Philadelphia Globe: Music & Your Mental Health
Philadelphia Globe: Music & Your Mental Health
My name is Patrick, and I like so many folks from around this groovy globe, daily deal with extreme anxiety and depression issues. However, I own them, I accept them, I acknowledge them, and I acknowledge that it’s certainly okay to admit that you’re not okay.
You know this shit storm we’re in called 2020, right? It’s all enough to drive anybody mad and it’s a pretty safe bet to say that at this point, none of us are truly okay.
Please, hang in there. Yes, I’m talking to anyone who feels like they haven’t got anyone who exudes empathy for what they’re going through. To anyone who feels like they haven’t got a soul to chill with on this god forsaken planet. We should never, ever be afraid to reach out to those who are mentally suffering… never.
Okay, let’s spill some mental health tea, shall we? Always. Never a question. We must break out Mom’s fancy tea mugs on the subject now more than ever. Just to go over some pearl-clutching facts, anxiety disorders (including depressive disorders) are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million adults 18 and older roughly 18.1 percent of the American population.
With insane numbers like that, why are we not talking about mental health together every day of our just trying to make it through this dumpster fire lives? Time to change it up.
Listen, I’m not here to go on and on about what I mentally deal with on a day-to-day basis as every one of us wheels and deals with life differently. I could blab to you all day about how I’m feeling, but you wouldn’t know exactly how I’m feeling because you’re not me. This is the reason we need to link up to talk about mental health every day. We need to work together to find common ground on this way too much ignored global health crisis.
Speaking of common ground, like our beloved Material Girl says, “Music makes the people come together,” and that it most certainly does and will always do until the world stops spinning like a disco ball which it just damn might. While we’re not able to get into each other’s heads exactly to know what the other is truly mentally going through, we can ALL come together to agree that those dear sweet precious grooves that capture those dear, sweet precious moments in our lives also do their very best to save our f*cking lives.
How many times does that one song (you know it) take you back to a much happier place when you’re having the worst damn day ever? How many times has that music become your best friend on days when you feel absolutely lost in this crazy world? How about that one playlist that remains true to who you are and nobody else and picks you right up on those most depressed, anxiety ridden days?
I’ve been there, we’ve all been there, and from the looks of it, there will be plenty of aggravating moments into the foreseeable future where we’ll each be there again.
Here’s some headphones grabbing facts for you, research has proven to show the benefits of music therapy for various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, trauma, and schizophrenia, to name a few.
In the 2016 study ‘The Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health,’ (a must read, check it out) music therapist Molly Warren fielded a case study on various psychiatric patients where she proved that different sorts of music interventions, including song listening and songwriting, can serve as a medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief. It was also shown that music can be fueled as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety and depression.
Ask yourself, how many times have you escaped to your ‘pods when the many, many traumatic events that have been brought to our undivided attention this year have been way too much to mentally handle? Too many to count, I’m guessing. Let us bless all the music in all this tattered land for keeping us sane this year. No, seriously, we owe it our lives.
With September closing out Suicide Prevention Month, the other main focus of this piece is to keep the conversation about mental health going beyond those thirty days. Music is certainly one way we can find common ground on the subject to make sure we keep everyone groovin’ along in the best way possible, so how else can we do it?
How about we just truly be there for one another on the dance floor of life? Maybe stop being so damn ignorant to the subject of mental health? Accept the underlying truth within each of us that it’s okay to not be okay right now and that’s certainly okay. Just admitting it is a shining step in the rightly guided direction. It also should be permanently noted that you’re never alone when you’ve got music by your side. I know that the simplest song (most likely Ariana or Britney) has lifted me up on my darkest days and given me a reason to feel like I belong in this world again.
And if the almighty prowess of those beats and grooves still aren’t enough to make you feel like you belong in this world, do yourself a fabulous favor and get the help your truly deserving of to guide you to a brighter place.
Because, really, we’re over just bustin’ a move on the floor and living the almighty truth that music is the glue that not only prevents the universe from imploding, but prevents us from mentally exploding….and you certainly don’t want to miss out on any of the dance party.
I also wanted to personally share an ongoing playlist of mine, the aptly titled, “Survival Jamz,” with tracks that have no doubt picked me up on my absolute worst days, and I hope they will for some of you out there, whoever you are, whatever you’re mentally going through.
There’s never been a more proper time to all just keep dancing like our mental health depends on it…because it absolutely does. So, let’s hit that volume up like we’re still living at Mom’s house. No other way.
About the author: Patrick DeMarco has been an avid entertainment writer for the City of Brotherly Love for just about a decade now, and is happy to keep the fires burning as a contributor for The Philadelphia Globe.