Dealing with hearing loss can be an extremely difficult experience. With the stress and disappointment can come a negative impact on the hearing loss sufferer’s emotional health. Patients will have to deal with a range of emotions that include any or all of the following – anger, denial, depression, anxiety, isolation, social withdrawal and fatigue. In fact, the National Council on Aging reports that losing your ability to hear can put you at greater risk for developing mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Reducing the psychological impact of hearing loss involves actively seeking medical treatment and finding emotional support. While these emotions are common and certainly understandable, there are some tips to help hearing loss sufferers deal with their changing hearing abilities and limit negative effects on emotional health.
4 Tips Optimal Emotional Health Even with Hearing Loss
1.) Talk about it.
A common mistake those suffering from hearing loss make is keeping it to themselves. They may do it because they think if they pretend it doesn’t exist that the problem will go away. They may also feel shame or embarrassment about the loss of hearing that they are experiencing. Staying silent, however, takes a toll on one’s emotional health. Speaking with family and friends about your hearing loss status, how you are feeling and how they can support the situation is a good first step toward maintaining a healthy emotional state while dealing with hearing loss.
2.) Follow doctor’s orders
Oftentimes we are our own worst enemy. Many hearing loss patients disregard the details the medical professionals provide us. From getting the right hearing aid to staying on top of follow-up appointments to communicating problems and complications, it’s important to work with the hearing loss professionals every step of the way. This can relieve some of the stress and help the process go smoothly.
3.) Get professional support
Hearing loss is a significant life event that can certainly have a deep impact on one’s emotional health. To that end, it may be a time to enlist the services of a counselor or psychologist – especially one that specializes in helping those dealing with significant health issues such as loss of hearing.
4.) Lean into self-care.
Self-care can help you get through the tough times that may accompany hearing loss. Hearing loss and its emotional impact could be offset by things like consistent exercise, meditation, yoga and tai chi. Eating a healthy diet, getting ample rest and staying hydrated can also help you deal with the range of emotions you may be dealing with.