For many, the holidays can stir up feelings of sadness, loss, loneliness, and other negative emotions. Symptoms of actual depression can include: crying spells, changes in appetite or sleep habits, poor concentration, and reduced sexual drive. These and others--including thoughts of suicide or feelings of worthlessness--can be signs of more significant depression. Depression may become more severe during the holidays for many reasons including fatigue, family tensions, and financial limitations.
For many of the 31 million Americans with hearing loss, some depression may be from not hearing in social situations or not being able to participate in the conversations going on around them. This can lead to feeling isolated from family and friends. Symptoms of hearing loss may include:
- Difficulty understanding speech (especially with background noise).
- Watching television or listening to music at much louder volumes.
- Asking people to repeat themselves.
People with such difficulty may tend to isolate themselves in family, social, and public situations. As individual social circles become limited due to age and health problems, some people may become suicidal in this situation. In fact, senior adults make up 13% of the population and account for 18% of suicides.
Why address depression and the holidays in this column? Because hearing loss is one thing that can usually be helped. Having your hearing evaluated and determining what type of assistive technology, including hearing aids and/or other devices, can help those with hearing loss cope better in the situations described above. If you are fit with proper hearing aids and learn how to use them in varied settings, the sense of isolation may lift, and the depression caused as a result of hearing issues may lift as well. Of course if symptoms of depression continue, please talk to your health care professional, doctor, or counselor to be treated for depression.
At Welsch Hearing Aid Company, we would like to help you with the holiday blues by helping you hear the sounds of the season. Whether it is an amplified phone to help you hear a long distance holiday greeting, or some hearing aids, we want to help you hear your loved ones. There is no better time than the holidays to try out new hearing aids. Hear the holiday music and understand your family and friends as you gather around the dinner table.
By Susan L. Fenrich, BC-HIS, Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist, Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences
The content at Welsch Hearing Aid Company blog entries, print media and websites, including text, graphics, images, opinions, or information obtained from links, is provided for informational purposes only. This content should not be considered by anyone as a substitute for medical or other hearing health professional diagnosis, treatment, advice, or recommendations.