Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be an overwhelming expereince at times. Hearing loss may cause you to feel isolated, sad, or even angry. There may be instances where you’re overwhelmed by hearing loss. That is why you need professional help with your hearing impairment issues.

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Hearing Loss

You may find deafness challenging to go through your day-to-day like how you usually did. But whatever you’re feeling and whatever your hearing concerns may all be, your counselor can help you process and understand hearing loss.

Sometimes, you may feel alone in your deafness experience. It’s okay to feel this way as you are going through a challenge especially if none of your family and friends have hearing loss.

Hearing loss isn’t easy

You may feel like it’s harder to communicate and connect with other people with hearing issues. Hearing Loss is the condition of losing your hearing that may be caused by noise, aging, or even genetics.

Hearing loss can be caused by a traumatic event and can traumatize you as well, compromising your mental health. Whether you lost it instantly or over time, hearing loss is bound to impact your mental and emotional well-being. Moving forward healthily from a trauma like this, you must process and accept having hearing loss first.

Hearing Loss

Traumatizing Effects Of Hearing Loss

Before anything else, you need to understand your hearing situation and how you feel about facing hearing loss. Tell your counselor about how you ended up having hearing loss. By talking to them about hearing issues, they can guide you in addressing hearing loss. This step is even more important if your hearing loss 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 with hearing loss. 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 regarding your hearing loss.

hearing loss Greatly affects The Mental And Emotional health

Hearing loss 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 that may have caused hearing loss. If this happens, let them know. After all, their goal is to help you develop healthier mental and emotional health.

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Choose To Move Forward Despite Having Hearing Loss

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 amidst your hearing loss 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.

Effects Of Being Deaf In Our Daily Life

The Deaf have been living deaf their whole lives. Hearing loss is the loss of hearing in one or both ears, ranging from mild to profound. People with hearing loss still retain some auditory ability. Being late-deafened or someone who has hearing loss later in life 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 in your hearing loss journey. 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, particularly your daily life with hearing loss.

Losing Your Sense Of Hearing Is A Challenging Journey

It’s possible for you to feel an even greater sense of loss when discussing these aspects of hearing loss. However, keep in mind that your counselor will be there to help you go through it, especially when things become difficult with your hearing loss. Having hearing loss will be a challenging journey, but they will be there with you every step of the way.

hearing disorder
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Hearing Loss

Support 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, despite your hearing loss.

Talk About your hearing impairment

If you’re worried about schooling and career options, they will be there to help you figure it out. You may have some worries about entering a new stage of your life, but they will be there if you choose to discuss those things with them, especially when it concerns your hearing loss.

The Benefits Of Talking To Your Counselor Regarding The Condition’s Impacts

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 hearing loss, Deaf,  and self-advocacy.

Your Hearing Loss Journey and Counseling Benefits

By discussing these with your counselor, you may be able to feel in control of life amidst your hearing loss. Learning about those advocacies can help you understand people who share the same experience of hearing loss 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 who have hearing loss. It all depends on what will make you happy. Talking to your counselor can help you make informed decisions about options available for you.

Hearing Loss Experience

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 with your hearing loss.

Counseling Helps

Counseling will also help you process the adjustments and changes happening in your life due to hearing loss. 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, especially your health. After all, this is all so you could move forward with a healthy mind and heart.

And when times get tough, always keep in mind that you’re doing this for yourself.  Hearing loss is a challenge that your mental health may face, but something you can overcome.

Hearing loss may feel overwhelming and isolating. But remember, your counselor will be there with you the entire way.

A Deaf Community

For the deaf community and individuals, it may be hard to live in a world that prioritizes hearing. Read this article to know more about deaf community and its benefits

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There is much to learn about the deaf and the community – how do they communicate and what are their challenges?

As a member of the deaf communities, you may constantly struggle in our non-deaf world. Unable to hear anything is always a challenge. It’s something supposedly as simple as communication, or perhaps a more damaging issue like prejudice. 

Do you or anyone you know a member of non-hearing folks?

If yes, this article is for you. Let’s learn more about the deaf communities.

How can you better understand the deaf communities or the community of hearing loss? And does a community of non-hearing individuals help each other deal with life?

Living In A “Hearing World”

This isn’t to say that hearing nothing automatically limits you. After all, hearing loss isn’t disabling. Instead, it’s audism that might be severely restricting you.

