Tinnitus attracts large interest among researchers all over the world due to its negative psychological side-effects. This study aimed at investigating lifetime and current prevalence of psychiatric and personality disorders in patients with long-lasting and distressing tinnitus. Participants included 49 men and 34 women. Tinnitus Handicap Inventory was used to evaluate the severity of tinnitus and the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV disorders was used to diagnose psychiatric and personality disorders. Subjective psychiatric symptoms were evaluated using several self-report questionnaires. Results revealed that almost 27% of participants suffered from lifetime major depression which is a significantly higher number than in the general population. Surprisingly, the anxiety disorders were similarly prevalent in chronic tinnitus and the general population which is a different finding than in other studies. It was suggested that the reason for such a difference was the fact that the participants in this study suffered rather mild tinnitus. In general, the prevalence of most psychiatric and personality disorders was similar to those occurring in the general population. The author suggested that people having predispositions to some of the diagnosed disorders may be also predisposed to have tinnitus and that this may be associated with brain dopaminergic circuitries.

Psychiatric (Axis I) and personality (Axis II) disorders and subjective psychiatric symptoms in chronic tinnitus.
Sahlsten H, Taiminen T, Karukivi M, et al.
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Joanna Lemanska

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

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