Depression – Surprising News That May Help
Depression has become a problem among all age groups. Almost everyone knows someone who suffers with depression. See if you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself or someone else:
- Sadness or a feeling of emptiness
- Decreased interest in life or enjoyment
- Weight changes
- Insomnia, or sleeping too much
- Agitation or restlessness
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or no value
- Brain fog
- Thoughts of death
We all suffer some of those symptoms from time to time. If you or someone you know has several of them, and they seem like they just don’t go away, it may indicate depression.
One overlooked cause of depression is untreated hearing loss, according to a Study by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA). The survey of 2300 hearing impaired adults that were 50 years or older found that people with untreated hearing loss were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, paranoia, and are less likely to participate in social activities, compared to those who have done something to correct their hearing loss.
I’ll never forget one experience. A social worker had requested a hearing evaluation for one of her clients in a nursing facility. One of the residents was not mobile and was very unresponsive. Her family was distressed because they weren’t able to communicate with her well. I made small talk as I was setting up the equipment to check her hearing. She gave no indication that she was aware that someone was talking to her. When I put the earphones over her ears and turned on a microphone to give her instructions about the hearing test, her eyes brightened up. She heard someone talking to her. All of a sudden she began to engage, and tell us about her children and her grandchildren. The difference was amazing, and later when Helen’s hearing was corrected, her children and friends could hardly believe the difference in her quality of life.
Our sense of hearing is one of our most valuable senses. Helen Keller once said if she had to choose between her eyesight or her hearing, she would rather have her hearing. One of the reasons it’s so very important is because our hearing gives us the ability to communicate with others around us, to develop and experience relationships, and to fully function as social persons. When we no longer receive input from our hearing like we once had, there can be a number of difficult consequences, including:
- The feeling others are talking about us
- The belief that our friends and family are angry with us (because of their raised voices)
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Once active personalities becoming more passive
The benefits of discovering that a person has a hearing loss, and then doing something about it create many improvements in quality of life. Those benefits include more enjoyment of life, improved interactions with family and friends, and increasing mental sharpness. If you suspect that you or someone close to you is depressed and enjoying life less than they once did, consider hearing loss as one of the possible contributing factors.
There is an obvious step that you should take. Arrange for a hearing evaluation to either discover or to eliminate the possibility of hearing loss being a factor in the enjoyment of life. If you are near Dallas, call Havmeen Hearing Lab to schedule an appointment. Call 469-230-2392
Better Hearing for Life,