It isn’t easy to come to terms with, but your counselor will be able to help you express your feelings about it. They may also guide you in understanding the uniqueness and intricacies of being deaf. The community can very well benefit from having a counselor to talk to.

Deaf Community. A counselor can help you understand
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Understanding What Deafhood Is To You

Aside from grasping the kind of world you live in as a deaf individual, your counselor will also help you work out what Deafhood means to you. It is all so you could begin to understand what being deaf is for you.

Of course, this comes differently for each person. Being hard of hearing, late-deafened, or deaf will be significant in figuring out what Deafhood is for you. Your counselor’s goal is to teach you how to process your experiences and emotions as a deaf person and where you want to go from there. Counseling could also encourage you to join a community of the deaf where you feel more understood. By embracing yourself as a deaf yet significant person, your mental health will improve. 

Bear in mind that your counselor will not be there to dictate what you should do. Their priority is to help you be the best version of yourself despite your being deaf. That means how you feel and what you want matters.

A woman in black eyeglasses pointing at something while talking in front of the food in a restaurant
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Learning About Available Resources

As a member of the deaf community or deaf and mute community, you may find you’re always short of available resources. It may range from educational materials to career and schooling opportunities, modes of communication, and many others. You may talk to your counselor about this lack.

Another factor is also whether you’re deaf, late-deafened, or hard of hearing. While your counselor’s advice will be helpful, keep in mind that their priority is your comfort and well-being as a deaf individual.

Again, your counselor is not there to dictate what you should do. Instead, they’re there to assist you in your journey towards better mental well-being, that mental health for you as a deaf person is optimal, just as the other individuals. 

Exploring Your Advocacy

Deaf advocacy is another concern your counselor may discuss with you. The goal of counseling, first and foremost, is to help you or your community achieve emotional and mental well-being. And a big part of it is not teaching you to cope with the biased systems around you. Instead, your counselor will help you explore self-advocacy as a deaf individual

Don’t hesitate to talk to them about the changes you want to see around you. After all, the unfairness in systems and regulations for the deaf and the community of the deaf affects your everyday life. Addressing this will help you move forward healthily.

It may even help lead to positive changes for the deaf community.

Discuss Deaf Advocacy

Counseling will be there to help you understand that the disadvantages you experience aren’t because of the deaf community. They will guide you in recognizing that being deaf is the cause of your disabling experiences. Don’t be afraid to discuss Deaf advocacy with your counselor. They would want to help you play an active part in breaking the bias against the community of the deaf.

Deaf Community: To Wrap Up 

A lot of things are challenging for members of the community of the hearing impaired, but this is because of the restrictions brought about by audism and not by not hearing itself. Your counselor may be able to help you understand these intricacies and process the world around you. In addition, counseling can also aid you in learning about the resources available to you as someone who cannot hear. It would be even better if you also discuss your impairment advocacy with them.

It would benefit you to be truthful and open with your counselor when discussing these things. Counseling should be something that an impaired individual or the community of hearing impaired can turn to for comfort. 

If you cannot hear, you have a loved one who is deaf, or you are part of a community of non-hearing individuals, perhaps you should consider counseling for your mental and emotional health.

 

The Challenges Of Mixed Deaf-Hearing Families

 

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Every family faces various challenges. Your teenage son has problems in school, your baby girl is on her difficult years, your spouse is too busy to pay attention to you, or your relatives are judgmental. The truth is, each home has a burden to bear. However, there are rather distinct challenges for a family with mixed deaf-hearing members.

Families that have deaf members typically face some communication difficulties, and these can cause trouble in social interactions, which consequently lead to hopelessness, withdrawal, stress, and anxiety.

People that are deaf are expected to adjust to their surroundings, so would it not only be reasonable to expect the same kind of understanding from those who are supposedly closest to you – your family? Explaining yourself or upholding your language always is quite tiring. When you are with your family, you should be relaxed and comfortable. Sadly, not all of these deaf and hard of hearing family members have loved ones that find the time and effort to communicate with them appropriately.

Family Life Experiences

Families with deaf members or families that are mostly deaf with hearing members have reported experiencing difficulty identifying which communication strategies they should learn and practice, as sometimes the challenges they face are also worsened by certain cultural identities – hearing or deaf.

