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Re: can't stop the music

Posted by Penelope on October 26, 2003, at 17:58:55

In reply to Re: can't stop the music, posted by Penelope on August 11, 2003, at 18:08:53

UPDATE: Since I last posted I have started seeing a neurologist, and I wanted to share what I have learned.

Musical auditory hallucinations, this doc insists, are most definitly NOT a form of tinnitus. They are a form of hallucination and could be the symptom of a serious mental or neurological disorder which must be explored. And unlike tinnitus, which is considered incurable, he believes this can be cured or controlled if one can find and address the etiology.

He says the condition is extremely rare, and those who suffer this symptom fall within five groups, which I list here in order of frequency of occurence:

1. The profoundly deaf.

2. The psychotic.

3. Those with brain lesions, usually of the temporal lobe.

4. Those with severe depression.

5. Unknown etiology. EXTREMELY RARE.

I underwent various tests to rule out hearing impairment, insanity, and brain lesions. That puts me in group 4 or 5. Among those who experience auditory hallucinations and who are severely depressed, almost all are male. I am female. Also, this neurologist does not believe I am severely depressed. He says severe depression is when you are almost nonfunctioning. I am still functioning, although not on all cylinders, to be sure.

He does not think that the amitriptylene I am taking has anything to do with the hallucinations I am experiencing. On the contrary, he wanted me to double up. Although I am taking amitrip for pain, its most common usage is as an antidepressant. I balked at doubling up on the amitrip because it sometimes makes me sleepy and confused, so he put me on Paxil, 25 mg/day. That was about 2 months ago.

The music is fading out. Don't know whether it's coincidence or the Paxil, but I have a lot more control over my musicians now. If they play something I don't like or if they get caught in one of those irritating loops, I can usually make them play something more to my liking. On the other hand, they are adding almost daily to their repertoire. This music was never loud, but there were times when it had amazing clarity. For the most part, there is now little clarity except when they add something new. A couple weeks ago I was startled out of concentration on a mental task by the brilliant trumpet fanfare from the William Tell Overture (yes, the theme from The Lone Ranger). I laughed out loud. They never cease to amaze me.

Other additions are "Brahms Lullaby"' "Alouetta", "Unchained Melody", and "House of the Rising Sun", but faintly now---usually. It's about like hearing a radio from an adjoining room. I can tell what is playing, but I can't always make out the instruments or the words, if there is singing. Also, the music is not constant now as it was before. Sometimes it doesn't start until a couple hours after I arise, and it completely fades out from time to time during the day.

I encourage any of you who suffer this symptomatology to see a qualified neurologist. By qualified I mean someone who is familiar with auditory hallucinations and who will not give a knee-jerk dx of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), epilepsy or tinnitus. Try not to act weird, either, lest you fall into Group 2. Be prepared to count backward by 7's and do know what day it is. (I didn't!) This guy seemed to be very up on the condition, but that might be because my family doc called to talk to him about it before I went in.

Well, I am far from cured. Yesterday my group added "Them Bones" to their play list. Yes--"leg bone connected to the ankle bone, ankle bone conntected to the..." But I do feel in much better control. Did I tell y'all about Little Drummer Boy? Well, that would be the subject of a whole different post. :)

Hang in there--I am.




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