Have you ever been in a foreign country and you didn’t speak the language? It’s a feeling of helplessness and confusion. This is what it’s like to suffer a hearing loss. Those are just two of the varied emotional states you can experience, and not everyone will feel all of them. You can also experience:
It is as important for you to recognize the emotional side-effects of hearing loss as it is to deal with the physiological changes you go through.
The Emotional Drain of Hearing Loss
Feeling unable to communicate with others can create feelings of isolation. In turn, these feelings can lead to other emotional stresses. Sociability plays an important role in our quality of life as we age. Isolation from peers or family can lead to depression that may even require medical treatment. The depression, sadness or anger can lead us to further isolate ourselves from others.
Get in Touch with Others
The lessening of your ability to communicate directly with others may make you squeamish about reaching out to someone else to talk about your hearing loss. Yet, that’s one thing you should certainly do. You can discuss the matter with a close friend, trusted family member or experienced professional, like a therapist specializing in aging issues.
Even though you’ve discussed the hearing loss changes a few times, you will still need to deal with it on a daily basis. You’ll likely need a good support system to help you along the way. Your friends and family should be made aware of what you are going through. Don’t be afraid to suggest to others that they adjust their behavior in concert with your new status.
You may also find help from others who have experienced what you are going through. Check for support groups in your area. The Association of Late-Deafened Adults has chapters all over the country. They may have one in your area or be able to direct you to a similar group. There’s always your circle of old friends, one or more of whom may be experiencing hearing loss as well.
Taking the Necessary Steps
While working on your emotional state, you should be sure to take the appropriate steps to deal with the hearing loss itself. Telling others about your problem so they can find ways to include you socially and communicate better is one important step. You can also look to support groups and organizations for tools to help. Contact the Florida Telecommunications Relay for information on how to receive a free amplified telephone. You can talk with family or friends whenever you’re in need.