Your ear health and Mental Health are correlated: Here is how!
Mental health issues have been talked about a lot in the recent past and recent years have seen an increase in the acknowledgment of the importance of mental health in our lives. Today, with the power of social media and the voice that it has given to the issue of mental health, the taboo is breaking and awareness is being spread all around. Unfortunately, we are still nowhere near to completely accepting issues like anxiety, mental illness, depression, and other mental problems associated with these. In a country like India, diversity and stereotypical thinking still contribute to a lot of social stigmas associated with mental health and it is one such topic that is not readily accepted even in urban areas of the country, let alone rural ones. Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early – due to preventable physical conditions.
What is interesting is that a lot of people are not aware that hearing loss and mental health are very closely related. The different stages of hearing loss, be it partial or complete, can cause a lot of problems for you, one of them being your mental health. Not only does your social life get impacted due to hearing loss, but a lot of times you start feeling left out or incomplete, the feelings of loss and confusion. There has been a significant progress on mental health conditions in many countries but despite that people often continue to experience severe human rights violations, discrimination, and stigma. In 2019, WHO launched the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health (2019-2023): Universal Health Coverage for Mental Health to ensure access to quality and affordable care for mental health conditions in 12 priority countries to 100 million more people.
This mental health day let’s talk about the effect hearing loss has on mental health and what you can do to keep yourself calm and to be at peace. The cases of hearing impairments affecting your mental health have been endless and the issues of mental health can go from anxiety to depression to fatigue and social withdrawal and so on. A lot of audiology journals and psychologists agree with the recent studies on the connection between your mental health and your ears / hearing. The connection between hearing loss and depression is particularly striking for hearing-impaired older adults: About one in five have symptoms of clinical depression, per a 2019 study.
By protecting your ears you are not just giving yourself the ability to hear but you are also protecting yourself from mental illness. “When someone with hearing loss is faced with having a conversation with someone else…it can create a lot of stress and worry that they are going to miss parts of the conversation and let on that they are struggling to hear,” Rhee Rosenman-Nesson, AuD, tells WebMD Connect to Care. “The frustration of not being able to hear in these situations may lead people to avoid going out in public or meeting up with family and friends, which can sadly cause them to become socially isolated,” Paul K Farrell, AuD, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
People who suffer hearing loss often report feeling socially inept in a group, talking inappropriate things, or just not being involved in the ongoing conversation; a lot of times they come off as rude simply because they feel it is easier for them to talk than to listen. To a person who suffers hearing loss, even a small task like engaging in any conversation can be quite struggling and lead to feelings of depression. Other factors that increase the risk of depression include being female, low-income, a current smoker, binge drinking, having fair or poor health status, trouble seeing, and sleep disorder. However, even controlling for these factors, those with hearing impairment still had significantly higher rates of depression than those without hearing impairment. In people at the age of 65 and older, hearing impairment is among the most common chronic conditions associated with depression.
A regular hearing test every year can save you from years of isolation, feelings of anger, sleep deprivation and can give you the life that you truly deserve. We recently read this beautiful quote that said, “The path to one’s soul is through their Ears’. Give yourself and your loved ones only the best of care, both physically and mentally. We at HAC, wish you a lifetime of peace and happiness on this Mental Health Day.
Happy living! Happy Hearing !!