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Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 127
Reply with quote  #1 
I have just undertaken a stressful move with my small daughter and it has taken a toll on me; tinnitus, hyperacusis have come back with a vengeance. I am desperate for answers. I have to get better, this is really hell.

A little while ago I read a thread about ocd on this board, and I can't seem to find it.... ocd brings nothing up in ''search'' and neither does ''obsessive compulsive disorder''....

I did read a lot of posts relating OCD with misophonia. But that is not what I have. I have painful hyperacusis and more and more tinnitus.

I wanted your opinions on the idea that OCD (I consider myself VERY mild regarding the classic symptoms) can cause hyperacusis... fixation on sounds.

But why. why would people with hyperacusis fixate on sounds. Defense mechanism? response to stress? Some theories would say that a sensitive person who has heard hurtful things could transfer this to physical pain in the ears.

I am ready to start looking for an online OCD therapist (I live in Europe, would like to talk to someone in English, and for other reasons), but based on the definition of OCD, I am not yet convinced that it is related to hyperacusis.

All I can say is that NOW I have become fixated on ALL sounds in my environment. I have actually moved into the country to escape the sounds of neighbors in apartments (dogs, vaccum cleaners, boom boom slight vibrations of music from someone VERY far away, oh the little noises when I am trying to sleep, and I STILL hear noise that disturbs me. The fridge. The cars passing (though I am quite a ways from the road). Tractors in neighboring fields. Etc.

Do I now have OCD??? Has anyone seen a good OCD behavioralist psy?

ok one more question, why suddenly was my pm option (to receive messages) deleted? Anyone else?



Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 2,083
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Connie,

Sorry things are so difficult for you right now --
I'll try to reply more later, but wanted you to know it's really understandable to be "fixated" on other sounds -when one has these challenges, and in addition to that -  you just moved -
so your environment is different -- you may notice alot about it -- though after awhile hopefully it will fall more into the background ....

Long ago i remember taking an extended  trip -- out into the woods ---and i noticed all the sounds -- so different than at home, it didn't;t take too long to get used to it though  ---
but once returning home -- all the sounds there and of the city were more noticible for awhile again ----

That was long before getting these challenges and my point is i think it's very normal to notice changes .......and while it's not unusual for people with hyperacusis to as you put it "fixate" on sound-- i wonder if the new environment may bring more of it to the forefront at this time ......

Also, using something for some sort of Gentle background sound/ sound enrichment that you enjoy and find pleasing and tolerable -- at levels that are easily tolerable for you may be helpful --(if your ears are not too sensitive at this time to tolerate it)  to give the ears something else to hear other than the sounds that are new and distracting and stressful.....
and sometimes partially masking sound  -- at a low volume can be helpful as well --
sometimes itcan help take the edge off ........and give us something more pleasing to hear at the same time.

just a thought.

At one time iSusan Gold mentioned the following kind reply to something i had asked ....

The role of the low-level, broad-band sound is to let the brain know that the ears are "working" well and that it can turn down the gain at the outer hair cell level.  You need a steady, stable form of sound that moves with you at the correct levels for the correct amount of time.  You can probably use other kinds of sound, if used correctly. 

The low-level sound does not teach your brain to "tune out" background sound.  That starts to happen as your tolerance levels improve and your brain learns/internalizes the message that it does not have to be on alert or fear sounds in your environment.  With TRT, it is initiated by the directive counseling and, as the treatment progresses, the patients begin to realize that a situation that was previously painful/scary is no longer uncomfortable.  Some of this neutralization happens at a sub-cortical (subconscious) level. 

You can't "make" this happen.   You have to let it happen.



Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 828
Reply with quote  #3 
hi Nemi,

ocd is often thought to be genetic, and caused by low serotonin.
so- some make the connections between depression, ocd, migraine and hyperacusis as all being a manifestation of low serotonin.

theories... theories...

anyway, i think it's normal to develop fear and aversion to those things that hurt us and cause discomfort, like hyperacusis. i am not sure that this kind of misophonia is the same as the kind that is related to ocd proper. (which is not to say that your serotonin might not be low, it might very well be, and the stress of moving can't help!)

however, moving right along, what country are you in?

you may find it easier to locate someone who is knowledgeable about cognitive behavioral therapy in general than about hyperacusis.

