Mental Health & Hearing Loss

Today is World Mental Health Day and the MIND charity reminds us that “mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year”. This year’s World Mental Health Day is focusing on workplace wellbeing and taking care of your mental health at work.

A lot of hearing loss charities this year have also focused campaigns on the workplace and it’s not hard to see why. The average individual spends 5 days, 36 hours a week in the workplace, that adds up to approximately 252 working days (excluding individual annual leave but including 8 days bank holiday) a year. We spend the majority of our lives at work so of course we should ensure that our workplace is a healthy, happy and supportive environment.

Living with mental health can impact on every part of your daily life and affect your relationships with family, friends, colleagues and most importantly, yourself.

Individuals who suffer from hearing loss are more likely to experience some form of mental and emotional issues. Past studies have shown that hearing loss left untreated can have a profound effect on your mental health with individuals more likely to suffer from anger issues, depression and anxiety which can all stem from feelings of isolation and inadequacy.

A recent study by the National Council on Aging[1] studied 2,300 individuals living with some form of hearing loss and found that they were 50% more likely to experience depression.  A further study in the Journal of American Medicine Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery conducted in 2014 also connected hearing loss with an increased risk of depression; the increased risk was found to be more common in women than men.

I’ve blogged before about the feeling of isolation hearing impaired individuals feel; unfortunately, social isolation is a common problem, whether self-inflicted or not and this can be a contributing factor in cognitive decline and also dementia, as reduced hearing leads to less brain stimulation.

It is important to seek medical advice if you think your hearing has declined and quickly – it is believed that the average person doesn’t seek support for hearing loss for an estimated seven years! This isn’t helped by societies view of the hearing impaired and the social stigma attached to the disability – often deafened individuals are thought to be ‘stupid’ or ‘ignorant’.

Mental health problems are ever increasing in our society and it is important that you look after your mental state, just as you would look after your physical health by going to the gym.

Here are some tips from MIND on how to look after your mental health at work;

Talk about your feelings – “Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.”

Keep active – “Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better.”

Eat well – “What we eat can affect how we feel both immediately and in the longer term. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.”

Drink sensibly – “We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.”

Keep in touch – “Relationships are key to our mental health. Working in a supportive team is hugely important for our mental health at work.”

Ask for help – “one of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.”

Take a break – “A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.”

Do something you’re good at – “What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.”

Accept who you are – “We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else.”

Care for others – “Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you.”

[1] https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/52532-How-hearing-loss-can-impact-mental-health

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The Invisible Disability and Me, The Book

My apologies for not updating my site in recent months, I have been busy working on The Invisible Disability And Me, the book and now, finally, it is ready!

I have published The Invisible Disability And Me as a self help guide for those suffering with any form of hearing loss, whether mild, severe or profound as well as those inflicted with Tinnitus or considering a Cochlear Implant. The aim of the book is to empower, educate and help the hard of hearing deal with their everyday lives. If it can help improve just one person’s outlook on life, then I consider it a job well done.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, it has truly been a labour of love but I am incredibly proud to announce that the Kindle AND Paperback versions are NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY!!!

The Kindle edition is available from Amazon for £1.99 with ALL proceeds being donated to Hearing Link UK in recognition of the fantastic support and advice they provided to me and my family, as well as the work they do to help countless others.

If you would like to purchase the Kindle edition, please click here;

Kindle

The paperback edition is also now available to buy from Amazon and is priced at £4.99, again, ALL proceeds will be donated to Hearing Link.

If you would like to purchase the Paperback edition, please click here;

Paperback

So, what are you waiting for? BUY, BUY, BUY!!

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The Invisible Disability And Me – The Book UPDATE

Happy New Year to all of you – I hope you all had a wonderful festive season and are looking forward to the new opportunities 2017 has to offer.

Sorry for not updating the blog for a while, I’ve been a bit busy with Christmas, illness and the book.

Speaking of the book, I wanted to give you all a little update. The manuscript is now with the publishers and we are awaiting their final comments and potentially a few amendments to the formatting etc.

Once that has been completed, they will give me a choice of a few pricing structures that would be suitable for the book. All profits made from the sale of the book (hopefully a lot!) will be donated to Hearing Link UK.

Following the release of the eBook, I will be purchasing 100 paperback copies to send to Cochlear Implant centres in the UK, hearing loss charities, support groups and those who backed our Kickstarter campaign.

You will also be able to purchase paperback copies but these will be via a print on demand service separate to the eBook. I’m not 100% certain on the protocol for this, it may well be that you have to order them through me and I’ll send them on once received – once I have more information on this I will update you all.

Finally, I just want to extend my deepest gratitude to all of our followers, readers and backers for all of your support, encouragement and help in getting The Invisible Disability And Me eBook thus far.

Lots of love,

Laura x

The Invisible Disability And Me – The Book!

As some of  our avid readers (and social media followers) may be aware, we are in the process of writing our first eBook, aptly named “The Invisible Disability And Me”.

The book covers topics such as tinnitus, hearing loss in the workplace, travel and cochlear implants, offering tips and hints on how to cope with hearing loss on a daily basis. I write about my own personal story, which many of you are already familiar with, and I also share advice that I have learnt along the way. Continue reading “The Invisible Disability And Me – The Book!”

17 Things To Expect When You Get A Cochlear Implant

1) There will be a lot of tests before you are deemed ‘eligible’; There are MRI scans, CAT scans, speech perception tests, hearing tests and various other assessments you will have to go through before they can accurately assess you against the NICE criteria. Continue reading “17 Things To Expect When You Get A Cochlear Implant”

A Partners View

So a lot of my blog posts have been from my perspective; how I feel about the hearing loss, how I have coped and what I have found helpful so I thought it would be nice to focus this post on how my partner has found the whole experience of being with a hearing impaired person and what advice he would offer to other couples in the same position as us.. Continue reading “A Partners View”