How Talking On the Phone Positively Affects Your Mental Health
It’s no secret that talking on the phone with friends and family can be a great source of happiness – and even the most mundane, task-oriented calls give us a sense of connection and control over our lives.
Without this daily social connection, people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired can be at risk for chronic sadness or depression. They may also experience feelings of irritability, poor self-image and feelings of inadequacy.
Here are 3 ways relay services can help people live happier, more connected lives.
(1) Connection vs. Isolation
The effects of isolation on the mind are well documented. Relay services are a vital connection for anyone experiencing hearing loss or speech/visual impairment. Imagine if you had to wait until conditions were just right to take or make a call – or worse, had to wait until a friend or family member could assist you. Communication difficulties, if not addressed appropriately, can lead to social withdrawal and self-defeating thoughts. “They can’t understand me, so I might as well quit trying. I’m not really a part of society. What good am I?”
(2) Confidence vs. Anxiety
We all want to feel confident in our abilities and decisions, but struggling to communicate can be a real confidence killer. For example, older adults with hearing loss might feel as if they are to blame for misunderstandings. Many feel apologetic about repeatedly asking for help to understand what is being said. They lose confidence in their abilities, face anxiety in social situations and worry about personal relationships. “I’m a nuisance. I should quit talking because it just frustrates other people. They must be sick of me.” This can in turn lead to physical symptoms such as tension, exhaustion and weakened immune systems.
(3) Capable vs. Incompetent
Disability does not mean inability. But to many people, not being able to hear and discern message and meaning can result in feelings of shame, humiliation and inadequacy. They worry about being seen as incompetent, or even stupid. The feeling of shame linked to hearing loss can be linked to misunderstanding and the resulting social embarrassment of giving the wrong response. People may think “How stupid I must look!” or “What will others think?”
Relay services – and the simple joy of talking on the phone again – can have a major impact on a person’s relationships with family and friends, their happiness and mental health.
Why wait? If you know someone who is struggling to communicate on the telephone, learn more about FREE CapTel captioned telephone service.