I’ve Got It! I’m Not Insanely Hallucinating!

I wrote this post on January 07, 2009.

I wrote this post on August 28, 2008.

I wrote this post on June 28, 2008.

I think that’s all of them.  And I was pretty sure after I wrote the most recent one you were all thinking I was insane!

Now what do they all have in common? Me wondering just what the hell is/was going on and if I was having Auditory Hallucinations?! Well… I did some poking around as I was wondering (as per the most recent post) if my Tinnitus had anything to do with it.  I believe I was having some Tinnitus issues with the other two even though I didn’t mention it.  I’ve had Tinnitus ever since I was a child as I spoke of in the January post so it’s nothing new to me.

As always, there is a great deal of debating and near fist fighting and perhaps even bar room brawling in the medicine world.  What seems to be going on is the same question that got me rooting around: Tinnitus vs. Auditory Hallucinations (and that would be of the Non-Psychiatric variety–because that is what it is–by nature of the sounds being so vague to me.)  You’ll have to trust me on that one.  It’s in “The Literature.”  However, some of the Professionals say they can be quite clear–unlike “The Literature?”

Some people are making a clear distinction in saying that Tinnitus is not a Non-Psychiatric Auditory Hallucination.  Other folks are saying that it is–just a simpler form.  I’m voting with the latter, guys.  To a degree.  Again, especially because I’ve had Tinnitus all of my life, they’ve happened in conjunction etc…

I even found some more work that gets into some interesting possibilities re: the Neurology of it.  These guys have also postulated that the entire thing has been bounced around for so long between the Psychiatrists and the Otolaryngologists that it’s become completely out of control.  No one can understand it or define it or properly classify it…

So back to my Tinnitus and going with how that falls into a form of an Auditory Hallucination (I’m dropping the Non-Psych now.)  Unfortunately the Neuro. information was from a Google Book Search and they take away pages so I didn’t get to read what might have been some good stuff.  The book is: ‘Tinnitus Retraining Therapy by Pawel J. Jastreboff, Jonathan W. P. Hazell

Anyway, they took things one step further and didn’t just say that Tinnitus was a single form of Auditory Hallucination and the mildest, they said, “Hey! Tinnitus can play a role in it all!” Again, I’m digging these guys! That’s why I said upstairs there: “…To a degree…”

Now what causes Tinnitus? Oh, here we go with no one getting along in terms of medical opinion again! However, of what I found ever since wee PA had Tinnitus from when she was wee…

Chronic Ear Infections, Extensive Exposure to Antibiotics (for the former and Upper Respiratory Infections as a child) Excessive Cerumin or Ear Wax (went along with my Ear Infections and small Eustachian Tubes–Infections…)  Epilepsy/Seizures (of all things–again, had since I was a kid!) TMJ (struggles with that…) being tired, stressed or anxious can make Tinnitus worse.  I think that covers all that I found and can remember.

So I’ve found my answer/s, perhaps? It’s not a Psychiatric issue–unless we toss in the latter about Anxiety.


  1. Neurology is such a baby science so far that it doesn’t surprise me they’d be just now getting in tune with things like this. If whacked brain function can cause other sorts of hallucinations, why not tinnitus? I find it as funny as saying an anti-convulsant couldn’t cause visual hallucinations — errrr we’re whacking with my brain which is ultimately what makes sight happen, why the heck not? Eh well. It’ll get sorted eventually. Maybe. Definitely sounds like you’re onto a concept there, though.


  2. Hi Immi, thanks. Well, you know how much I love to geek out over this stuff. It was just after wrote that last one the other night…as a kid it just seemed too familiar. I read some other accounts of folks and there was one that “rang” true.

    Oh…I’m sorry. It was just there for the taking.

    But this person heard something when they would lie down in bed and then when they sat up? Gone. The same thing would happen to me as well when a tiny tot.

    Indeed, Neurology is so…who on earth knows? I tend to feel that way about medicine in general a lot but the brain is definitely the area that is the least understood and most mysterious.

    Not to mention, it does so much for us! There are other organs we can live without but we can’t live without our brains! Wait a sec’… I take that back. There are a hell of a lot of people walking around with no brains. *laughing*


  3. Hmm, my theory is that everyone has sounds naturally occuring in their ears, which the brain filters out. (just like the optic nerve in the eyes), and for some people it fails.


  4. Hi NiroZ, welcome to my blog. I haven’t seen you here before. I can’t recall exactly but I think there might have been something in what I was reading to that effect.

    It really got heavy into the Neurology but again, it was frustrating in being a Google book search result; some of the pages were missing.

    To further what you are saying (again, if I recall correctly) what it said was that when the brain neglects to filter out those sounds, that is when these types of things start to occur.

    I didn’t place a link as again, it was long and rambly and pages missing. I don’t like to do that unless I can post a decent link. That is only why I posted the title in case people wanted more information.

