Music and Depression

Do you suffer from clinical depression? Have you tried all sort of remedies and still don't have your emotions under control? Try music. It can help!

Depression is not easy to live with. Some people never seek diagnosis and help, some self-medicate, while others get professional help and use alternative therapies.

Art, music, poetry, creative writing, and yoga are the most popular forms of balancing the chemistry of the brain allowing the person to focus and function. For some its about singing the blues, rapping about their uses, while for others it's about uplifting songs that put a smile on one's face and makes them laugh.

Music goes all the way back, in the human design, to creational harmonics ... it all started with a tone and ends that way in the consciousness hologram of this reality.

The brain is an electrochemical machine and responds to stimuli especially music. Each person is programmed to feel uplifted by certain frequency vibrations.

Music therapy is becoming a growing field, excellent for use with people of all ages.

In metaphysics and shamanic practices, people seek balance with: music during meditation, drumming, crystal bowls, flutes, the didjeridoo, and other instruments geared for balance that lead to higher frequency awareness. Some people channel their music from the other side, and feel guided when they create and play.

Play it ... listen to it ... write it ... sing it ... enjoy music. Depressed people need to 'play'.

Making Music Proves to be Powerful Antidepressant   Live Science - August 6, 2011
Making music might help lift more depressed people out of the dumps than common antidepressant medications do, the results of a new study suggest.

That's not to say the people with depression should toss out their meds and pick up a guitar. The music therapy administered to patients in the new study was in addition to regular therapy, and the patients continued their regular medication routines. But about one out of four depression sufferers is likely to respond to music therapy, Finnish researchers reported in August in the British Journal of Psychiatry. In comparison, a 2009 review of research published in the journal Cochrane Database Systemic Review found that doctors must treat between seven and 16 people with tricyclic antidepressant drugs for one person to see improvement.

For selective serotonin uptake reinhibitors (SSRIs), another common type of antidepressant, one person's symptoms improve for every seven or eight treated.

Getting musical may enable people to get in touch with their emotions without words, said Jaakko ErkkilŠ, the head of the music department at the University of JyvŠskylŠ in Finland, and his study co-researchers.

Your brain on music

Music is known to have a strong effect on the human psyche. Learning to play an instrument boosts the brain's auditory ability and even makes it easier to learn foreign languages, studies show. Music can also trigger memories by activating the medial prefrontal cortex, which sits in the brain just behind the forehead. This region is one of the last areas of the brain to atrophy during Alzheimer's, explaining why many Alzheimer's patients can recall songs from the distant past.

These emotional and communicative effects may explain the mood-boosted effect found in the new study.

The researchers recruited 79 people with a diagnosis of depression. Thirty-three were randomly assigned to three months of regular therapy plus up to 20 biweekly sessions with a music therapist. The rest of the participants attended regular therapy alone.

Improv sessions

In music therapy sessions, patients improvised on African drums and a digital mallet instrument, the synthesized version of something like a vibraphone or marimba.

After three months of therapy, patients who had gone to music sessions showed fewer depression and anxiety symptoms and higher functioning in their daily lives than people who went to talk therapy alone.

The researchers followed up again three months after the study ended, and found that the benefits persisted, although the music therapy group was no longer statistically different than the talk-therapy-only group.

In an accompanying editorial by researchers not involved in the study, music therapist Anna Maratos of the Central and North West London Foundation Trust and her colleagues wrote that composing tunes may help depressed people on several levels. First, there's the aesthetic pleasure of music, they wrote. Making music also requires rhythm and attention, helping to tune depressed people into their own bodies.

Finally, the researchers wrote, music may provide people with a way of connecting with another person (their therapist) without words.