Hello Guys, I need help for a class work

OriMontes

New Member
Hi Guys, my name is Oriana E. Montes, I am a hard-of-hearing person, also I am a student at Community College Baltimore County, there I am taking Introduction to Deaf Culture, as part of our final project I need to have an interview with a deaf person. If someone would like to help me with this, I would be eternally grateful.

Thanks in advance
 

Jamman

New Member
I'll help you if you like. I find this whole deaf culture thing new and strange tho. I'm completely deaf in one ear and very hard of hearing in the other. I wear a strong hearing aid in that ear but I don't yet feel like part of a culture. Maybe I'm resisting. People tell me learn sign language. That is a good idea I know. But I'm holding onto life with hearing and by doing that I struggle daily. That's my stupidity but it's a psychological thing maybe. A culture is like admitting a disability. It's one I don't want but I have and its time I should admit to it. Maybe a good topic for your final project isn't the disability itself but rather the mental impact it has on day to day life trying to come to terms with it and dealing with it. I started losing my hearing 10 years ago gradually. I'm about to turn 40. I have worn hearing aids for 4 years. I stopped wearing my right aid because this year I suffered SSHL in my right ear. Every day we wish this wasn't getting worse and slowly and gradually we find ways to get stronger but it's not without obstacles and real struggle. I have lost a sence I once had. I wasn't born this way. If you want to wow on a final project then maybe think outside the box. Not the hearing condition itself but the mental state concerning it.
 

OriMontes

New Member
I'll help you if you like. I find this whole deaf culture thing new and strange tho. I'm completely deaf in one ear and very hard of hearing in the other. I wear a strong hearing aid in that ear but I don't yet feel like part of a culture. Maybe I'm resisting. People tell me learn sign language. That is a good idea I know. But I'm holding onto life with hearing and by doing that I struggle daily. That's my stupidity but it's a psychological thing maybe. A culture is like admitting a disability. It's one I don't want but I have and its time I should admit to it. Maybe a good topic for your final project isn't the disability itself but rather the mental impact it has on day to day life trying to come to terms with it and dealing with it. I started losing my hearing 10 years ago gradually. I'm about to turn 40. I have worn hearing aids for 4 years. I stopped wearing my right aid because this year I suffered SSHL in my right ear. Every day we wish this wasn't getting worse and slowly and gradually we find ways to get stronger but it's not without obstacles and real struggle. I have lost a sence I once had. I wasn't born this way. If you want to wow on a final project then maybe think outside the box. Not the hearing condition itself but the mental state concerning it.
Dear Jamman, thank you very much for answering. This might seem a little crazy, but the topic for my final project is actually mental health access, and I wished I could find someone like you, who was not born deaf, yet they are becoming one and the impact of the whole experience.

These are some questions I had prepared, yet I can change them in order to make them fit in your context, please feel free of denying answering any of the questions that might make you feel uncomfortable, that will also help me in my class project. Also if you do not know the answer to any of the questions, just tell me and that will be fine.

  • How did you become interested in the mental health field?
  • Do you feel that, with the lack of information or access that the deaf community has to deal with when it comes to mental health, there is still a stigma among deaf community towards mental health issues?
  • Do you believe that Telemental Health could be helpful to the deaf community, so it could have a proper access to mental health?
  • Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder or Schizophrenia are common mental health issues that the society as a whole has to face, how does deaf community live them differently than hearing people?
  • Do you see changes in the way the hearing society perceives deaf community? If so, for good or for bad?
  • What is the one thing that hearing people misunderstand about deaf community’s mental health?
  • Isn’t there a margin of error when using an interpreter? If so, how do professionals get to the exact message that the patient is sending?
  • What is the blame we have to put on the government when it comes to not providing enough economical sustainability to deaf mental health services?
  • In your opinion, what could hearing mental professional learn of the techniques that deaf mental professional use on a daily basis?
  • Have you ever felt that the work of a deaf mental professional could be underestimated due to not being a hearing person?
Again thank you in advance!!!
 

