm always working on my anxiety, but still going to be a pretty anxious person.

      I feel the blood/adrenal rush to my ears when I'm worried about it and make them feel full, pillowed, and things loud at the same time.

      The only thing I can think of sound wise was I used one of those annoyingly loud little carpet cleaners (little green machine) that are 80+ decibels for like 5 minutes one night a couple days before I noticed this.

      I don't know if I'll ever be able to tune out this sound or not freak out about it and that's terrifying. I don't know how I'm going to keep working for a long time with this (I sit at a computer). I need some sort of med for my anxiety, but I'm not sure what to do about Cymbalta/Clonazepam.

      I know I also have ETD sometimes. (Sometimes it's stuck open on one side after a run or whatever and I hear myself speaking from the inside.) I was already taking my singular when this started, and maybe inconsistently taking my Flonase. I did get prednisone from the doc, but after one day is when I went to the hospital with anxiety that the steroids probably put over the top.

      I'm seeing a Chiro next week, but not sure what they can really do. I don't know whether to try and ignore it or sit there and try and listen and accept it.

      My wife doesn't know what to do for me as I cry and squirm. I'm taking three showers a day as I don't notice it in there. Sometimes outside I don't notice it if I'm distracted, but often I'll hear bits of that shimmering peaking out just enough to scare me.


      EDIT: The mid-low range buzzing in my left ear seems to have gotten a bit louder. It sounds almost like an electrical grid. It modulates a little too.
    2. Chris55

      Chris55 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I’m sorry for what you are going through. I too suffer from severe anxiety. It started for me 10 days ago. Non stop tinnitus of different types and volumes. About a week prior I had my first and only but very scary bout of vertigo and dizziness these last 2 1/2 weeks. It’s been horrible. For someone with anxiety to begin with dealing with this can be a huge challenge. Anxiety excites the sympathetic nervous system which leads to worse symptoms, stress, panic, anxiety, detachment, confusion etc.
      We have to practice the parasympathetic system. Meditation, yoga , stretching, breathing , relaxation which directly counter the effects of the sympathetic system. It takes work and guts for me to get out of myself. This thing can definitely cause isolation if we give in. I started 2 days ago on a SSRI and I take .25 mg Xanax which helps. Sometimes just in these past 2 weeks my crushing anxiety has led me to dark thoughts. The hope is to have this go away. But at the very least quiet it down to levels of perhaps almost imperceptible measure. For us anxiety sufferers it’s more of a challenge but I believe totally doable. The ringing is but one noise in a catalogue of millions that enter our ears all the time. I am trying to convince my brain that this noise is not a threat and perhaps it will go away or slip into the background in a very low way. Reducing anxiety is Key as anxiety will only make it seem more of a threat and worsen our perception. I use a masking app and find that violet noise, crackling fire and rain cover it immensely. But not too loud. I’ve Been told you are supposed to leave some of the ring to help attenuate your brain over time and getting used to it should lower it significantly as many people experience. I also try to fully put my focus on whatever I’m doing. As the noise comes forward I accept it without judgement and go back to concentration on tv or whatever, however many times it happens. I think a good SSRI and some Xanax at hand will help. You sound like you and me both need that help. I’ve learned there are probably at least 100 million people in the world that deal with this. Forgiveness, generosity, nonjudgment of others and unconditional love pouring from our hearts can be great medicine for ourselves. I haven’t practiced that as I internalize anger and frustration. But I’m learning that perhaps the most powerful way to heal ourselves is by offering to others the things they crave. Perhaps Tinnitus can lead us to greater heights than we have ever known. There are great apps for calming our chronically over stimulated sympathetic nervous systems. And if you promise to believe that this will get much better, then I will too. These are the hard days. They’ll get better.
    3. AUTHOR

      bobbygolucky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Turns out I’m weird in being able to modulate my tinnitus with my eyes? Somatic tinnitus.

      Running a TENS unit on my neck around the c2 to see if that helps.

      I have been having sensitive teeth issues on my left side that my dentist thinks is from clenching. I haven’t really noticed any TMJ. I went to a bite specialist who said I had signs of clenching, but also wanted to sell me $2400 mouth guards.

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