An individual who was interviewed recalled how her family would tell her that she could hear them well when she wants to, but actually, she just got pretty used to lip reading. She became an expert lip reader that people would think she could hear perfectly. Her brother would be annoyed at her when she asks him to repeat what he said and would tell her why she would pretend not to hear. “I can’t help being deaf,” she said. She stated that she often felt pressured and anxious when she was with her family, and she thinks that they should also try their best to meet halfway for communication to be easier.

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Here are some experiences of other deaf and hard of hearing individuals with their own families.

Positive

  • “My loved ones tried learning sign language so they could better understand me.”
  • “My parents are very patient. They know that I have trouble understanding them, so they speak clearly and loudly.”
  • “My family and friends really love me. They make me feel comfortable and relaxed when we are together.”
  • “My family and I work hand in hand in seeking solutions to be able to live harmoniously. I feel so lucky.”

Negative

  • “My siblings don’t take time to talk to me, and they are often annoyed when I’m around.”
  • “My children are so impatient with me.”
  • My relatives tease me and backbite me even when I’m around. I know because they look at me, and then they laugh.”
  • “I always remind my spouse and kids that I am deaf.”
  • “I don’t get invited for family reunions and parties often. I guess they get tired of making an effort so I can understand.”

The Effect Of Being Deaf In A Hearing Family

Undoubtedly, it isn’t easy to be part of a mixed deaf-hearing family unit. Studies made on the subject revealed that deafness does have a substantial effect on these four areas:

  • Parenting – parents who are involved in the lives of their children.
  • Family interactions – the capacity of the family members to have clear and successful conversations, fix issues together, and build strong relationships.
  • Resources – the family’s access to materials and services for the deaf family member/s.
  • Emotional status – deaf and hearing family members are well-connected, support each other, and care for each other.

Of course, these areas are also affected by the family’s race and culture, economic status, and the deaf member’s level of hearing disability. However, the initial approach is to recognize the effects and knowing the factors that impact family dynamics.

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Strategies For Deaf And Hearing Families

  • Family members should think about the needs of their hearing and hard of hearing loved ones when they talk about how they should communicate with each other.
  • Commit to making time for family discussions regarding issues and topics that come up during the day or week and then find ways to help each other.
  • Discuss and create communication techniques together.
  • Don’t laugh at your deaf siblings or parents. It’s total not cool.
  • If you are a deaf member, ask your loved ones to repeat what they said if it isn’t clear to you. This is a great way of self-checking as well.
  • It is disrespectful and unfair not to face your deaf loved one when you are speaking to them. Don’t make it harder for them to communicate.
  • Keep an open mind and be supportive of your deaf loved one’s disability.
  • Although your hearing family members have learned to do the sign language, it’s not going to be that easy. Be patient with them, and don’t expect too much. Meet them halfway.

Conclusion

You will grow closer and have a better relationship with your family if you learn to create strategies for connecting and communicating effectively with your loved ones. You should be proud of what you have surpassed as a family and acknowledge that you are tougher when you are together – hearing or not.

 

 

Deaf Community Desperate For COVID-19 Information

Since the spread of the Coronavirus, all governments all over the world managed to give daily brief information on how fast the spread of the virus has occurred. That includes how best to cope with the situation. However, some individuals across different countries felt a little left out. These are the ones who battle with the communication chain. So without proper knowledge of what is going on around, the lack of information for these individuals can cost them their lives.

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The Sentiments Of The Deaf

The deaf community is 5% of the world’s population. Therefore, there are more than millions of them. But not all of them receive clear information about the COVID-19 pandemic because some appeared to be alienated when it comes to the live updates about the deadly Coronavirus. Sadly, these deaf people’s needs are on the line. That is why some are blaming their governments for not doing anything for them. It may be a bit harsh since this situation is no one’s fault, but no one can blame them for feeling left out.

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The World Of The Silent

Honestly, the lack of information is the most unfortunate thing for safety and exposure from the virus of the people in the deaf community. There are worries and fears that buildup due to uncertainties. The deaf community relies on interpretation, so they feel pressured in knowing things the hard way. For them, they view the hearing people as privileged because they do not struggle with the same challenges that deaf people need to go through. The deaf people can only complain because they either missed information or received it wrong. Without an interpreter, they are not able to understand things that are going around the world. Thus, it becomes quite impossible for them to protect themselves, especially from a deadly disease.

