Losing your ability to hear isn’t easy. You may feel like it’s harder to communicate and connect with other people. Sometimes, you may feel alone in your experience, especially if none of your family and friends have hearing loss.
At times, you may feel isolated, sad, or even angry. There may be instances where you’re overwhelmed by the loss of your hearing. You may find it challenging to go through your day-to-day like how you usually did. But whatever you’re feeling and whatever your concerns may be, your counselor can help you process and understand it all.
Processing Your Experience And Emotions
Losing your hearing is a traumatic event. Whether you lost it instantly or over time, it’s bound to impact your mental and emotional well-being. Moving forward healthily from a trauma like this, you must process and accept it first.
Before anything else, you need to understand your situation and how you feel about it. Tell your counselor about how you lost your hearing ability. Was it because of an accident or an illness? By talking to them about it, they can guide you in addressing it. This step is even more important if it was an accident, like a car crash. The incident itself might have traumatized you.
They may also ask you about your emotions regarding your experience. They may suggest that you express how you feel about your hearing loss, the incident, and how you’re adjusting. These are all steps to make sure you address the things you need to discuss.
Often, hearing loss comes with some secondary effects. It may cause self-esteem and image issues, depression and anxiety, or isolation. If you already had these conditions before, then your hearing loss might make them more pronounced. Counseling can help you talk about these in the healthiest way possible.
At some point, you may feel uncomfortable with your counselor’s line of questioning. You may be overwhelmed from reliving parts of your trauma. If this happens, let them know. You may ask them to stop, but it may be beneficial for you to hear the reasoning behind your counselor’s questions. After all, their goal is to help you develop healthier mental and emotional health.
Adjusting And Moving Forward
You may or may not find it hard to adjust to your new normal. Whichever it is, your counselor will be there with you every step of the way. But first, know that your journey moving forward will not be an easy one. That, in particular, is because of how different you are from the Deaf and hard of hearing.
The Deaf have been living deaf their whole lives. People who are hard of hearing still retain some auditory ability. Being late-deafened or someone who lost hearing is vastly different from the two. You may share some experiences, but the effects of your situation will vary depending on each person.
There will be new additions to your daily routine, and you may also encounter some lifestyle changes. These are to accommodate your hearing loss and to ensure your safety. Know that your counselor will be all-ears if you want to talk to them about these changes.
It’s possible for you to feel an even greater sense of loss when discussing these aspects. However, keep in mind that your counselor will be there to help you through it, especially when things become difficult. It will be a challenging journey, but they will be there with you every step of the way.
Knowing About Available Resources
One of the goals of counseling is to help you towards a healthy headspace. And to do this, your counselor will ask you about the changes you want to see in your life. They will be there to help you discuss the resources available for you, depending on which path you want to take.
Talk to your counselor about your concerns. If you’re worried about schooling and career options, they will be there to help you figure it out. If you’re thinking about studying sign language, then your counselor will be able to refer you to learning centers nearby. You may have some worries entering a new stage of your life, but they will be there if you choose to discuss those things with them.
In addition, it’s an unfortunate truth how late-deafened people face bias and prejudice in their lives. It would benefit you to talk to your counselor about this. They will help you process these experiences and refer you to support groups if you need them. But more importantly, your counselor will be able to guide you in learning about Deaf and self-advocacy.
By discussing these with your counselor, you may be able to feel in control of life. Learning about those advocacies can help you understand people who share the same experience as well. Even better, you can know more about expressing yourself, your wants, and how to convey them to others.
Your counselor may also refer you to an audiology center if you decide to get a cochlear implant. Remember, there’s no right and wrong decision for people in your situation. It all depends on what will make you happy. Talking to your counselor can help you make informed decisions about options available for you.
To Wrap Up
Being late-deafened is not easy, especially if it’s a traumatic event for you. You may find it hard to talk to your counselor about your experiences and emotions. Remember that is okay. But also keep in mind that it’s the first step in taking care of your mental well-being. You won’t need to rush things, and it’s alright for you to tell your counselor when you’re overwhelmed.
Counseling will also help you process the adjustments and changes happening in your life. You can discuss with your counselor what you want to see and the things you want to achieve. They’ll also be there to help you find resources available for your needs. After all, this is all so you could move forward with a healthy mind and heart.
Losing your hearing may feel overwhelming and isolating, but remember, your counselor will be there with you the entire way. And when times get tough, always keep in mind that you’re doing this for yourself.