Mental and emotional health is commonly associated with hearing loss. Realizing that you lose your hearing gradually and may not be able to listen to your favorite music, communicate with your loved ones and engage in one-on – one conversations or group conversations may leave you in a shock. It often takes a long time for some people to realize that their hearing is impaired, sometimes 4-5 years. The sufferer undergoes varied emotional stages from the onset of the condition to finally get it treated, which manifest their feelings about their condition.
Hearing loss is undetected and untreated in many people because they continue to ignore the signs. While young children are usually unable to realize their hearing impairment until clinically evaluated, many adults tend to ignore significant signs of hearing loss.
Why do you mumble? Can you turn the background music down so I can listen better to you guys? Can you repeat what you have said, please? The TV audio has to be set too low, can’t I hear correctly what they’re saying? Denial is a natural reaction to hearing loss but a temporary stage resulting from fear of embarrassment. To compensate for their hearing loss, it seems convenient for some people to change their environment.
The denial phase is advancing and leading the patient to a stage where they begin to blame others for frustration and anger. Family members or those close to them may be mocking or laughing at their inability to hear clearly, annoying the person with impaired hearing and angry to defend their incapacity.
When temporary defense (the stage of denial and anger) is replaced by partial acceptance, the patient begins to cut himself off from family gatherings and social events in order to avoid embarrassing situations. They begin to evade one-on – one interactions and group conversation in fear of getting people to know their hearing problem.
All stages together cause the person suffering from hearing loss to isolate themselves automatically and ultimately lead to depression. Isolation and the loss of social activity and interaction create a low self-esteem feeling that prevents the patient from receiving help and care they need.