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It is no secret that most governments around the world are reporting a fast growth of the Coronavirus. That is why most officials in the country are trying their best to inform their people on how to best cope with the situation. However, it becomes unfair for deaf people because they seem to get secondary information, which may be distorted. That is the reason why they deem for extra attention. But understandably, not all people look at these deaf individuals as unfortunate. Some are taking their time judging and accusing the deaf community as entitled individuals. That is because they think the deaf community is only asking for special consideration. That they believe these people can find ways to know information without taking too much of people’s concerns. Honestly yes. The deaf community can use social media platforms to know and get a little information. However, there is a chance of coming across fake news. Admittedly, it is a daily struggle of knowing what the right thing to believe in and what is not.

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The Barrier

For most countries in the world, they believe that passing information is vital in keeping their nation safe. But for the deaf community who doesn’t have access to specific information and no interpreter to rely on, it becomes life challenging. So when people think about it, it is not their fault that they somehow unintentionally disobey protocols. It is not that the deaf community wants to deal with risking their lives on getting infected. But it is more about questioning the situation since they get only a little understanding of the things they need to do. If we look at things right now, the deaf community is trying their best to keep up with the rest of the population across the different countries in knowing information the best they can.

Feel free to chat with BetterHelp experts if the global health crisis affects your mental health.

Deaf People In A Pandemic

With the entire crisis that the world is going through, people are aware of the situation. They know and understand the necessary measures needed to fight the virus. That is why everyone values social distancing and disinfection. But apparently, not all individuals are capable of understanding what they need to do. Clearly, the world health organization, along with each country’s government, should recognize the needs of persons with disabilities.

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The Struggle Of The Deaf

Among deaf communities, the accurate distribution of vital information is challenging. That is because the universal signing language of COVID-19 doesn’t exist. Well, no one is to blame for this situation, and somehow the unpreparedness gets excused since the pandemic involves the rattle of a global crisis. However, with the virus’s rampant cases, the deaf community needs to have urgent access to information to increase full awareness.

In some countries, affected people of the deaf community want the world health organization to come up with an international sign language that will represent the coronavirus. That is, of course, to allow them to connect with others without the hassle of trying to deliver only bits of information. Yes, some may argue that the deaf community is now given written information from time to time. However, what people did not see is the unreliability of the COVID-19 sequence written on a piece of paper.

Source: media.defense.gov

 

Apparently, other countries already considered taking their own measures to assist the deaf community on their request. There are already fifteen signs that they use to represent the coronavirus. Some of these signs come from unscientific variants, though. Meaning, it could still create confusion, especially when people are not yet familiar with what others currently call COVID-19.

People may not openly talk about it, but they consider deaf people as burdens of society. Well, I am not in the right position to talk about what is appropriate and what is not. But some people do not entirely care to consider other people’s needs. Indeed, there are imbalances and societal differences. However, the deaf community seeks understanding as to why they need extra attention when it comes to gathering information.

Source: media.defense.gov

 

Understanding The Needs Of Deaf People

Among other communities of individuals with a disability, the requested international sign language will be an excellent help for deaf people. Because if you try to imagine the deaf people’s difficulty in communicating, you will see that it is the only thing they got that could potentially save them from this pandemic. Yes, you may say that some of these persons with disabilities can read lips. Clearly, that is an advantage. But their mouths are covered with masks most of the time. Therefore, it will be difficult for them to communicate with others without sign language. These deaf people will probably have to make more noise so that others could recognize them.

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Authorities also need to come up with a plan to understand the needs of deaf people. Each country’s government should not treat them as second-class people just because they have a disability. Being deaf will not make them any less of a citizen out there. They are also vulnerable to the virus, so there is no point in setting aside their needs. Please do not disregard them as less priority and allow the system to come up with a better solution to make amends.

The coronavirus affected individuals all around the world. Therefore, there must be no exemptions as to who are the ones who need access priority for health and social care services. We need to address others’ needs as well, so we can save more lives.

The Relevance Of Knowing About The Deaf Culture

 

The Deaf community in the United States utilizes a language that’s different from the rest of the Deaf communities in the world – the American Sign Language (ASL). It is what connects its members and also functions as a membership card into the linguistics of the American society that not everyone benefits from.

