Julie, thank you for taking the time to write a thoughtful and informative reply. Fortunately my hearing loss is not so great that I need closed captioning on my phone. I lost a lot of high frequency hearing so the quality of my hearing has been diminished but I can still hear. Right now I'm managing without a hearing aid. It's just a struggle to hear clearly sometimes and I have to ask people to repeat themselves. If it gets worse then I will definitely look into a hearing aid. Also, normal sounds seem louder than usual for some reason, sometimes painfully so.
I have an appointment with a psychologist next week. I don't know if she has any experience helping people with hearing loss. The thing is I'm limited, financially, to mental health professionals who accept my insurance. Where I work my insurance doesn't pay providers all that well. I'll see how it goes with the psychologist and I'll ask her if she knows a psychologist who has experience with the hearing loss issue. I just did a search for state services for people who are hard of hearing. As it happens, Deaf and Hard of Hearing services is under Texas Health & Human Services. I'll call them and see if they have a list of mental health professionals who deal with this.
There's an extra "dimension" to my hearing loss experience that is probably not all that common. My hearing loss wasn't an "onset". It didn't occur naturally. Someone did this to me. My dentist. On top of that, if I'd been thinking clearly as it was happening I could have stopped the whole procedure, but I didn't, and I don't understand why. So in addition to my anger and frustration about the hearing loss, I'm also angry at the dentist and at myself. This shouldn't have happened. When I walked into the dentist's office on May 9th, I had excellent hearing. Within a matter of minutes he severely damaged it.
To be clear, I'm not seeking pity. I've made multiple posts here out of a need to express my anger and frustration about what's happened to people who can empathize. I haven't talked about it much to family members because a) we're not all that close, and b) none of them have had this experience.