Suffering from acquired hearing loss can be a traumatic experience. Without proper medical care and adequate tools to communicate with people, the psychological consequences of hearing loss are emphasized.
The Trauma of Acquired Hearing Loss
Acquired hearing loss happens after birth. This means the patients would have experience with sounds and depending on the age of onset may be able to communicate verbally. But this can also be the bad news.
Some people may become paranoid due to the experience of hearing noises that are not there (tinnitus) or struggle to hear the world around you as well as you used to. This can create feelings of shame, guilt or anger, and may leave the hearing impaired person feeling embarrassed.
Having to live with hearing problems can lead to other psychological consequences of hearing loss, which may manifest in disorders such as depression or anxiety. These mental disorders are treated with therapy and antidepressants. Therapy may be a good idea even if there is no underlying psychological disorder; a therapist can help teach a patient how to cope with hearing loss so as to tackle any self-esteem issues that may result due to acquired hearing loss.
The trauma that comes with hearing loss may be particularly prominent in children. A child with a hearing impediment will acquire speech and other forms of communication at a different rate to his or her peers with normal hearing. This is the psychosocial impact of hearing loss on the affected child.
Hearing loss is an invisible disability. It can significantly lower a person’s quality of life. However, the psychological consequences of hearing loss can be tackled by the person affected, as well as those in their close circle of relationships.