Losing The Stigma

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Helping break the stigma doesn’t have to be verbal. One can do his part by distinguishing the Deaf culture through capitalizing the word ‘Deaf’ and backing that up by trying to change mainstream America’s outlook about it. The Deaf community and culture don’t want to use ‘disabled’ when describing themselves because it would only give the impression that they are ‘less than’ those who aren’t deaf. This could be true, but then this is also true for those hearing individuals who don’t do anything worthy for themselves and their community as well. Getting rid of the label gets rid of the stigma that is attached to it.

“If you’re a hearing person, you no doubt see deafness as a disability that needs to be corrected,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

Additionally, advocates often speak about the term ‘Deaf gain.” This is described as a communication advantage provided to those who need other means to communicate besides verbal language. The concept is that deaf persons connect more meaningfully and with more heart because they are hearing-impaired.

“We have thus coined the term “Deaf Gain” in opposition to “hearing loss” in order to encompass the myraid ways in which both deaf people and society at large have benefited from the existence of deaf people and sign language throughout recorded human history,” writes Dirksen Bauman, Ph.D. and Joseph J. Murray, Ph.D.

Debate On Cochlear Implant Surgery

There are several members of the Deaf community that do not agree with the idea of cochlear implants, particularly for newborns who have hearing loss. They believe that each individual has the right to choose for himself whether he wants to stay deaf, thereby giving the parents the obligation (as it is indeed) to teach their child ASL as their first language. Activists also think that learning ASL and other cognitive skills is a right that must be protected and that opting for cochlear implant surgery drives families away from that right and losing heart to embrace the deaf culture fully.

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Controversies

There are nine out of ten Deaf babies that are born to hearing parents, and most of these parents opt for their baby to undergo cochlear implant surgery just as they are medically able to. This helps them learn how to speak.

However, the Deaf culture thinks that the hearing population is just so focused on the spoken word when the fact is that ASL is a comprehensive language even though they are not able to produce words with their voices.

“Recent research has shown the many advantages of allowing Deaf children to know and use both a sign language and an oral language. It is the optimal combination that will allow these children to meet their many needs, that is, communicate early with their parents (first in sign and then, with time, also in the oral language), develop their cognitive abilities, acquire knowledge of the world, communicate fully with the surrounding world, and acculturate into their two worlds,” writes Francois Grosjean Ph.D.

Ways To Communicate

Fortunately, ASL is not the only method where we can communicate with a Deaf person. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when trying to communicate with the Deaf.

  • Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts at communication are going to be difficult and uncomfortable. This will get easier as you progress.
  • You can write if the barrier is still too strong. The Deaf person would be happy for your efforts. You can combine your communication methods, hand gestures, and writing to make the process easier and more effective.
  • Take your time and be sincere in your efforts to communicate with the Deaf person. Slow down when the Deaf person is confused and feeling insecure about the whole process, especially if he’s not taking the lesson in right away. Let him feel that it’s fine and that you can always repeat the process.
  • Do not talk to the Deaf person when you’re not looking at him. Eye contact is a vital tool for effective communication with the Deaf, as they listen and understand with their eyes. Show them that you respect them by looking into their eyes.
  • Use the start and end of your conversation as a chance to visually and physically connect with the Deaf person, particularly if he has had an interpreter throughout the conversation. Smile at him, firmly shake his hand, and make eye contact.
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Challenges That Are Still Seen In The Deaf Community

The lives of the deaf and hard of hearing have tremendously changed in the past decades. Modern technologies have emerged, and new policies have included solutions to further decrease the stress and difficulties of deaf persons around the world. However, there are still some obstacles that have remained.

Internet And Other Devices

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The birth of the Internet, tablets, and smartphones has transformed the way people with hearing loss communicate. Speaking and hearing are not always a requirement anymore, particularly in daily activities like ordering food or complaining of a bill. Skype. Face Time, Zoom, and other videoconferencing applications have made it easier for them to understand and learn sign language through remote interpreters and teachers. Still, some challenges continue to persist, such as the need for interpreters for deaf people who don’t have access to the Internet.

Education And Employment

Unlike in the past decades, the deaf community is no longer limited to working in factories and other companies offering hard labor. Unfortunately, although the numbers have largely changed for the better, there are still a lot of deaf persons who are unemployed for discriminatory reasons. In fact, since 2015 up to now, there have been more than 30% of deaf people who remain part-time working jobs. According to Robin E. Perkins-Dock Ph.D and co-authors, “Communication difficulties have been a significant contributor to poor employment rates, and continue to be a primary barrier to job maintenance and advancement for the employee who is deaf.”