    So, yes. Well done. Good Neurological Theory!

    Take care,


  5. darkbliss


    I Suffer from Visual hallucinations and tinitus and i suspect the underlying reason is that the iatrogenic damage that rispiridone caused wouldn’t have happenend if i hadn’t been adhd (i believe i may have adhd). Secondarily when i take very anti-cholinergenic drugs i have probblems concentrating for longer than 40 minutes is it possible that i have adhd? would taking ritalin help with my symptoms?, i believe so but does ritalin help you with your symptoms is what i’m asking or was it what caused these symptoms in the first place?


  6. Hi darkbliss, welcome to my blog as I haven’t seen you here before. I don’t think so, anyway.

    I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I hope you haven’t given up on me. Since the head injury/concussion, things have been moving more slowly in my world. However, I do enjoy these comments as I can really sink my teeth into them.

    Now first, as I always say, I am not a real M.D. so I can not give you any medical advice, diagnoses etc… The Dr. PA “certification” I have is a joke that began some time ago around here.

    I had to do a bit of a “refresh” with the Risperdal/Risperidone, some work on the Anticholinergics and the AD(H)D? No problems as I have it?

    As far as the Risperdal as already known, it is a Second Generation Antipsychotic that is most often prescribed for three diagnoses: Schizophrenia, Bipolar and things on the Autistic Spectrum, including Asperger’s. One reason may be to get you to calm the hell down (especially if you get a bit “rage-y” for the Spectrum folks.)

    Now, what I do not know is why you were prescribed it and at what dose. This can make a difference in the side effects noted in the trials/studies including those taking placebo. Regardless, another reason it may be prescribed is for hallucinations. Nowhere did I see that tinnitus was a side effect. Confusion, perhaps.

    Bear with me here.

    Your Anticholinergics. Again, more questions. I do not know what they are, why you are taking them and at what dose. Also important in trying to find out more information.

    In terms of at least what you have told me, there may be a tiny, tiny bit of something going on. I say tiny as it is just what I found with such little information.

    There could be some possible side effects of those. You may wish to speak to your physician (remember, I am not one!) regarding what I did find that may fit:

    Yes, problems concentrating. Yes, visual hallucinations. Yes, auditory hallucinations. These are what you mentioned above. So, again, you should speak to your doctor about all of this.

    As far as the AD(H)D? Well, it is a Developmental Disorder as opposed to an “illness” or something caused by a side effect from a drug or anything else you might think.

    You are basically born with a Developmental Disorder. That is what it means. It may or may not manifest itself on the day you were born but it will show up eventually. It may just take time to get it recognized and diagnosed–I mean, it took me to my 30s to get it recognized and diagnosed!!!

    You need to then delve back into your childhood, your teens, your younger adulthood…your entire life to get a proper diagnosis, basically. So if you think you have AD(H)D, another thing to review with your doctor.

    Ritalin? I do take it but in an extended release form. There are two different types but the one I take may not be available in every country. The one that basically is available everywhere is Concerta/Methylphenidate. I take something called Biphentin. They are completely identical; pharmacologically exact in composition. I just did a switch for dosage level reasons.

    And yes, it helps me quite a lot.

    So I hope I answered your questions or helped you with what you wanted to know? Please come back if you have any other questions or wish to talk about anything else.

    Take care,


  7. Geoffroy

    Hello Darkbliss, forgive my curiosity… I am a low-vision specialist and I have a patient complaining of Tinnitus and visual hallucinations like yourself…it is unusual…could you please describe your visual hallucinations and their frequency? Do you have a visual impairment?
    Many thanks


  8. Hi Geoffroy. I always respond to everyone who comments on my blog and as you will see, darkbliss came by to read this back in February. Since then, nothing in response to my returned comment.

    I may be able to offer something, however? This is just off the cuff as they are personal symptoms of mine and other thoughts. Plus, since you are a professional, you may know some of these things already. Also, since it is rare…well, if you have read anything about me, my brain may be pretty rare due to all of my comorbidities!

    I have had Tinnitus all of my life. Ever since I was a child. I have also had tubes in my ears as my Eustachian tubes are very small.

    My vision is not extremely low, however, just around the cusp of “warning signs” for detached retinas, look for floaters etc… I believe 6.5 and 7 in one eye or the other. So, not extremely low. Also, I have required eyeglasses since I was seven years old.

    When I was a child, my Simple Partial Seizures often presented with Scintillations. Nothing else there visually until an adult. Now, my seizures are causing me complete loss of vision. My occipital lobe seems to be getting rather ornery.

    Another thing about Tinnitus that can worsen it over time, is prolonged exposure to loud noise–or it may even cause the development of it altogether; whereas it never even existed before.

    So, I’m not sure if I gave you any valuable information but thank you for stopping by my blog.



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