Jamman

New Member
Ok I’m going to take the time with you. It might not help but I’d like to think that it will. Firstly let’s start with feel free of denying answers. If you deny answers you are already doubting yourself, agreed? I am not uncomfortable about speaking about it I am uncomfortable about the facts but facts are facts hence the word fact. You said you can change some of the questions to make them fit. No, don’t. They are your questions and so seek answers.
How did you become interested in the mental health field?
I’m not particually. I understand the traumatic experience people must have with mental health. Some cases are extreme which requires help. Mine isn’t extreme, life is just more challenging this way. I like a challenge but this one is tiresome and when does it stop? It doesn’t does it. Find a new way to cope. It takes time.
Do you feel that, with the lack of information or access that the deaf community has to deal with when it comes to mental health, there is still a stigma among deaf community towards mental health issues? I’ve never really looked into it. Is there a stigma about it? Maybe, probably. I am only answering with my own experience. I can’t comment on the community because I haven’t yet allowed myself to become a part of it. Mental health is individual and how each person deals with each situation on a day to day basis. I am very confident some days and very not on others. Once I was extremely confident but that was because I was young. Life experience prevails but can also bring negativity because of the truths that the young don’t yet understand.
Do you believe that Telemental Health could be helpful to the deaf community, so it could have a proper access to mental health? Telemedicine once again is something that is merely a mental state. Tell me I’ll be ok and if I believe you I will be. But physical disabilities cannot be cured from believe in another. That is a temporary cure if any. Look at faith healing. Please don’t get me started. If you calm me down when I’m upset via Skype far play, that could work.
Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder or Schizophrenia are common mental health issues that the society as a whole has to face, how does deaf community live them differently than hearing people? Depression, anxiety, I understand that now but I fight that and I usually win. Again life does have bigger obstacles the older we get. Students you are funny. Live longer and learn more. As for schizophrenia, shit I hope not.
Do you see changes in the way the hearing society perceives deaf community? If so, for good or for bad? Yes I do. I forever explain or excuse myself. Eventually people get used to it and like me for me so they make adjustments. Then you meet the next person. Repeat that long process again.
What is the one thing that hearing people misunderstand about deaf community’s mental health? I don’t fully agree with this question. You refer to hearing people and us and the deaf community as something else. I’m a married man with a child married to a person that can hear. We have lived together for a decade. We are equal. If there is anything to misunderstand it is frustration.
Isn’t there a margin of error when using an interpreter? If so, how do professionals get to the exact message that the patient is sending? I’ll agree that is a difficult question. Chinese whispers along the line. No I didn’t mean that or I feel something different. You can’t get an exact message. I could say something funny. People laugh. Now I’m feeling low because I’m the joke. Never try to fully understand how someone’s mind is working.
What is the blame we have to put on the government when it comes to not providing enough economical sustainability to deaf mental health services? I don’t blame them or anyone else. How much bloody help are we trying to achieve? Awareness is important, very important. I hear time and time again about equality, nonracial approaches etc etc. The proof is in the pudding. People do struggle to accommodate but they try harder these days because of greater awareness. However it is easier to ignore when you don’t have these issues yourself. I would probably be the same. There is no blame. I do not expect people to accommodate. I am grateful when they do.
In your opinion, what could hearing mental professional learn of the techniques that deaf mental professional use on a daily basis? Only one thing. Only the deaf professional feels it. The hearing professional tries to understand it. I’ll alliterate tries. You can’t learn what it’s like to be deaf because sooner or later you will want to take your hands away from your ears.
Have you ever felt that the work of a deaf mental professional could be underestimated due to not being a hearing person? I have never ever even thought that question. Yes as a professional how can you cope as well as a hearing person. Lip reading is not 100% affective. Sign language is only of use if the person you are talking with can sign. If I was a professional but I couldn’t hear my patient Shit that is a bad day and I probably didn’t help you.
 

OriMontes

New Member
Oh my god, I could not have asked for better answers. Thank you very much, this feels honest and clear, and it is the best way I could present it. I will be greatly honored by speaking about you and your feelings on my project.

Lastly, I know you haven't asked, but as a hard of hearing person, who has grown up in a family with a majority of people with hearing issues, I want to share with you a little of my story.
My mother (who had difficulties hearing yet, it was a pretty minor issue) started to noticing my deficiency in the matter since I was really young, for that she took me to many types of hearing specialist trying to find an answer and a solution to my problem, until one, who I clearly remember, told her that I should start learning sign language and that she should do the same since I was supposed to lose my hearing progressively with the years. My mother completely refused to it, feeling as if it was an insult, and moved on to another doctor. Nowadays, not only I suffer from the lack of power my hearing capabilities have, but I also have strong tinnitus that normally gets on the way when I am trying to listen to my classmates during a debate on the classroom, for example.
The same thing happened to my grandmother, who has the worst hearing capabilities on the whole family, she already has a good hearing aid and still has a hard time listening. When she was young a doctor told her to learn sign language because sooner or later she would be deaf. Certainly, none of us is completely deaf (at least yet), but being in this class has shown me that we might feel as if deaf people are not happy or that they do not feel complete because of this matter, but it is the contrary. I totally agree that what is going on to you is traumatic, because you have to learn how to live without something you had and enjoyed. But please, don't take the possibility of being part of this community away from you, as many people in here are born deaf, there are many more who, like you, have lost this sense gradually and they can share with you their experiences and how they faced this situation.

Learn sign language if you can (I am in the process of doing it) it is amazing and really helpful because it is the key to understanding and communication once our hearing is not with us.

Again, thank you very much for helping, and thank you for being so transparent with your answers

PD: Also I said the "don't answer if you do not feel comfortable" thing cause my project mate had an interviewee how did not feel comfortable with the questions and they had a weird moment there.

THANKS AGAIN
 

Jamman

New Member
Thankyou for your story. I have HOH in my family but its a side to the family that I only met this year and i'm learning from them to. My natural father is very very HOH. He adjusted his working life considerably to try and suit himself and has made a real success of himself. I'm trying to do the same myself by changing jobs into a situation where communicate is less required as that is the only thing that stresses me out as much as it does. The perception that deaf or HOH people aren't happy is marginally true. I believe in telling it how it is and so the truth is no i'm not happy but that is because of the isolation it brings and that I cant be myself and am slowly losing the ability to. I was once very outgoing but now i'm quiet because I cant hear a conversation. At times I probably frown and look unhappy but that is because the world sounds different now and is a lot more intense. I have experienced the tinnitus issues myself and its not fun. It is easy to shut ourselves off because of all this but I am finding new strengths with it. I do agree with you about sign language, its an incredible thing to learn and I should learn it myself. I sometimes picture what it will be like to go completely deaf and its a scary thought. Sign language could take away a large chunk of that isolation. I love how strong you sound in what you have written so that is another lesson to be learnt from you. That it is a big obstacle but you can still face life. You just have to be stronger than others. And we must remember that there are many unfortunate things out there. How do the blind cope? But I bet many do. It was a real pleasure speaking with you and I do hope that in your project you talk about the facts that are frustration, isolation, denial but that there are positive things that can be done. Sign language being one of the biggest. Best of luck with it all and here's my hand to shake yours.
 
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