Similarly, in the academic aspect, usual schools and colleges seldom provide a system that helps deaf and hard of hearing students survive and thrive. There are also still a low number of institutions that cater only to the deaf community. Recently, there is an estimated 30% of hearing adults that have acquired a bachelor’s degree, while there is only roughly 15% of deaf people do.

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This continuing ordeal in the field of education and employment has caused a rise in anxiety, depression, and stress in the deaf community, as evidence-based data has been released that unemployment from this group has been associated with a range of mental health problems, substance abuse, and some chronic illnesses.

Sign Language Issues

It is unknown how many individuals in America use American Sign Language or ASL, but estimates go from 100,000 to a million. Interpreters aid ASL users in interacting with hearing individuals, and it has been a requirement for public schools to offer ASL interpreters to those who need them. Unfortunately, ASL users, like the deaf and the hard of hearing, do not have control over the interpreter that is provided to him, and this issue can affect them and their capacity to communicate or decipher vital information. Alys Young further puts emphasis on it by saying that, “Interpreters are imbued with powers of representation and portrayal of the person.”

Social Seclusion

Reports say that there are nine out of ten deaf children that are born to parents who can normally heart, but only a third or less have family members who sign up to learn sign language. Some of these family members simply depend on their deaf loved ones to make most of the effort in lip-reading, but in fact, this is significantly difficult to do. This also frequently causes misunderstanding and confusion. In rural areas, on the other hand, deaf children might be the only ones in their school or their neighborhood, making it severely devastating and difficult to establish relationships. “Reduced participation of deaf and hearing impaired individuals in social life leads to a reduction in social adjustment and quality of life,” Guita Movallali, Ph.D. and co-authors explained.

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Conclusion

Although it cannot be denied that much has transformed positively for the deaf community through the years, it is still sad to know that stigma, discrimination, and negligence still exist. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals still have much to face – but so do all people who are alive and living today. Thus, the deaf community must not lose hope. And if they, together with the hearing community, work hand in hand in making the world a better place, it will be for all of us.

Deaf Teens And Their Mental Health

 

For most teenagers, being lonely and frustrated is a common thing. They often feel overwhelmed, and their behaviors are also usually affected by these feelings. Having good mental health is undeniably vital throughout all stages in our lives, but it is in finding ways on how to manage our mental health that we must learn to practice. It’s as important as taking care of our physical health, only a little harder because we don’t see it. It’s often a challenge from within us, and it can be something that we are not in control of.

Now, imagine if you’re a teen that has a hearing loss. These challenges would probably be a little (or quite) more challenging compared to your friends.’ Perhaps you’d feel like you don’t belong or that there are aspects in life that your friends don’t struggle with, but you do. Deaf adults ever receive mental health care,” say Guita Movallali, Ph.D. and collaborators. “Ones of the problems forced for deafness is depression. Depression is a serious mental illness. Categorized depression as the most disabling clinical diagnoses in the world, it has been described as the “common cold” among the mental health problems.”

But don’t despair. These thoughts and feelings are normal and common among the deaf and hard of hearing. There are choices out there, and you know where to look for these choices.

Dealing With Your Mental Health

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Teenagers handle many academic and social responsibilities – being deaf can make it even more challenging. If at times you feel that you don’t belong, every interaction with someone can be harder and more stressful. You may even be oblivious about your mental health and that it’s not in good shape right now, maybe because you’re too busy taking care of other challenges as well. But you should already have your support people behind you – your family, friends, teachers, and audiologists – who are wholeheartedly committed to helping you live the most normal life possible.

Here is a list of questions to ask about your mental health right now.

Are you having trouble:

  • Finding a support network that you can depend on when you feel like you had the worst day?
  • Socializing appropriately with classmates and friends at school?
  • Opening up about the difficulties you are facing and instead keep mum about them?
  • Accepting and acknowledging that you do need help?

If you answered yes to these questions, then bravo! You are doing quite well, considering your disability. It would be lovely to hear about your strategies on how to successfully be in great mental shape. “The importance of reliable and up-to-date support for parents’ decisions is critical to the overall well-being of their child,” Poorna Kushalnagar, PhD and co-authors wrote.

