Hanyang Med Rev.  2016 May;36(2):92-98. 10.7599/hmr.2016.36.2.92.

The Role of Psychological Factors in Tinnitus

  • 1Department of Counseling Psychology, Honam University, Gwangju, Korea. jangmean@hanmail.net
  • 2Incheon Smile Center, Incheon, Korea.


Based on the limitation of biomedical model of tinnitus, more attention has been paid to personalities or psychological aspects. Depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and sleep disturbance were comorbid illnesses of tinnitus and research showed that neurobiological mechanisms such as dysfunction of limbic system or HPA axis were common in tinnitus and affective disorders and that comorbid psychiatric disorders enhanced the negative outcome of tinnitus. Recently, more attention is being paid to the relation of tinnitus with personality and the role of stress. Although the causal relation of personality and tinnitus is unclear, stress in itself showed that it can be a trigger in the development of tinnitus, and stress of tinnitus can cause adverse effects. Since the effect of fear-related cognition such as catastrophic thought about tinnitus was revealed more recently, its therapeutic implication should be explored. This review will describe the product of previous research and discuss future direction about psychological factors related to tinnitus.


Tinnitus; Psychology, Psychiatric Disorder; Personality; Stress

MeSH Terms

Anxiety Disorders
Depressive Disorder
Limbic System
Mood Disorders
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