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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
blt Non-Music: Cyclical Depression (66* d) RE: Non-Music: Cyclical Depression 30 Dec 00

Dear Mrrzy, I am a therapist, about to graduate from Antioch in Dance Movement Therapy. I currently work in 2 psychiatric units, one for adults (18 and older)and one for children and adolescents. After being around individuals who suffer greatly from depression, I've changed my beliefs concerning anti-depressant medications--I'm not as skeptical of them as I used to be. It seems that you have done your own research on what medications work for you, which I think is very useful. Anybody can give you advice but your own experience is probably the most valuable. It also sounds as if you know what to do when things begin to get bad, such as reaching out to others. Of all the treatments and programs and resources I've seen concerning depression, connecting in a meaningful way to another person is, in my opinion and personal experience, one of the best solutions. Depression is, I agree, tied to chemistry in the brain--however, I also believe that the chemistry and the chemicals are directly linked to many things, such as diet, fatigue, stress, exercise, relationships, trauma experiences, etc., etc. As a therapist who chose creative arts as a path toward emotional healing, both personally and professionally, I believe that music has a very special role to play when applied to depression. It is as if a musical note or frequency, which is literally an energy wave, can strike our human nervous system and "tune" it biochemically. There are specific practices which address this (such as toning, chanting, sacred singing, the use of certain modes or scales), but I was thinking in a less esoteric way of just getting out a guitar and noodling around. In a movement therapy group that I co-lead, one of the warm-up exercises that everybody seems to like, no matter how sad they appear coming into the group, is to slowly breathe in then exhale, making some sort of sound. There is no judgement about what kind, a whisper, a groan, a shrill whine, a bark, a long musical warble--even this small thing appears to help adjust the feeling of overwhelming sadness. It doesn't go away, but I believe, after talking with the folks in the group about this, that the pain simply becomes bearable, even if only for that moment. In many ways, this is what I believe folk music helps to create, whether it's blues or New Song--it's that trust that no matter how I sing what I have to sing, someone will accept me singing it, and will listen without judgement. If creative therapies interest you, I would be happy to give you more information. With warm regards, blt

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