Two older women, one with a hearing aid and the other in a wheelchair, play Connect Four.

Hearing loss: emotions and relationships

Living with a disability can have an impact on your emotional life. It can have an impact on the way you feel about yourself and those around you.

The physical limitations that you experience, as well as the attitudes of others towards your impairment, can sometimes be very frustrating. You may also experience feelings of isolation and loneliness, so having a good social and support network is vital.

Emotional wellbeing

You may not make an immediate connection between hearing loss and emotional wellbeing, but it is indeed a loss; allowing yourself to come to terms with that loss is fundamental to your emotional wellbeing.

How you do this will depend on your general emotional wellbeing, as well as your existing social and support network. You may find that you're able to talk it through with family and friends, or you may find that counselling is best for you. What matters is that you stay well and balanced, and take steps to ensure that feelings of sadness or depression are handled with care. The NHS Choices website has a helpful overview of counselling, which provides a good general overview.

Counselling via your GP

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get counselling via your GP. If this is not available, you can ask your GP to refer you to a local organisation that may be able to help.

Emotional support services

Action on Hearing Loss offers the services of a referrals coordinator who can help you to manage anxieties, stress, mental health or other issues that may be having an impact on your overall wellbeing. The coordinator will help you create a programme that will help you get on the way towards feeling good. To find out more, call 0333 240 5659, email referrals@hearingloss.org.uk or used one of the enquiry forms available from the Feeling Good section of the Action on Hearing Loss website.

If you prefer to find emotional support tailored specifically for Jewish people, contact Jewish Care Direct at 0208 922 2222. The Jewish Helpline can also assist you. That number is 0800 652 9249.

For general emotional support any time of day or night, the Samaritans are there to help.

Relationships with friends, family and colleagues

Unless you have other disabilities or health conditions, you probably won't have great care needs because of your hearing impairment, but this doesn't mean that you don't need help or support in some of your daily activities. This support will usually come from friends, family and colleagues.

If you are fiercely independent, you may find asking for help quite difficult. But if you think of it as being in control of your dependencies, it can be quite a life changing experience. It is incredibly liberating to be okay with asking people around you to help.

Relationships, in general, are pretty complicated, so understanding and being in control of your needs ensures that having a hearing impairment does not make your relationships any more so. For more information on connecting with loved ones and people you care about—and who care about you—visit the Emotional wellbeing section of Jewish Care Interact.

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