cbt ... as it's called. many find it helpful for dealing with certain aspects of hyperacusis.

especially for online counseling. perhaps you could also find a forum on cbt and go from there?

you might also wish to try st. john's wort, or 5htp, to see if giving yourself a little serotonin boost helps. this is often giving to people with ocd and/or depression. i always like to suggest natural remedies like this before prescription meds if possible. gaba and theanine can help too.

wishing you better times ahead,


Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 2,083
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Nemi,

Before taking any herbal remedies/  supplenments , or other supplements or meds  -- it would probably be best to check with your doctors ---- and let them know any and all meds and/or supplements you are or may be taking
as some can have effects on conditions and / or interact with other medication and or supplements - one may be taking in ways that are extremely important to be aware of.....

In connection with what Patti mentioned about CBT -- and you wanting to talk to someone in English ---- i wonder if you may be able to contact Dr David Baguley -
(in Cambridge) and see if he has some suggestion -- just a suggestion ....
and you may find the following threads interesting

This one started by Rob-
New Book on Tinnitus and Hyperacusis

and also --

This one started bu Dan -
New book coming out on tinnitus and hyperacusis

Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 127
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks so much for your replies Patti and AQB.

AQB It is true that I am ''getting a bit used'' to the noises here in the country, already after a week here, I am just so thankful not to be anxious about hearing unexpected noise from neighbors in my old apartment. Thanks for the quote from Susan Gold, I have never heard it put that way and it makes sense. But whenever I put on white noise, I get pain. And thanks for the contact in Cambridge, and the links. All helpful, thanks.

Pattiluv With you on the serotonin ideas.... and have been taking a bit of gaba everyday, and just pulled out my 5 htp that I'll try again. ANd eating bananas too. I REALLY am opposed to conv. medication, I always have too many side effects. ANd they were probably the reason I developed H in the first place. I am in France, and to be honest, French doctors couldn't give a crap about H. And also, I can't seem to find an psy's specializing in OCD, cbt, maybe not just looking hard enough, dunno.
Cbt forum, good idea, thanks.

I have tried asking all kinds of docs here about natural meds, even a homeopath, and they all didn't have A CLUE about them, let alone the reactions among them or with other meds! So that part is going have to be up to my discretion and own research and trial and error.

Just wondering, if I am desperate to try a conv. med. I heard anafranil (?) is used to treat OCD, but I read that it is ototoxic. Does anyone know of a med for OCD that is not ototoxic?

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 828
Reply with quote  #6 
Nemi, your symptoms may simply be hyperacusis related. what makes you think they are ocd in particular?

if you feel stressed, my suggestion is - if you want to go the meds route - check out pharmagaba, and/or suntheanine,  and/or some st john's wort or 5htp. that's just my two cents.

going on bigger meds is an option but these entail way more risk. maybe you don't need to take this?

oh yes, meditation and deep breathing. sounds like your nerves are pretty wired!

wishing you better times ahead. hyperacusis can improve!


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 127
Reply with quote  #7 
I thought maybe they are ocd related because I do exhibit A BIT of ocd in daily life, and I know I am very stubborn, and have been very ambitious in my career, I just think it has taken a toll on me. Always pushing myself, and not letting go of an idea. So that is why I maybe think that OCD is at play, with sounds too, I dunno. I am just desperate to get better, at least a little bit to have a little bit of a normal life. Will try those supplements you mentioned, never heard of suntheanine, but will order online on my next order from a great supplement co. in the states I agree, conv meds are bigger meds, would much rather try natural first. I actually felt my hyperacusis and T diminuing since I took some 5htp.... will be back with news. Thanks Patti.

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 828
Reply with quote  #8 
Nemi, i think i have some mild ocd too. and i am not a doctor so i can't say if it's a good idea to take heavier meds.

i do think that hyperacusis can't make ocd any easier! not sure that meds have been shown to help h that much, yet some people like benzos, gabapentin or lyrica.

i often think that there may be a common link that hyperacusis and ocd share, genetically. so the question is: would you treat the ocd right now independent of the h? that's how i would approach it.

many times these otc meds can be just as good. not always, but sometimes. so it's worth a try. you can do lots of research online about dosages, etc.

suntheanine is just a premium brand of theanine, as is pharmagaba, it's superior to plain gaba.

take care, .... p luv

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