Mental Health and Hearing Loss

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One of the biggest problems in the deaf community especially is the inability to get proper mental health care.  Especially for those who are reliant solely on signing rather than through oralism means of lip reading and speaking.  Often times they don’t know what to talk about, what to describe or how to describe what they’re feeling appropriately so that they can get the care that they need.

This is where an interpreter comes in extremely handy, however, the terp can’t give the patient advise nor help in communication ethically except with what the deaf person says, translating from that sign language into spoken language and vise versa.

Granted the deaf aren’t the only ones with mental health issues, hearing and hard of hearing alike also have their fair share of issues to deal with.  Untreated hearing loss increases the risk of dementia exponentially.  My ENT and Psychiatrist both believe my dementia is likely caused by my hearing loss having been left untreated for so long in my life.  The non-stop voice that tells me how worthless I am.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t post all the time, even on medication, it’s relentless.  Medication helps, but doesn’t make it go away.  It’s difficult to write, create videos and even enjoy video games when all I’m hearing is how nobody loves me and never will, desperately urging me to my suicide.

Now that I’ve been having some form of treatment for my hearing loss, the voice has calmed down some, and with medication it helps a lot, but it’s still there.

Hearing loss is a serious problem that nobody seems to really think is that big of a deal.  “Oh well he can’t hear too well, but it’s fine.” no it’s not really fine, he’s going to have some serious mental health issues.  With a lot of people who are hard of hearing and deaf committing suicide.

Hearing Loss not only comes with increased risk of dementia but also social alienation.  When you can’t hear too well and people have to raise their voices and repeat themselves multiple times, they get exceptionally tired of trying to communicate with you and thus end up not wanting to be around you anymore.  And so they don’t show up to talk anymore either.  This leads to depression and increased risk of suicide.

Mental health treatment is important.  If you’re feeling depressed, see or hear things that aren’t there, feeling angry all the time or easily upset, please see a shrink, there’s no shame in it.  These are all serious illnesses that need to be treated.  You can’t just snap out of it just like you can’t just snap out of a heart attack or snap out of having a stroke.  It needs professional treatment.

Try to get the help you need.  If you have hearing loss, do try to get yourself treatment for the hearing loss as well to help prevent risk of future issues involving your mental health.

Believe me.  You’re worth it.

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