The Shocking Link Between Hearing Problems and Mental Health

What happens when you suffer from hearing problems? Most of you will say that you lose the ability to hear. This is an obvious consequence. Most hearing issues do lead to hearing loss. When this happens, you struggle to hear sounds as clearly as you used to. This causes you to keep asking people to repeat themselves, turning the volume up on every device – it’s a problem that impacts your life in so many ways. 

Consequently, there’s a strong link between hearing problems and mental health issues. Primarily, the consensus is that suffering from hearing loss will have a profoundly negative effect on your mental health and wellbeing. As you look deeper into things, it makes a lot of sense. Losing the ability to hear properly will change so much about your life, and it’s a massive mental challenge. 

To back up this point, here are a few things that happen when you have hearing loss, leading to mental health issues: 

You can end up with insomnia

Insomnia is technically considered a sleep disorder whereby you can’t sleep every night. You lay wide awake in your bed as something inside of you stops you from sleeping. It’s strongly linked to stress, anxiety, and depression – but there’s also a big link between it and tinnitus. 

Tinnitus is a condition where you get a persistent ringing in your ears. As a result, many people with this problem end up getting insomnia as they can’t sleep. All they can hear is a loud buzzing sound that won’t ever go away. It plays with your mind, and you start to feel anxious as well. In turn, your lack of sleep can also cause feelings of stress and depression. While there are ways of coping with tinnitus, it’s often a permanent condition for people with hearing loss. It never truly goes away, you can merely mask it with hearing aids of sound machines. 

You suffer from social anxiety

The inability to hear clearly will give you severe social anxiety. You hate having to ask people to repeat themselves, you feel left out when your friends tell jokes and everyone laughs apart from you. It makes you so self-conscious, to the point where you’re almost afraid to go out. 

You don’t want to deal with the social awkwardness, and situations make you anxious. So, you stay inside and end up limiting contact with your friends and the outside world. Needless to say, this can also lead to depression. 

You become paranoid

It’s also common for people with hearing loss to develop intense feelings of paranoia. This stems from the idea that you think people are talking about you. You may see their lips move, you can see them glancing your way, but you can’t hear them. So, you assume they must be speaking about you. 

Paranoia is a mental health disorder, and it often bleeds into other mental health problems as well. 

All of these problems stem from your hearing health. If you don’t look after your ears and protect your hearing, then you’ll suffer from hearing loss. Consequently, this can harm your mental health and wellbeing. 

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1 Comment

  1. i mean i don’t think it’s. “shocking.” as a hard of hearing person, most of this stems from ableism, not from anything that specifically has to do with being deaf/hard of hearing. most people stop having that anxiety and paranoia when they intentionally join Deaf cultures that are affirmative of their hearing loss instead of being weird about it. my mom and wife are both super supportive of me potentially getting hearing aids, but are also okay with me choosing to just live life as a deaf person. it’s not shocking, nor is it inherent to hearing problems. it’s part of ableism.

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