Mental Illness is the demon that peers over our shoulders. It has haunted our species seemingly forever yet has gone undetected for so long. It is only in recent years that we are a civilization have started to understand and accept that mental illness is a real, and terrible form of disease that can be battled and even beaten.
Time was people with mental illness were written off as liars or called crazy and locked away, tortured, and even killed. This barbaric practice has slowly been replaced by a more accepting, understanding, and kind culture that approaches this sensitive topic with grace and reserve. But even with that there is still so much we do not understand about mental illnesses and every day we discover new ways to help support those suffering. And this is what we are going to look at today.
Music has been a large part of culture since the dawn of man. Our earliest ancestors had instruments and you need only look to the animal kingdom to see how vital singing is. Music connects us together, comforts us, inspires us, and motivates us. But it can do so much more. In recent years, medical experts have started using music as a tool to help fight mental illness. But how is that possible, I hear you ask? Let us dive into a look at how music is being used to help battle mental illness.
Mental Illnesses play with the mind. They twist and contort the way we think. The way we feel. The way we act. But music has this power too. How often do you hear a song and your mood suddenly changes? A random memory from your past comes rushing back and you are flooded with a strong, overwhelming feeling. How often do you find your self unable to stop your foot tapping along to the beat? Do you notice how songs can implant powerful messages within you, changing the way you view the world?
This is the foundation of musical therapy. While it is still quite an unknown area, lots of clinics have been using the medical practice marketing at practicebloom to raise awareness of it. The idea is that therapists will use certain music to stimulate emotions within you while talking through your issues. The mix of the musical interference along with the traditional therapy tactics works to try to rewire your brain chemistry and generate the chemicals that are currently unbalanced.
The key advantage of this is that you will soon start to associate the music with the process of healing and positivity. This means whenever you listen to it your brain will continue the healing process. Association is a powerful tool in the medical world and is utilized in musical therapy to great effect.
But it isn’t always about being happy. Sometimes you have to acknowledge the feelings and the sadness. Music can assist in this. Lots of group therapy sessions often ask patients to try their hand at creating music, to express their feelings through music. An outlet like this is proven to improve the mental wellbeing of those using it.
This method is less typical, and much more experimental, but effective all the same. Binaural beats are tracks that use binaural sound waves at different frequencies to stimulate certain areas of the brain. It is essentially auditory hypnosis that can change the way you feel. Like medication but in sound form. This can be used to try and change your mood but also to speed along the process of healing your brain undertakes during therapy and while on medication.
Binaural Beats can also be used to help fall asleep. Mental Illness often causes insomnia in those suffering. And lack of sleep compounds into exaggerating the illness and has other effects on the mind and body that eventually compile into making a patient even sicker. Binaural beats are a cheap, and effective way to try inducing sleep. While these beats won’t work for everyone but for those they do work for, they are a powerful tool on the road to beating their mental demons and overcoming the challenges that come with mental illness.
Overall, music is a powerful tool. It makes us laugh. It makes us cry. It brings us together in ways not possible in other mediums. And it even has the incredible power to heal us. As we become more informed as a society we will continually find new ways to use music to change the world. It is so important to keep on signing in the dark times and look ahead to brighter days. Because as dark as it seems, they are just over the horizon.