Major Depressive Disorder is a monster that affects more than 16.1 million American adults. It is more than feeling a little sad; MDD can be debilitating, leaving a person real physical symptoms and desperate for something―anything―to soothe the savage beast.
Music can be that “something”. It is a universal language that can calm as much as it can energize. Music evokes memories, emotions, and takes you back to a time long passed. Music can quiet persistent thoughts. Music can keep the outside world outside.
Renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks said, “Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more – it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.” Music can reach some people with severe neurological disorders when nothing else can and it can ease MDD symptoms as well.
Why? Music reaches down to the very core, to the soul. And it’s benefits on the depressive mind are quantifiable and numerable. One study, of which there are many, appeared in The Arts in Psychotherapy in 2010 and studied the effects of music on depression on people with low- and medium-level depression. One group was given psychotherapy while the other was exposed to 50 minutes a day of classical or baroque music for eight weeks. At the end of the test, the music therapy group had fewer depressive episodes than the group that received psychotherapy.
The benefits have been so great that music therapy has been developed for the treatment of many neurological issues. According to the American Music Therapy Association, there are many benefits of music therapy specifically on individuals with anxiety and depression including:
- Reduced muscle tension
- Increased self-esteem
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced interpersonal relationships
- Increased motivation
- Successful and safe emotional release
People who undergo music therapy show improvements in self-expression, coping and relaxation skills, problem-solving, social interactions, decision-making, focus, and all-around positive behavior.
Music therapy shouldn’t be used instead of other treatments without close supervision by a doctor or therapist. It can, however, be used as a supplemental treatment used in conjunction with your current treatments that can greatly improve your chances of relief from symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder and soothe the savage beast after all.
Another treatment that has been shown to provide relief for patients suffering from MDD is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It was approved by the FDA in 2013 as an effective treatment in MDD patients who have been unable to find relief using antidepressants. Using powerful magnets to stimulate the prefrontal cortex, TMS can relieve symptoms of MDD or in some cases, send it into remission. It’s a non-invasive, drug-free treatment that is done on an outpatient basis and is covered by most insurance policies.
Gateway TMS is one of the leading providers of TMS treatments in the St. Louis area. We provide TMS treatments in a calming, relaxed atmosphere and are focused on your health and wellbeing. Call GatewayTMS today at (314)909-8487 to find out if TMS is right for you.