Mental Wellbeing for the Hearing Impaired: 3 Ways to Fight Depression and Social Isolation

Hearing loss and depression are highly connected. In fact, 11 percent of those who suffer from hearing loss also suffer from depression. Many people wonder where this depression comes from. Well, there are a few different factors that can contribute to this. Those who have hearing loss will often suffer from social isolation due to the inability to communicate well in social situations. It often will make people feel left out. Let us dive into some ways to help combat depression for the hearing impaired. 

1. Visit a Hearing Care Professional 

If you or someone you know may be suffering from hearing loss, suggest that they see a hearing care professional. It may be nice to offer to go with them to this appointment. You should set up your appointment and make sure that you are bringing someone you trust. Sharing this experience may help you feel more support and more comfort with this person. It may bring you closer together. This professional will guide you on how to improve your situation. They will suggest many different options for you to consider. 

2. Different Means of Communication 

When someone suffers from hearing loss, there are many methods of communication. There are hearing aids. If you wear a hearing aid you should enjoy extremely natural sound quality. You may want to take part in hearing rehab. This can help you train the brain to use the hearing aid and can improve the quality of your hearing aid. 

Sign language is another common mode of communication for those who are hearing impaired. There are a lot of opportunities for people to learn this beautiful language. Many hearing-impaired people use sign language as their primary language; however, it can be used in addition to another language. 

3. Be Part of the Community 

Just because you cannot hear, doesn’t mean that the deaf and hard of hearing community isn’t strong. There are a lot of people who are part of this community. If there aren’t people in your area, there are so many groups online. When you are part of a community with like-minded people it opens the door for conversation and special bonding. This bonding is unique for those who have hearing loss. There are many chat forums for those who suffer from hearing loss. Not to mention, many events that are geared towards hearing-impaired people. You never know where one might be. Just because you have hearing loss, doesn’t mean that you have to be limited. Remember that you aren’t alone and there are other people who are facing the same struggles as you. There is a lot of support available as well. 

Depression and social isolation are common in those with hearing loss. It is something that happens, unfortunately. However, this doesn’t mean that you are alone or that you deserve to feel this way. Just remember that there are a lot of options available to you if you suffer from hearing loss. 

Skeptic Oslerphile. Public Health Scientist and Program Manager, Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Past: Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases; Senior Research Associate, Public Health Foundation of India. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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