Tinnitus and Suicide
The topic of tinnitus and suicide is a complex one. I’ve taken a look at some of the information I could find and I think the following points are reasonable:
- Establishing a causal relationship between cases of tinnitus and suicide is methodologically extremely difficult, and likely impossible. We know that people who are prone to anxiety and depression are more likely to develop tinnitus, we know that tinnitus can precipitate anxiety and depression, and we have cases of individuals who claim to have been driven to suicide over their tinnitus. However, an act of suicide is a complex event with multiple precipitating factors and to say that tinnitus “caused” a patient’s suicide, even if it appears obvious after the fact, is not good science.
- Tinnitus may worsen depression, and depression is a known cause of suicide, so in some cases it can probably be a contributing factor, but likely not the “sole cause”
- If you search on-line, it’s easy to find anecdotal reports of people who attributed their suicides to tinnitus.
- Consider some anecdotal forum posts on the subject of tinnitus and suicide.
- The data linking tinnitus to suicide does not support a firm causal linkage at this time.
In conclusion: for those of you who are suffering depression that you feel was caused by your tinnitus: please understand that you should seek medical treatment for your tinnitus.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not constitute medical advice.