You may have recently read that researchers in New Zealand believe that a potential cure for tinnitus can be found in MDMA the substance commonly known as ecstasy. Now before you all go out and hit up your local dealer for some ecstasy remember this is purely anecdotal right now. But does MDMA cure tinnitus? I don’t know the answer to this but it does raise a few interesting questions.
Two things come to mind when I read this story, one was, do people report not being bothered by their tinnitus because they’re at a rave? (I’m being facetious of course) On a serious note, chronic tinnitus sufferers are frequently prescribed antidepressants which as we know alter brain chemistry, thus changing a sufferer’s mood and emotional state. In other words your tinnitus doesn’t bother you anymore because the perception of your tinnitus has changed.
So is this new discovery on MDMA solely based on the fact that ecstasy like antidepressants alters ones perception (feelings of euphoria). Is the tinnitus cured or is it simply being perceived differently, like someone whose tinnitus just doesn’t bother him or her so they hardly ever notice it.
I’m often asked why do some people never seem to be bothered by tinnitus whilst others are plagued to no end. And before you yell the answer, it’s got nothing to do with volume, pitch, tone or type of the suffering individuals tinnitus. It’s simply down to wiring and how the nervous system reacts to the stimuli.
Now if this is the case, and I expect it to be so, then this is further great news for those working with tinnitus sufferers using cognitive behaviour therapy, emotional feedback therapy and mind body awareness techniques. Which have been proven time and time again to do exactly what anti depressants do, change your perception.
Of course the therapies will take longer to do the same job but once completed the effects are permanent and unlike antidepressants or an ecstasy derivative you are not dependent on medications for the rest of your life. Pat yourself on the back because you’ve done it yourself, you’ve learnt to listen beyond tinnitus and bypass your condition. No meds, no side effects, no problems!
But lets face it most people don’t want to work at something, why would you when you’re being sold on a pill that the doctor says will stop tinnitus bothering you…But it comes with a price, as do all things which sound too good to be true.
Just weigh up the pros and cons over the long term, dependence on a powerful mind altering drug with potentially nasty side effects, needing to increase dosages over time, can’t ever come off drugs, damage to your own natural chemical balance, strain on the kidneys and liver and how about you’re not in full control over your own true emotions.
Now on the flip side, you’ve learnt a skill, you’ve strengthened your mind, you’ve empowered yourself and raised self esteem, you’ve saved money, saved brain cells, no dependence on drugs and have full control over your emotional wellbeing. Plus the story of how you overcame your tinnitus naturally is a great one to pass on to other sufferers.
Running counter to this story I recently read about a man who claims ecstasy gave him tinnitus? However the article went on to mentioned that he also attended two raves? Hmm Right? Lets put 2 + 2 together on that one shall we!
So, in closing, does MDMA cure tinnitus? I highly doubt it cures tinnitus, tinnitus is a complex condition which straddles the emotional, psychological and physical realms, involving many different parts of the brain. I think all the evidence will point towards MDMA changing the hypersensitive individual’s nervous system reaction and nothing more. The techniques and methods in the tinnitus retrain system are based on proven and effective habituation techniques that have helped countless people change their lives and overcome their tinnitus.
Learn to Listen Beyond Tinnitus.