Definition Rewrite-RowanRat

Mental Illness Through Therapy

There are many ways of noticing that someone is experiencing mental illness other than simply stating the fact. The term therapy is often understood as talking out your feelings to a professional therapist which leads to a possible diagnosis. This is not the case, however, where there are many outlets that one can express what they are going through. One example of this is music therapy. Through this kind of treatment, psychologists are able to find whether or not a patient is experiencing some type of mental illness through this artistic form of expression.

With this type of therapy, one is able to analyze the type of music created to understand an artist’s self-concept and rehabilitative needs. Further, one is able to see those issues in the lyrics of their music. By examining an artist’s work, a professional is able to notice psychological and developmental processes where they may have not been able to notice in other ways. Because of this, there are great benefits for the artists combining analytic approaches of song analysis with an experiential, arts-based investigation.

As stated by the AMTA, “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” Not only is music therapy beneficial for the clinician to better understand their patient, it is also helpful for the patient to let go of these emotions as well as receiving the help they need at the same time. Music therapy is especially advantageous for those who experience issues with communication. Activities that are included in such treatment are singing, dancing, creating music, or by listening to music. By doing so, patients are able to express their feelings in a creative and entertaining way. 

Music being understood as having healing abilities is not news and has been used as such since the times of Aristotle. However, the first official documented practice of using music for therapy was in 1789 through “Music Physically Considered,” an article in Columbian Magazine. Further, throughout the 1900s this practice gained popularity where there were multiple programs introduced. In 1903, the National Society of Musical Therapeutics was founded by Eva Augusta Vescelius. Next, in 1926, the National Association for Music in Hospitals was founded by Isa Maud Ilsen. Another, in 1941, the National Foundation of Music Therapy was founded by Harriet Ayer Seymour. Considering music therapy as an organized clinical profession truly began in the 1940s. Flash forward to today, there are around 5,000 certified music therapists in the United States.

There is a common link between creativity and mental illness. Many songs reflect the type of life an artist has. Further, one’s mental health is a significant part in one’s life. Therefore, it is more than likely that if an artist suffers from some type of mental illness, it will show in the songwriting of those artists. Meg Hutchinson describes her experience with mental illness and how it affects her music. Hutchinson suffers from bipolar disorder. She explains how in her song, “The Living Side” she expresses how she promises to stay on the living side. This proves that mental illness is commonly displayed in the lyrics of their music.

There are many songs with dark lyrics that are a result of the artist having mental illness. Eminem suffers from depression and his song, “Stan”, writes “You coulda rescued me from drowning / now it’s too late, I’m on a thousand downers now, I’m drowsy / and all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call.” Another by Eminem, “Rock Bottom” writes “My life is full of empty promises and broken dreams / I’m hopin’ things look up; but there ain’t no job openings / I feel discouraged, hungry and malnourished” Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day suffers from panic disorder and his band’s song, “Basket Case,” writes “Sometimes I give myself the creeps / sometimes my mind plays tricks on me / it all keeps adding up I think I’m cracking up / am I just paranoid or am I just stoned?” Morrissey of The Smiths suffers from depression and his band’s song, “I know It’s Over” writes “Oh Mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head.” All of these songs demonstrate how mental illness affects and is apparent in the lyrics of those artists who are suffering.

Another example is an artist with the name of X. Ari. She is a singer-songwriter and suffers from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and insomnia. Some lyrics she has created include, “There was no dim light at the end of the tunnel and every part of my being thought this was the end. If I only knew that so many people have similar struggles, I would not have felt so alone. Perhaps I would been able to recover sooner had I not been so ashamed.” As you can see here, she is openly discussing her mental illness in this song. This is an example of lyrics that describe the current state of their lives. There isn’t much digging needed to find examples of some sort of mental illness here. However, this is a good example of how music is used as an outlet for mental illness and has a significant impact on the lyrics created. Also, this just shows that not only was she able to express her feelings, she is acting as a real life example of someone who has effectively used music as more than just a leisure activity.

Emotional expression includes but is not limited to regular one on one conversation and that is something that must be understood. Today, more than ever, people are experiencing mental illness at alarming rates. For those who do need assistance, they should be aware of the many resources available that can help their given situation. Many are reluctant or apprehensive about classic verbal therapy which stops them from getting the help they need. Music therapy is surely a more appealing type of treatment and if more people knew that this is an option, it can save the lives of those suffering.   

