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Young people and mental health in a changing world

World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.

This year’s theme is “Young people and mental health in a changing world”. 

Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.

Hearing loss can impact mental health!

Untreated hearing loss has a profound effect on mental state, affecting everything from temperament to perceived life satisfaction to cognition. Hearing loss has, in recent years, been linked with depression, the third leading cause of cases in adolescence mental illnesses!

 Those with hearing loss are likely to experience a myriad of mental and emotional issues from anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness, frustration, and decreased cognitive functioning. A 2015 study by National Council on Aging studied more than 2300 people with hearing loss, and found that those with hearing loss were 50 percent more likely to experience depression. (Find out more about this study here!)

“Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing,” said David Myers, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Hope College in Michigan. Previous studies back this up; a 2014 study in the Journal of American Medicine Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery also linked hearing loss with an increased risk of depression, and found that women with hearing loss experienced higher rates of depression than men.

Increasing hearing loss in youths

A daily barrage of loud video games, music cranked to full volume, concerts, sporting events, movie theaters and surround-sound entertainment systems delivers an unprecedented assault on the hearing of our youths! For young people, and teenagers in particular, hearing loss affects everything from education to social life to confidence level and vocational choices and should not be taken lightly!

Protect your hearing, protect your mental health!

Hearing loss caused by noise exposure is completely preventable by taking simple measures like turning down the volume on your earbuds and using hearing protective devices in loud situations. Regular hearing screenings can also help detect hearing issues early on. Talk to a hearing care professional about best ways to treat or manage your hearing impairment.

Sources:

Image Source: Straight Up http://straightupvc.org/may-is-mental-health-month/

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