When UOIT students were asked by a Mental Health Services representative about how they deal with their stress, it was no surprise that many students answered: music.
Seeking solace in music seems second nature for some, closing the world out and losing yourself in the music and messages the lyrics sew. It’s become evident that music is so successful with people suffering from mental illness, that a Music Therapy has been created to help people with understanding and developing self-identity, promoting quality of life, and maintaining well-being. The five main resources used in this therapy includes: song writing, lyric analysis, improvisation, listening, and playing instruments.
Music also reminds us that even though we trick ourselves into believing that we are alone, and are alone in our suffering, someone else has felt the same way as us. It allows us to connect to the band/singer/message that is being told, and could prevent self harm or attempted suicides. Listening to music helps us deal with the issues we feel we shouldn’t have, or are too afraid to speak aloud to someone.
Not only has music assisted in the recovery and therapy of people suffering from mental illness, but musicians are using their music to talk about mental illnesses and attempt to break down the stigma. In her song Secrets, Mary Lambert admits that she has bi polar disorder in the first line. Lambert stresses the importance of De-stigmatizing mental health, and this song is just another way that music has brought the issue of mental health to the fore front.
As someone who’s struggled with my mental health since a traumatic event in my childhood, music was crucial in making me realize that the only way I was going to get better was to reach out for help. It spoke louder than the false lies I was telling myself over and over again until I began to see them as truth, and helped me break free of the darkness that I’d called home for so long. It gave me the strength to let go of the friends who didn’t understand, and to do what I could to fight the stigma that is mental health.
As successful as Music Therapy may seem, and the important role it could play in someone’s journey, it’s not meant to be the only way someone can look for help. There are options to help with what you are struggling with, and you are not alone.