Is it common/more likely for hearing-impaired & deaf individuals to have social anxiety disorders & panic attacks?

As someone born hearing-impaired myself, I know that I am extremely shy and suffer from social anxiety disorders and I think panic attacks every now and then.

However, I am not sure if that is unique to me and my personal circumstances or if many hearing-impaired or deaf individuals suffer from this as well? Is it common for us to experience this? Why or why not? Is it because we often struggle with communication? Are not used to crowds?

2 Answers 2


Davis et. al (2007) conducted a large survey of the UK population between the ages of 55-74. They reported that 12% of their participants had a hearing problem that causes moderate or severe worry, annoyance or upset and 14% had a substantial hearing loss. Unfortunately, the data are not reported in a way that allows for determining what percentage of people with substantial hearing impairment also have moderate or severe worry, annoyance or upset.


I can answer this from a first hand perspective, based on my experiences.

I'm almost completely deaf from one ear. It can cause more of a social discomfort that can lead to anxiety. I can't talk with anyone in a club, i can't approach a girl properly, in a meeting i have to do a 120 degree turn on anyone sitting on my right, and you find also those great people, even 'friends' that mimic having said something right in your face so that they make you have to ask what was it they said.

When you start ignoring these kind of things, you start risking being passed for an antisocial or a loner, especially if you are a quiet / introverted not shy type.

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