“You feel like you’re missing things that other people are understanding because you look around to see if other people seem to be getting it or are also missing out,” Rakita said. “Those with hearing issues try to compensate by nodding, by taking a guess at what’s said based on a couple of words they heard, or by not saying anything at all.”
The struggle of not feeling like you fully know what’s going on can lead to withdrawal because it’s difficult, embarrassing, or frustrating to continue to participate in certain meetings and conversations and equally difficult to not be included in them.
“Withdrawal should be a huge red flag, but it takes some self-awareness to notice it and seek help,” she added. “Family members or a significant other might notice hearing loss first, since hearing loss can be difficult to sense in yourself.”