Hearing change and depression

#1

Hi everyone I’m new!

A little bit about me:

I’m 28, live in London and I’m a teacher - I teach students with learning disabilities (such as autism). I’ve had hearing aids since I was 6 - it’s sensorineural loss.

All my life I’ve been very happy go lucky, driven and social, never letting my loss get me down, even using it to empower me to advocate for others and empathise with many different individuals. Recently however this has not been the case.

About 3/4 months ago the aids I had been using for about 6 years broke. I was extremely familiar with them, very comfortable and they worked for me, life was great… Then I had new aids fitted and everything seemed to crumble.

The new ones make it that much harder to be social and engage in groups, in my flat, with a few friends, that’s fine, but out socialising it becomes a mine field of emotions and needs.

I am finding it increasingly difficult to be social - to the point of holding myself back and isolating myself from my friends, who, are obviously just wanting to have a fun time and not deal with my shit. I can’t blame them really, they just want to enjoy their time and have fun! I wish I could too. I still want to go to the pub with my friends!

I try and make an effort to be involved, but it just becomes tiring and I end up just getting pissed off and frustrated with myself and with certain individuals who I’m closer to for not doing more to support me (even though they are generally fantastic and they shouldn’t have to feel responsible). It often ends up with me becoming emotional, usually this breaks the surface with tears, which probably makes everyone feel uncomfortable and unsure what to do.

I’m very very down at the moment, I’ve never felt this way about my hearing loss ever, it just seems such a struggle to do the things I used to do.

Does anyone have any experience with these depressed states?

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#2

I think you need to get back to the audiologist for some adjustments. It sounds like you’ve only had the new aids for a few weeks and obviously they need some fine tuning to get things right so you can start enjoying your life again. Call and make an appointment tomorrow so you can get the HA’s straightened out. Good luck! It will get better!

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#3

I agree with PP. I became depressed a couple of years ago when my hearing loss dipped, it happened at a time when I was already vulnerable to depression because of other things in life. I have been on meds and seeing a counselor ever since. It is a long road, usually, to get back to where you were, once you fall back. I am back to myself, and I would actually say I’m 150% better than I was before! I continue my meds and counseling, though, for fear of falling back. I believe my Dr. has said at 3 years he will talk about tapering me off of the meds.

Anyway, all that to say, look into getting some help. At the same time, go back to your Audi, you obviously need adjustments or new aids if you’re hearing like you were with your old aids. Can you share your audiogram (or at least your averages) and what aids you’re using? The people here are very knowledgeable and can probably help you a great deal, so that you’re prepared when you go back to the Audi. Good luck!

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#4

Thanks guys.
I don’t have access to my audiogram at the moment, but I’m off into the hospital tomorrow to have one of my aids repaired so going to have a chat to the staff there and see what they say. I am using Phonak Naida V SP aids at the moment.

It’s difficult to know where to begin with these things. Sometimes I feel very alone, even with my friends around me.

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#5

yea it can be a lonely battle, people dont understand how frustrating it is when you cant hear, but all you can do is your best and preserver till you get it right

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#6

It might help to make a list (be specific) of the things you hear well with the new aids, and the things or situations where you don’t hear well. Sounds like speech in noise needs an adjustment, and maybe a separate program for speech in very loud noise.

It takes several adjustments to get everything dialed in just right, so keep talking to your professional.

The other thing would be to start to think through where these thoughts are coming from. Obviously there is more there than just getting a new set of hearing aids.

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#7

How did you get on? :slight_smile:

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#8

I, too, experience the same way. I was happy and had so much confident talking to ppl around me. Now, I’ve become insecure with my almost a year old new hearing aids. My old ones broke after 10 years used.

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#9

I have depression for all my life. My hearing loss is severe to profound from born, so my auditory cortex cannot recognize most of words. Even CI and stem cells will not help me. So you are in much better conditions than me. But why your new hearing aids cannot help you? Maybe old HA’s was analogue and new are digital? It’s a big difference. Please write here your old and new hearing aids model.

