Do you have someone in your life who suffers from mental health issues or a mood disorder? These problems can sometimes feel intractable, and mental health services are on the rise in the United States to address the many ways that mood can suffer from our brain chemistry, relationships, and circumstances. Among the many approaches to better mental health, did you know that getting a hearing test is one opportunity to support your wellbeing? It might not be the first thing to come to mind, but your hearing health is closely related to mental health, and a hearing test is the first step in the direction of treatment for hearing loss. In order to better understand the relationship between hearing loss and mental health, we need to look closely at communication and our relationships. When we have strong and healthy relationships, we are able to build a sense of trust and security. We can also reduce the stress that comes directly from miscommunication and the indirect feelings of frustration, anxiety, embarrassment, anger, depression, and isolation that can arise come from these fractured relationships. Let’s explore the ways that getting treatment for hearing loss can lead to better communication and thereby better mental health, as well.
Relationships, Trust, and Mental Health
When we have a sense of trust in our relationships, we set off a chain reaction of positive mental health outcomes. Specifically, we know that if something goes wrong or we need help, we are not alone. That feeling that problems can be solved in a group, such as a family or community, is one of the primary foundations needs for good mental health. On the contrary, when we feel that we don’t have the support we need or the ability to trust others, we can feel alone and isolated. Those feelings of a lack of trust in others are one of the main causes of negative mental health outcomes. If something were to go wrong, we can feel a sense of anxiety about the possibility that we would need to face the issue without the resources we need to succeed.
Communication and Mood
Keeping in mind the powerful role that trusting relationships play in our mental health, communication is a crucial aspect of our wellbeing, as well. Trust is established through healthy communication. When we are concerned about something, we can share that concern with others in our lives and find out that they care. That expression of care can be enough to promote a sense of security and comfort. Sharing our needs, worries, and frustrations has the effect of building a network web of people who are invested in solving problems that arise. When we have healthy communication with others about our needs, it can be enough to share these needs, and others don’t even need to step in directly to solve the problems we face. It can often be enough to feel that others could can come to our aid if we really need it.
Hearing Loss and Mental Health
With these principles of relationships, trust, and communication in mind, you can see how mental health is closely connected to hearing loss. When a person has untreated hearing loss, communication can become difficult, frustrating, and fragmented. That lack of communication ability can lead to a lack of trust in others. If we aren’t sure that we can understand one another, feelings of trust can be broken, and our mental health can suffer as a result. Although the relationship is not the cause of this fragmentation, hearing loss can make us feel as if our relationships are unreliable and stressful. On the contrary, getting treatment for hearing loss can promote better mental health through better communication. When we can easily engage in the back-and-forth of expression and care, we know that we are not alone. That feeling of community and family support is often enough to elevate our mood and provide a feeling of general wellbeing. If you have someone in your life with untreated hearing loss, take this opportunity to encourage a hearing test. That diagnostic test can point a person not only toward treatment for hearing loss, but also toward better communication, more trusting relationships, and better mental health.
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