Having a stiff upper lip might be the motto of our neighbors across the pond, but managing our own emotional lives alone can be a struggle. Take that solitary approach and add hearing loss into the mix and you’ve got yourself enough anguish for a Lifetime movie.
Folks living with hearing loss may have gotten themselves suited up with terrific hearing technology and adapted their communicative efforts to function in a world constructed for those with normal hearing. But that can be only the tip of the iceberg when adjusting to a life with hearing loss. The emotional and mental aspects are felt every day in a myriad of scenarios that end up giving direction to the moods we inhabit in our daily lives.
Hearing loss may lead to real depression
More than 16% of our population is affected by varying degrees of hearing loss. And while a number of logical and pragmatic adaptations are available, including incredibly advanced hearing aid technology, we are just beginning to truly understand the emotional and mental effects of a life lived with hearing loss.
More serious than merely a lousy mood, untreated and unacknowledged hearing loss can lead to isolating behaviors. When verbal communication becomes tricky, it is natural to avoid these unpleasant interactions. The next expected outcome of this is social isolation. As communication and connection is one the great joys and deepest roots of the human experience, a lack of this can lead directly into depression.
How would you feel if you were given a very important list of steps that you must take in order for everything to be ok, but every fifth word was blacked out? Probably pretty anxious, is the natural reaction to such a far-fetched scenario. But is it so far-fetched? That’s a lot like what it feels like to live in a world that prefers verbal communication when you live with hearing loss.
Having such a constant level of anxiety in our bodies and trying to maintain a steady and balanced mood is an almost Herculean task. In these instances, we should remind ourselves that only in extremely rare instances are any of our conversations actually an emergency. In fact, the fate of the world infrequently hinges upon any of our casual conversations. If we miss a few details, then so what? What is important is to show up and do the best we can with what we’ve got.
Feelings of inadequacy
In many professional situations for those with hearing loss, it can feel like you’re expected to contribute 100% with only 50% of the information. And, despite the fact that most workplaces are accommodating when they’re informed of an employee with hearing loss, many workers are hesitant to share their challenges. Feelings of inadequacy can infect the moods of our professional lives, making us wish we could stay in bed instead of gearing up for the office.
It’s important to remember that hearing loss is just an aspect of what you’re dealing with in life, and it isn’t a reflection upon your worth as an individual. Speaking up about what areas hold obstacles for you helps others make necessary accommodations. Odds are that you hold a skill that supports someone else’s lack of knowledge or ability. However, if we hold these quirks like carefully guarded secrets, we’re not able to help one another out at all.
The real lowdown: it’s just frustrating!
Communicating in general can be frustrating and exhausting to people with hearing loss. It’s often reported that social situations invoke feelings of low energy, simply because the act of communication requires so much effort. If your recent moodiness has tinges of exhaustion or if you feel like you just can’t retain any energy, your hearing loss might be partly to blame.
Meditation isn’t just a habit practiced by white-clad gurus. Everyday Americans are meditating with increasing regularity. It’s even taught in some schools along with reading, writing and the internet! When frustration abounds and we just can’t get back to a calm setpoint in our lives, a few minutes of mindful breathing in a meditation exercise can do wonders to restore balance.
Our mood is often a result of the thoughts we entertain most frequently. If we can hold a positive and optimistic outlook in our lives, our mood can’t help but be lifted with those thoughts!
Seeking treatment for your hearing loss is the best way to support your health and well-being – and that includes your emotional well-being! Contact us at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Centers today to schedule a hearing test and consultation.