References

Additional informationNotes on contributorsMichael ViegaMichael Viega. (n.d.). What’s in a song? Combining analytical and arts-based analysis for songs created by songwriters with neurodisabilities. Retrieved March 06, 2021, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08098131.2016.1205651

American music Therapy association. (n.d.). Retrieved March 08, 2021, from https://www.musictherapy.org/about/musictherapy/

An interview with The Singer-songwriter and mental Health Advocate, X.ARI! (n.d.). Retrieved March 06, 2021, from https://music.allaccess.com/an-interview-with-the-singer-songwriter-and-mental-health-advocate-x-ari/

Landau, E. (2013, August 23). When patients have ‘music emergencies’. Retrieved March 08, 2021, from https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/23/health/music-therapy

Mental illness and CREATIVITY: Singer songwriter Meg Hutchinson on bipolar disorder and medications. (2019, August 12). Retrieved March 06, 2021, from https://talentdevelop.com/3949/mental-illness-and-creativity-singer-songwriter-meg-hutchinson-on-bipolar-disorder-and-medications//* custom css */.tdi_98_160 .tdb-author-name-wrap{ align-items: baseline; }.tdi_98_160 .avatar{ width: 20px; height: 20px; margin-right: 6px;, Bartleet, L., By, & Bartleet, L. (2020, December 08). 50 songs about depression. Retrieved March 06, 2021, from https://www.nme.com/list/50-songs-about-depression-1109

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6 Responses to Definition Rewrite-RowanRat

  1. davidbdale says:

    TECHNICAL NOTE
    What appears to be your sixth source appears to be tangled with what appears to be your fifth source.

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  2. davidbdale says:

    Ordinarily I concentrate on content and structure in my responses to first drafts, RR, and I may get to that before I’m done here, but I want to offer some rhetorical advice first, since I couldn’t get past your first paragraph without wanting to help.

    Few rules of good writing are as useful as my favorite: Use the most robust verb to describe the action of the most specific subject.
    Three items there: 1) Robust Verb, 2) Specific Subject, 3) Action.
    The more often your sentences comply with this rule, the more likely you’ll retain readers (which is, after all, the purpose of every sentence).

    Your paragraph

    There are many ways of noticing that someone is experiencing mental illness other than simply stating the fact. The term therapy is often understood as talking out your feelings to a professional therapist which leads to a possible diagnosis. This is not the case, however, where there are many outlets that one can express what they are going through. One example of this is music therapy. Through this kind of treatment, psychologists are able to find whether or not a patient is experiencing some type of mental illness through this artistic form of expression.

    Five sentences without many robust verbs, specific subjects, or action.

    There are many ways of noticing that someone is experiencing mental illness other than simply stating the fact.
    —Subject: There. Verb: Are. Action: none.
    The term therapy is often understood as talking out your feelings to a professional therapist which leads to a possible diagnosis.
    —Subject: Therapy. Verb: is understood. Action: Understanding.
    This is not the case, however, where there are many outlets that one can express what they are going through.
    —Subject: This. Verb: Is. Action: none.
    One example of this is music therapy.
    —Subject: Example. Verb: Is. Action: none.
    Through this kind of treatment, psychologists are able to find whether or not a patient is experiencing some type of mental illness through this artistic form of expression.
    —Subject: Psychologists. Verb: Are. Action: none.

    Don’t despair. Weak sentences are quite common, especially in first drafts. They should be strangled and killed before the second draft, but they’re not strong enough to defend themselves, so they’re easy to exterminate once you go looking for them.

    This paragraph makes use of the same material, as I understand it:

    Countless suffering artists have died undiagnosed because nobody listened. The lucky few who get into counseling may save their own lives by talking out their feelings with a professional therapist, but that requires a prescription and a referral and a medical diagnosis. Music therapy provides a lifeline and an alternative. Psychologists, like musical detectives, unearth clues to mental illness below the surface of artistic expression.

    Artists die undiagnosed.
    The few save their lives.
    Therapy provides a lifeline.
    Psychologists unearth illness.

    Does that help, RR? I’ll be very disappointed if you don’t reply.

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  3. davidbdale says:

    Another style note. Beware of four sentences that all use the same person as the subject. You probably need just one sentence for that case.

    Meg Hutchinson describes her experience with mental illness and how it affects her music. Hutchinson suffers from bipolar disorder. She explains how in her song, “The Living Side” she expresses how she promises to stay on the living side. This proves that mental illness is commonly displayed in the lyrics of their music.

    OR

    In the lyrics to her song, Meg Hutchinson describes how she battles her bipolar disorder by regularly promising to keep herself on “The Living Side.”

