While an estimated 20 million people suffer from tinnitus, about 2 million people suffer from it to a debilitating degree.

Those that suffer from it to a debilitating degree become angry, anxious, and depressed as their quality of life declines. 

Unfortunately, tinnitus suicide is not uncommon, with roughly 9 percent of women and 5 percent of men with tinnitus having attempted or committed suicide. While tinnitus itself won’t kill a person, the effects of it certainly can.

Here’s how tinnitus can affect mental health, how you can recognize tinnitus depression, ways to control it, and how to seek further help.

Recognizing tinnitus depression

While most people don’t struggle with tinnitus depression on a clinical level, one bad day or instance can be enough to push a patient to suicide. One study of suicide survivors showed that 48 percent took less than 20 minutes to decide to take their life.

Therefore, it’s crucial you recognize depressive signs immediately and begin taking steps towards minimizing risk.
If you’ve had thoughts of taking your life, this is a clear indicator you could become a tinnitus suicide victim, and you should call a suicide hotline immediately and seek treatment. 

Early signs of depression include irregular sleep patterns (both oversleeping and insomnia), a general disinterest in hobbies, constant anxiety, and exhaustion.

How to reduce depressive emotions from tinnitus

Fortunately, encouraging research shows that there are effective ways to control a patient’s response to tinnitus and reduce his or her negative reaction to the disorder. Among them are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and healthy routines.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Multiple studies have shown that CBT is an effective treatment for depression, though recent studies have also shown it is particularly effective for people struggling with tinnitus. It usually takes several months to several years to be effective, though it can be successful given the time and patience.

The process works by first identifying the pain you face and then understanding what your thought process towards that pain looks like. Once you understand your negative or inaccurate thinking towards that pain, a therapist can help you reshape that perception.
Mindfulness is similar to CBT, though rather than trying to change how you view a problem, it helps you accept the present moment. 

In a study performed by the University College London Hospitals comparing mindfulness and relaxation therapies on tinnitus patients, mindfulness led to “significantly greater reductions in tinnitus severity than the relaxation treatment, and this improvement lasted for longer.” 

Mindfulness can either be performed with a therapist or on your own.
Insomnia tends to exist along with tinnitus, and the constant exhaustion that ensues can trigger a depressive episode. One of the best ways to combat tinnitus induced depression is through regular exercise. 

Exercise will help you fall asleep faster at night and cause your body to release endorphins, triggering a euphoric state that will help you avoid a depressive episode.
Hearing Aids
Finally, you should contact your doctor to learn how hearing aids can help reduce the noise from tinnitus. While these won’t change how you react to the problem, it can decrease the problem itself.

How to seek help

If you're suffering from tinnitus depression, seek professional treatment. It will help reduce depressive episodes and help you deal with tinnitus in a healthier way. You can seek help with a local therapist trained in handling tinnitus or connect with a tinnitus support group.

Tinnitus and mental health certainly go hand in hand. As you continue searching for tinnitus treatment, realize that learning how to deal with it mentally will make you a stronger person better equipped to handle other life challenges.