Am I Depressed or Do I Have Hearing Loss?
May is Mental Health Month, but did you know that it is also dedicated to bettering hearing health? What many don’t know is the connection between untreated hearing loss and mental health. What do they have to do with one another?
Why do I feel isolated?
Helen Keller stated, “Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people.” As humans, we rely on hearing to survive, enjoy surroundings, make social connections, and live safely. Having a hearing loss, but not seeking help, can significantly affect your communication and social interaction.
Often people have a hearing loss that keeps them from being able to hear others speaking clearly. They think other people are mumbling and don’t care enough to speak distinctly.
Hearing loss affects everyone, family and friends, not just the individuals unable to hear. It is common for adults with untreated hearing loss to withdraw and avoid interacting with others. When a conversation shifts from one subject to another, someone with hearing loss may lose the connection and feel disoriented.
Why do I feel anxious and tired?
Those with untreated hearing loss can experience negative effects on their personal and professional life. They may become more anxious about mishearing information, failing to hear alarms and misunderstanding phone/video calls. They become paranoid about their safety, struggling to hear oncoming cars or someone following behind them. These examples of anxiety and paranoia also lead to higher levels of stress, which elicit other serious health issues.
Hearing is a brain function; therefore treating hearing loss leads people to feel more alert, awake, sociable and energetic because they are not exhausted from using their brainpower trying to hear.
Why do I feel depressed?
Depression is a common emotional reaction to any loss, including hearing loss. Not only has something familiar been lost, but the feeling of adjustment can be overwhelming. Withdrawing from social activity due to hearing loss can cause someone to spiral down a bout of depression. They may feel guilt, poor self-image, incompetence, unworthiness and sadness. Sometimes, a person may feel as if they are not an equal member of their community.
What should I do?
If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, there is good news! With technology rapidly changing, hearing aids are more featured-packed, discreet and powerful than ever. They are designed to make conversations clearer and provide easier access to sound, even in noisy environments. The reward of wearing hearing aids and being included, happy and healthy is well worth it.
Lakeland Hearing Care, part of Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center, is committed to providing hearing solutions that fit the needs, lifestyles and budgets of our patients. We are confident that we can help you get the hearing help you need!
Call 863-279-4812 to schedule an appointment and see how our Audiologists can help you!