Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Music And Mental Health
Yesterday my friend, M, and I were talking about how our mental health has changed as we have gotten older. He also has problems with anxiety. His is not nearly as bad as mine is, but that doesn't matter when you are in the thick of things.
One thing that has changed is how we view song lyrics now that we have suffered our mental health problems. What was once a great song can now be enjoyed with a greater understanding of its meaning, real or implied.
"Who Can It Be Now" by the group Men At Work (lyrics below) is one such song. When we were in high school it was just a catchy tune with memorable lyrics. Now, I can really relate to what is being said. Paranoia is part of the cocktail that is my diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety. The singer is clearly suffering from this and is not happy having his sanity questioned (There's nothing wrong with my state of mental health). "Is it the men come to take me away" shows the sad fear that paranoia brings.
Another song I enjoy for its take on health, mental and physical, is "Afternoons And Coffeespoons" by the Crash Test Dummies (lyrics below). It is funny, to me, that I now wear my pajamas in the daytime and my day can be measured with "coffeespoons", or doses of medication. I also find the mention of T. S. Eliot to be nice. I can only imagine that "Wasteland" is what the song writer was referring to.
Music was once very important to me as a coping, destressing, mechanism. Now I have a larger toolbox from which to choose ways to alleviate anxiety and racing thoughts. These include TV, DVDs, and games and audible books on my iPod. But music will always hold a special place in my arsenal.
Does music help you when you are anxious? Or just sad? Do you have any suggestions for me?
"Who Can It Be Now?"