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Music Therapy - How it can cure Depression and other Mental Problem?
The people in today's times have adapted to a lifestyle which can be very exhausting sometimes. Some people do not even realize the level of stress they take on a daily basis. It is not until later that the consequences of their actions begin to show their effects. And hence they, consciously or unconsciously, create a foundation for most of the mental illnesses. This leads them to seek professional help. Such people can be treated with old school methods like medications and psychotherapy, or these methods can be used along with music therapy.
Music therapy is an interpersonal session in which a therapist uses various facets of music to cure the patients. This method of treatment is believed to be originated after the Second World War. This was the first time when doctors started observing that listening to music has started showing some significant improvements in the health of the patients. Over time, this led therapists to use music therapy for depression and various other mental problems found in patients.
Listening to music has many noticeable effects on our emotional and physical state. It is often observed that listening to relaxing music during times of stress can calm us down. Similarly, an upbeat music helps us to energize ourselves. A happy music can cheer us out. Each piece of music has its own neurological effect. The primary aim of a therapist is to figure out various needs of a patient on a physical, emotional and social level. For this, the therapist uses appropriate music which indulges the patient to express his emotions nonverbally. It also relaxes the patient, thereby regulating his heart beats, calming him down and reducing his anxiety levels.
Types of music therapy
There are basically two types of music therapy, active and passive. In an active music therapy for mental health, the patient is being indulged in composing music using an instrument or voice. In passive music therapy, the patient has generally been made to listen to a piece of music and do some or the other kind of activity like drawing or simply describing which would let the therapist understand the kind of underlying emotions and memories evoked by the music played.
Generally, the therapist begins his intervention by playing a song and asks the patient to either state his interpretation of the lyrics or prepare alternative lyrics. He can also ask the patient write a song. Apart from this, a patient can also be asked to write a song.
Here are some benefits of music therapy for depression:
- It increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, which helps in increasing motivation.
- Music helps in releasing endorphins.
- It helps in developing a sense of belonging.
- It improves the overall healing process of a patient.
- It helps in the mood improvement of a patient.
- It increases a patient's response to antidepressants.
Helpful in treating other mental disorders
It has been found that music therapy has improved the cognitive functions of various patients who suffered from autism, Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinson's disease. In older patients, it has also shown a reduction in aggressive behavior. Music therapy for mental health has also been found effective in treating disorders like schizophrenia and mood disorders.
Certified professionals should practice music therapy. It is not the same as listening to peaceful music at home. It has a clinical approach which requires professional guidance to get the perfect result in the end. If you want to go through this therapy, you must contact a certified therapist only. Moreover, just like music, the effects of music therapy might vary from person to person. There are chances that it does not work on a patient with a certain kind of mental disorder. Having a proper consultation with the expert is highly recommended.