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  4. davidbdale says:

    Paragraph 1. Make sure your readers understand the life-and-death stakes. Grip them with Robust Verbs and Active Subjects.

    Paragraph 2. We are told that a professional analyzes music “types” and song lyrics, and that the experience for the patient is “experiential,” but what we’re all wondering is 1) Does the artist seek this sort of therapy, or is it recommended-(mandated)-prescribed? and 2) What does it look like? The pro seems to be doing everything.

    Paragraph 3. So what are “music interventions”? And what artist comes into music therapy with “individualized goals”? You mention “these emotions” as if we’ve already discussed them, but we haven’t. I’m starting to think that maybe artists who have a diagnosis and are already receiving medication or maybe psychoanalysis get referred to a music therapist as part of a therapeutic regimen? I just don’t know. Tell me. Maybe music therapy is common for Non-Artists too, yes? It’s just a way for normally guarded patients to reach buried emotions? I shouldn’t have so many questions.

    Paragraph 4. I don’t see the value of this.

    Paragraph 5. See Note above about the Meg Hutchinson sentence. Maybe the first 4 could be combined into one sentence also.

    Paragraph 6. Maybe more important than the lyrics about frustration, and depression, and panic, RR, is that all these songwriters are alive. Does Music Therapy allow for the possibility that addressing mental illnesses directly in art is itself therapeutic? Maybe Eminem and Morrissey never underwent MT, but their live performances are individual therapy sessions in which they confront their dark emotions and, in expressing them to other humans, relieve them. (I also want to note that Eminem isn’t addressing his own suicidal thoughts in “Stan.” It’s his fan who feels neglected and wants to kill himself.)

    Paragraph 7. The X. Ari example is related to my comments above about P6. But what’s your actual subject here? Musicians who have availed themselves of formal Music Therapy? Or artists who use theatrical performance and public self-exposure as therapy?

    Paragraph 8. I like that you’re advocating for a course of action here, RR, and offering hope to readers who might be in despair, not comfortable with traditional therapy, and in need of an alternative. What such a person would need most, it seems to me, is a clear description of what Music Therapy actually looks like, so they can envision it as a real alternative.

    Your responses?

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  5. davidbdale says:

    You’ve settled on an important and intriguing topic, RowanRat, and I’m encouraged by your work so far that you’ll take the job seriously. It’s clear you want to see people get help struggling with their afflictions.

    But consider shifting the focus of your research from proving that artists suffer depression toward how music therapy actually helps them. (Or how music can be BOTH a way to express dark emotions for those who perform it as therapy AND a way to tap those repressed emotions for patients who aren’t necessarily artists at all.) Spending a lot of language to tell us that lots of pop artists use dark themes in their art almost goes without saying.

    Feedback, revisions, and regrades all take place here on this post, RR. When you’ve made substantial changes, submit for a regrade as many times as needed to achieve the result you want. And keep the conversation going, please. I’m very liberal with my time and feedback for students who respond, and I quickly learn to ignore those who prefer to be left alone.

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  6. davidbdale says:

    I’ve been confused by your first source because it starts so strangely with this string of nonsense both here and in your Bibliography:

    Additional informationNotes on contributorsMichael ViegaMichael Viega.

    Now, I’ve done a search for Viega on our blog, and the only place it appears is in your Bibliography and here in your References list. You don’t appear to have actually used the article or cited it in any of your arguments.

    Here’s what the Abstract says:

    There are a number of methods for analyzing songs that are created and used in music therapy, which vary according to investigators’ theoretical orientation and the intent of the inquiry. This article looks to understand the benefits and constraints of combining analytic approaches of song analysis with an experiential, arts-based investigation. The authors analyzed a series of songs created by a songwriter with a neurodisability, one author conducting a deductive analysis and the other engaging in experiential approaches from within an arts-based research (ABR) methodology. Results indicate that both analyses revealed similar information regarding the songwriter’s self-concept, attributes, and rehabilitative needs in the context of her recovery from a neurodisability. However, deductive analysis provided an objective perspective that attempted to generalize themes, which might be useful to inform diagnostic information involving self-concept after a neurodisability. Conversely, but complimentary, an experiential approach allowed for more ambiguous and complex content to be explored, illuminating psychological and developmental processes that might not have been otherwise revealed in analytical analysis. The benefits and limitations of integrating analytic and experiential approaches to analyzing songs created by songwriters in music therapy are discussed to provide researchers and clinicians rationales for investigating songs from varying theoretical perspectives.

    I don’t see where you’ve made use of that material anywhere.

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