If you aren’t sure of your answers or you answered no to most of them, then perhaps connecting with people who are deaf can assist you in finally fulfilling that physical and mental balance in your life. Hook up with programs and workshops that can guide you in how to manage your feelings better. Expand your reach so you’ll learn to deal with different kinds of people.

Keep in mind that as a deaf teen, you are not alone. There are more than 5,000 more deaf people across the United States, and it would be awesome to be able to establish new and old connections through email, chat, and voice.

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Mental Health Help

One great way to find a support network during your teenage years is by reaching out to fellow deaf teens and adults alike. Some organizations make this move easier for you and they connect you to other deaf persons who have the same or different experiences with whom you can learn from.

You can also reach out to mental health professionals from BetterHelp, which is one of the most effective methods of achieving good mental health – deaf or not. The professional can help you sort your feelings and guide you into healing and recovery. According to Daniel Holzinger and collaborators, “Enhanced communication with deaf patients results in improved patient compliance with medical recommendation.”

Do not be dismayed. You, too, can dream big and accomplish amazing things. Getting to the finish line might be rough and patchy, but keeping your mental health in check will help you achieve success.

 

 

 

How To Avoid Leaving Out Your Deaf Friend In These Situations

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In a world where hearing is impossible or just vaguely existent, those who are deaf or hearing-impaired usually miss out on some or a large part of a conversation. Those who can normally hear can never imagine what it’s like to be deaf. But if your childhood friend or best buddy is a deaf person, then you’ll perhaps be more empathetic and consider the thought of being deaf yourself. What if you can’t hear and understand conversations going on around you, or the television that you’re watching, or the music playing in the background? You would think that it’s quite depressing and stressful to have hearing loss, and it could be.

“For deaf people, isolation is always an issue,” writes Michael Chorost Ph.D.

If your best friend is deaf or hearing-impaired, here are some useful tips to decrease their feelings of isolation and help them feel a little less discouraged and alone in specific situations that will be discussed here.

In The Park Or Playground

A lot of children and teens hang out in the park and playground for recreation. They talk and make conversation; thus, they socialize. If you’re planning something with your friends and your deaf friend is around, include him in the conversation by writing a text that he can read about the plan. Some deaf persons can understand when somebody’s talking to them, but it’s difficult for them to do that if many people are talking at one time. He’d be ashamed to ask and eventually feel insecure.

“Just as being blind or deaf can be partly disabling, to be out of contact with or cut off from one’s emotions can be partly disabling too because important data is missing,” writes Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D.

Also, there are games that you can play in the park that don’t require you to be talking or listening all the time, like card games and board games. Most kids enjoy playing cards and board games, and these are among their favorite ways to pass the time. Your best friend will not feel left out if he joins.

Source: flickr.com

If you’re planning on exercising or playing a sport, you can always let him join basketball or soccer. They’re easy to follow, and they’re contact sports, something that you and your friend can benefit from physically and mentally. If in case he doesn’t hear the referee blowing the whistle in the middle of the game, you can pat him on the back to signal him to stop.

In-School Or Classroom

People who have a hearing loss or hard of hearing require a line of sight that is directed straight to the blackboard. However, most of these hearing-impaired teens are shy to sit in front of the room because they don’t want the attention. The best you can do is making sure that his line of sights is not blocked. Don’t distract him when he’s trying to lip-read or trying to understand body language from the teacher. When class ends, double-check with him if he had understood the lesson, the homework, or if there were any announcements that he had missed. If there are, then you can go over them with him.

Socializing Outside When you’re out of school grounds, and at parties or get-together with your other friends, you must remember that if you turn away from him, he would have trouble understanding you, especially when there’s loud music in the background. If he’s wearing hearing aids, on the other hand, don’t talk louder because this won’t help. Just be clear with your words like always. Better yet, when you’re in a noisy place, such as in a food hall, you can text each other. It’s easier for both of you, and he doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable with you trying to exaggerate your words so he can understand. “Socializing can provide a number of benefits to your physical and mental health,” writes Angela K. Troyer Ph.D., C.Psych.

Source: flickr.com

Final Thoughts

Our helpful tips on this article will help you be a better buddy to your deaf friend, and you can make a tremendous change in your friend’s environment when you offer to help. True friendship can be shown in many ways, and being empathic is compassionate is among them. Your help for your deaf friend can go a long way – that’s for sure.