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Music Therapy Essay

1504 words - 7 pages

ENG122
5/27/15
Music Therapy through Ages
Constant irrational fears plaque the mind like the shadows of the night. An automatic switch is turned on in the most inappropriate of moments. Crawling in the overbearing darkness, on hands and knees, panicking, an off button cannot be found. The acknowledgment of what is happening is not enough cause to stop it. A faded melody plays in the background. Slowly, it grows louder and the shadows slowly begin to dissipate. The focus changes gently, taking it’s time to calm the mind. The beat gets louder and eventually all is well again like nothing ever happened. Anxiety disorders are a strong unwelcome force, but with music therapy can be calmed and ...view middle of the document...

There is a young girl, around the age of 18, who suffers from anxiety, specifically Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Social-anxiety. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a constant anxiety that causes unreasonable thoughts and fears, and my lead to repetitive behaviors. When someone has a hard time in crowds this would be social anxiety. This young girl cannot go to the bathroom alone in public, and if she has to she wishes that she didn’t. When she moved into her new home she had to pick a specific bedroom out of fear of being robbed and attacked. Every night before she goes to bed she has to make sure all the doors and windows are locked. Her anxiety causes her to overly panic about things she fears that aren’t necessarily a big threat.
Another 20 year old boy, named Hayden, has experienced anxiety and depression since he was 15. Hayden summarizes how lost he was dealing with anxiety, “Once the anxiety took over and I lost control of my thoughts, my mind moved to a very dark place. I was driving myself crazy by living in my head 24/7, unable to switch off” (Beyond Blue Ltd). Anxiety can be debilitating to those who suffer from it on a regular basis. It’s a struggle that has to be coped with. Hayden pronounces proudly that “every good day makes you feel one million times better about yourself. I am still not where I would like to be. Though I know that with time I will learn
to live [with] my anxiety and accept that it is not a reflection of my character or personality” (Beyond Blue Ltd). Hayden provides a positive outcome on an otherwise extremely negative subject. Although, a great support system is needed for this to happen.
People with anxiety problems can use music therapy to help calm their nerves. Listening to music that they enjoy each day can help ease anxiety. Usually “music therapy uses a trained and licensed professional to create individualized programs, which can include listening to music, playing or singing music or writing music, to improve physical, psychological, cognitive and social functioning”, but there are a few activities someone can do at home (Remedy Health Media, LLC). One way is to listen to your favorite tunes on an iPod or phone. It also helps to go to local performances or a favorite artist’s concert. It is therapeutic to write your own songs since it can help translate your feelings easier. Another way to help anxiety with music therapy is to analyze the words of a favorite song and consider why the song is meaningful to you personally.
Music has helped people of any age cope with mental and behavioral problems. Between March 2011 and May 2014 researchers at Queen’s University Belfast teamed up with the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust to conduct the largest study ever done on how “music therapy reduces depression in children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional problems” (Science Daily). For this study a total of 256 individuals were divided into two groups. 128 children and teens...

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