By Shannon Frost Greenstein
Depression is projected to be the leading cause of disability by 2030.
Think about that for a second. Over 300 million people suffer from depression in the world currently, and for some, it literally impacts their ability to work, parent, or even function on a day-to-day basis. I guarantee you know someone who suffers from depression. It transcends age, gender, race, faith…it’s a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it makes life very difficult for some.
That’s why a new Norwegian study out of Uni Research Health is so exciting.
The study found that using music therapy can actually help ease depression. 421 patients were involved in the research, and the overall conclusion was that the participants felt less depressed when listening to or making music. It also found that music therapy can ease anxiety and improve functioning for chronically depressed individuals.
Music therapy can include passive techniques, such as listening to music or observing musicians, and active ones as well, such as playing an instrument, singing, or performing. What’s vital is that the process needs to be overseen by someone with a degree in Psychology and experience treating depression. The therapist can utilize music therapy in combination with medication and talk therapy to lift mood, reduce stress, improve coping skills, or process negative emotions.
I think we can all agree that music inspires different emotions and sense memories. It makes sense that something capable of such a visceral response would also have the power to fight mental illness. Now that these results have been published, it’s possible to start to study different forms of music therapy and precisely how they impact various parts of the brain.
If you fear you might be suffering from depression or anxiety, you can take a screening here.