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#10

I wore Resound Live, digital, BTE. I was very happy with high confident by talking to people around me. I was also very responsive.
Now that, my HAs were deteriorating and sent out to lab to get them fixed, when they came back - none of audiologists could get them reprogrammed (my program was wiped out after fixed at the lab). I called the Resound company and they said they no longer do the programming for Resound live. I was devastated and decided to move on to purchase a new pair of HAs which I have Resound Linx 3D, closed dome, environmental optimizer off. I realized I’ve been leading into depression after one year of used. What’s happening is I get lost in lengthy conversation, not interested in world around me, not paying attention to conversation I have with people around me. Like I have no interest in anything. I could say personal dissociation? I want to know what’s going on with me. My audiologist could not figure why. Please help. Thanks

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#11

Years ago I had a friend who was deaf, and very very smart. He lip read. Interacting with him was intense because all chit-chat was out. Conversation with him was meaningful or it didn’t happen.

Now that my hearing is going I definitely am more isolated and less social than before. However I do realize that a lot of what I am eliminating is noise and nonsense. I am also older and have less time.

So, I am becoming more like my deaf friend. I really do not want to engage in meaningless chit-chat. I read more and listen to music - with very good headphones and using a equalizer. My inner life seems richer. I am writing and working on projects that I have put off.

I believe the trade-off is worth it.

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#13

Some of this becomes a chicken and egg kind of thing. Are you depressed because you can’t focus or is your difficulty focussing because you’re depressed.? If you’ve optimized the hearing aids with your audiologist, I’d suggest seeing your physician and explain how you feel.

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#14

I totally get it. Before I got my first set I felt like I was disconnected from the world and just got used to things. But when I began wearing hearing aids I felt like a part of the world again. Recently my hearing loss increased again which was depressing. I got new aids and am struggling to adjust both the new aids and the idea that I’ve got severe to profound loss now. Equally scary is that my kids are grown and I live alone. For me it’s the fear that I will event lose all of my hearing. My strategy is to do what I can now and to prepare just In case. That way I feel somewhat in control. I get depressed but try to focus on now. Hoping the best for you.

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#15

No, it’s a lot different than wearing my old ones. It’s like sudden change and I get used to it for a long while now with realizing that I chose to be socially isolated, not interested in listening to music nor watching tv/movies, even at the movie theatre. Like I don’t enjoy anything. It’s just weird. I don’t think I should see physician. I know it’s not the answer to my problem. I should go k to see my audiologist and explain my situation.

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#16

There was somebody else on the forum sometime back that had a similar experience and the depression lifted once the hearing aids were properly fitted. Yes, go see your audiologist and if they are unable to help you, consider seeing somebody else. The key challenge in this is motivating yourself to do anything. Getting a proper hearing aid fit can be a struggle. If you don’t feel your up for a struggle, consider seeing your physician too.

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#17

There are times when I’ve been struggling to hear, after a long business meeting for example, where I get very frustrated and tired. I become isolated, lonely and sad. After I rest a day or so, it passes because I’m back in easier listening situations. That allows me to recover. But if I suddenly had new aids that made everything as much work as my hardest listening situations, I think I would be depressed and want to isolate myself all the time. Please let the folks here know how the HA adjustments work out and if things begin to get brighter for you. One interim solution may be–even if it’s hard to get motivated–reaching out to a friend one-on-one in a quiet place to socialize while things are being optimized with the HAs.

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#18

Hearing loss is very difficult to deal with because it cane so isolating. I sit with my team at work but although they sit next to me and opposite me, I cannot interact in the everyday discussion/banter as I cannot hear what people are saying unless they talk directly to me. They do their best to be inclusive but I can’t expect them to adjust for me all the time so you do become left out. Social events tend to be in restaurants or pubs with lots of background noise leaving you isolated again.

I have no solution only to say you are not alone. Hearing loss can be isolating and depressing, you need to find what works for you to help you cope, whatever that may be. Personally I go roller skating,I find it incredibly relaxing and also rewarding as I get better at twisting and turning. Despite the loud noise at the rink it is also bizarrely not an isolating experience as my face is now known so I have people to talk to. (albeit tricky, short conversations due to the noise).

Try things to see what works to support your mental health, use these forums an FB groups to vent and find support, good luck.

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