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Tinnitus and Depression

Posted by Betsy on April 27, 1999, at 8:53:47

Some background:
I know it sounds cliche, but its true....

I have a friend (actually, its a friend's girlfriend)
who has had clinical depression for a very long time.
I'm sure a lot of it is stuff that can be worked out
in therapy, though meds seem to be indicated at least
for the short-term. However, she had never been
interested in seeking help.

About 7 months ago, she developed tinnitus (a consistent
ringing in her ears) and it has gotten so bad that it
has exacerbated the depression and at times made her
suicidal. She gets into circular thinking patterns
because of this tinnitus and its digging her deeper
into her depths of depression.

In some ways the tinnitus is a blessing, though, as she
is *finally* starting to get some help - she's started
on Edronax (she doesn't live in the US) and that is
helping her mood somewhat, but she feels she needs to
get help for the tinnitus before anything else, since
that is what seems to be making her usual depression
more acute and causing the suicidal thoughts.

The Question:
The tinnitus developed with no apparent "reason".
She did not suffer a blow to the head or ear, was not
exposed to a loud noise or sustaned periods of noise.
It just appeared one day.

Could this be a symptom of the depression? A sign of
something else? Has anyone heard of this happening
spontaneously in connection to some other condition?

I've urged him to take her for blood-work, to get
her thyroid checked as well as other hormonal and
chemical levels, but I don't think they've done that
yet. I was wondering if anyone knew of a link between
tinnitus and depression (other than tinnitus causing
depression - the depression came first...) Is it possible
they're both symptoms of some other disorder?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

(PS - it was her side-effect reactions to Edronax that
led me to this website, and led me to learn more about
my own treatment for depression. What a wonderful
resource on the web! Thank you all!)




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