The Essential Connection: Navigating Isolation, Community, and Coping with symptoms like Tinnitus

As prosocial species, connection with others is paramount to our wellbeing. This reality is even more obvious when we see how many people lose their lives to suicide and how many are victims of their isolation, which results in depression, lethargy and a myriad of other issues.

When hunter gathers worked together in tribes of 50, 100 or  500 people, it was much more difficult, if indeed nigh on impossible to lose a member of the group. When a group member disappeared, it was the objective of the others to find the missing band member. These days you can lose yourself remarkably easily, self absorption as part of the human condition causes us to prioritise our ‘path’ before considering the well being of the group, but this is not necessarily our fault. Biology dictates all..we know intuitively what we need to do to support each other, but the divide and conquer mentality of our consumerist society pulls our attention in ten directions. It is important to consider what truly matters and what will matter on our death bed, is it going to be the flash new Christmas toy or the people you loved that you will reflect on with emotion.

This blog does relate to tinnitus, albeit perhaps a little indirectly. When coping with any neurological or otological symptom we are often drawn towards our community to receive help and support where possible. There are so many wonderful facebook, instagram, telegram groups, to name but a few, where one can find comfort with a community of people who suffer, have suffered from or simply know somebody dealing with tinnitus. It is a definite advantage of tech that we can reach out to others who are mirroring our reality. There are also the people we meet in our day to day activities who can be a surprise support when we are challenged. Having a community of any sort is key to coping with the presence of the hum or the hiss. If there are 20 people in the room, the probability of another person having tinnitus or knowing somebody with the symptom is remarkably high. Although we have become more isolated in some ways, our biology has not changed very much. The people around us want to connect, so it could be helpful to have a chat with your community members about your tinnitus in order to spread awareness and indeed consideration. There will be those who are inconsiderate, especially online where it is easy to hide behind words and forget our humanity, but remember the majority of people are altruistic and want to support you!

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