I remember in elementary school how one kid always got into fights with others. More and more often, these fights would come almost out of the blue during a conversation or as he passed a group of other people.
This went on for years until, in about the 7th grade, a hearing screening discovered that he only had about 35% hearing on one ear. Once he had the problem corrected (it was some sort of a polyp or wart in the ear canal, he became one of the nicest guys ever.
One day, I asked him about it and he said, "Well, I'd be walking by a group of kids and someone would say my name. Someone else would say something else that I couldn't QUITE hear and I automatically thought "they're putting me down," I'd get mad and the fight was on. Now that I can hear, that just doesn't happen anymore."
The effect is commonly referred to as "deaf man's paranoia," and it can lead to some really startling thinking on the part of the victim of the problem.
So, in the streets, has anyone come across this? If so, or not, how would YOU handle it?
Lee Darrow, C.Ht.