In an article that we posted a couple of weeks ago, we pointed out that leaving hearing loss untreated can post a high risk of depression to the patient. Because of difficulty in following conversation, people with troubled hearing often find themselves experiencing social isolation. And as the brain works double-time in order to cope with its incapability to hear clearly, the patient tends to use up more energy than it should, resulting to unnecessary fatigue. Also, hearing loss, if taken for granted, can affect the productivity of a person. All of these serves a contributing factor to the development of depression later on.
What is Depression?
It is not uncommon to feel sad and low from time to time. While this is true though, some people experience this feeling on a different level of intensity and for a longer period of time. This is what we call depression, a common yet serious mental health condition, which negatively affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. Effects can go from losing interest in doing things he or she previously enjoys, to having difficulty in sleeping and feeling anxious easily or for no apparent reason. If depression persists, it can possibly affect a person physically and mentally.
Signs of Depression
Again, it is worthy to note that it is normal for everyone to have their fair share of experiencing some of these symptoms every now and then. But, a person may possibly be feeling depressed if he or she has been noticing these signs from more than two weeks already. Symptoms vary from one person to another, and a patient may or may not experience everything listed below.
This is not meant to be used for self diagnosis. Use this list only as a general guide to have an idea if you or someone you know is experiencing depression.
- Feeling sad during most of the days
- Heightened irritability, frustration, and moodiness
- Loss of interest in doing things you previously enjoy
- Recurring feeling of worthlessness and guilt
- Unintended and significant changes in weight
- Being indecisive, unable to concentrate, and lack of confidence
- Having troubles sleeping (insomnia) or sleeping way too much (hypersomnia)
- Thoughts of suicide and death
Tips on Dealing with Hearing Loss and Depression
If you or you know someone who is suffering from depression due to hearing loss, take suggestions from below, which can be of help in improving the situation.
- Join a community. There are plenty of ways that hearing loss patients can do to join a community. In today’s day and age, finding a group that they can comfortably take part in has been made easier with the use of the Internet. Joining a community will give them an instant support group. Also, mingling with people who are experiencing the same situation as theirs will make them feel normal again and help in pulling themselves out from social isolation.
- Explore relief options. Most depressions are triggered by the inability to communicate clearly. Get this out of the way by laying down the options. One of these is getting a hearing device, which can assist in amplifying sounds around the patient and cancelling unnecessary background noises that are making it hard for him or her to hear clearly.
- Seek help from professionals. Don’t be afraid to ask help from mental health specialists such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors. Their expertise can easily figure out the next best thing to do so you or your loved one can feel better and gain back your old energetic self!
Dealing with depression is challenging, even more when there are communication barriers. But with the help of your support systems, like your loved ones and us here at Listening Lab, you will be able to overcome this obstacle in no time!