Category Archives: mental health
Survival mode might dictate using a junk drawer but eventually those things need to be dealt with. Avoidance only allows for things to pile and pile out of control.Tweet
“Frog In A Blender”
“Mental illness. What comes to your mind, pardon the pun, when you read the words mental illness? I know some people just rush to the quick verbiage of a “crazy person.” And I’m okay with using those descriptors because this particular writing isn’t about what’s accurate or appropriate and description is much as the trueness of your thoughts. I also not naive and I realized several years ago that the mentally ill will continue to be a marginalized group that is misunderstood by the general populace and greatly ignored. The mentally ill tend to be part of the dredges of society. A unique cast system of broken individuals not seen valuable.
After I was diagnosed my heart broke in several pieces. You knew something was wrong with yourself You felt these different thoughts, urges, sensations, and sometimes confusion, and yet as if a paralytic trying to will their legs to move, you yourself or unable to act or think in a normal way.
You know it’s funny as I reflect on a lot of the different relationships throughout my life of coworkers, colleagues, clients, business associates, friends, & lovers. All the while I never felt okay. I felt like I was doing my best to keep a deep dark secret. Who I am must not be found out.
It’s funny, living years with the mind of someone with borderline personality disorder, you think I wouldn’t be nearly so ignorant to what people would think in regards to my behaviors. And yet I felt like I was able to sort of fool people. That I too could be normal. I wasn’t fooling anyone. As the cliche goes I was only fooling myself.
One thing for sure, an individual that struggles with something like borderline personality disorder has his work cut out for himself BUT so do the loved ones who also experience that diagnosis as witnesses. In some ways, it feels like collateral damage and your personal shame grows exponentially because in the normal stable moments of your thought process you’d never want anyone to be harmed with what you struggle with. But that’s not how it works.
So, of course, a lot of people would think with my own life I would use my diagnosis as an enabling tool. That I too am just a victim of something outside of my control. My divorces, broken relationships, personal debts, suicide attempts are things that happened to me.
Man! I would love that excuse! I’d take it and run with it if that was possible. However, my actions are still on me. Even the unknowns in my life are my responsibility to uncover and understand.”
(Excerpt from book)
To thinking clearly.
To seeing the whole chessboard.
To making tough decisions.
To managing our emotions.
To identifying the right goals.
To handling high-pressure situations.
To maintaining relationships.
To building good habits.
To being productive.
To physical excellence.
To feeling fulfilled.
To capturing moments of laughter and joy.
Music can help us pull emotions to process from our spirits.Tweet
Don’t be afraid to embrace those feelings to work on healing.
Don’t stay in that place. Use the music to help process and expel while being careful about getting stuck. Wallowing poisons the possibility for the process.
While talk therapy allows a person to speak about topics that may be difficult to discuss, lyric analysis introduces a novel and less-threatening approach to process emotions, thoughts, and experiences. A person receiving music therapy is encouraged to offer insight, alternative lyrics, and tangible tools or themes from lyrics that can apply to obstacles in their life and their treatment. We all have a song that we deeply connect to and appreciate—lyric analysis provides an opportunity for an individual to identify song lyrics that may correlate with their experience.
Improvisation Music Playing
Playing instruments can encourage emotional expression, socialization, and exploration of various therapeutic themes (i.e. conflict, communication, grief, etc.). For example, a group can create a “storm” by playing drums, rain sticks, thunder tubes, and other percussive instruments. The group can note areas of escalation and de-escalation in the improvisation, and the group can correlate the “highs and lows” of the storm to particular feelings they may have. This creates an opportunity for the group to discuss their feelings further.
Active Music Listening
Music can be utilized to regulate mood. Because of its rhythmic and repetitive aspects, music engages the neocortex of our brain, which calms us and reduces impulsivity. We often utilize music to match or alter our mood. While there are benefits to matching music to our mood, it can potentially keep us stuck in a depressive, angry or anxious state. To alter mood states, a music therapist can play music to match the current mood of the person and then slowly shift to a more positive or calm state.
Songwriting provides opportunities for expression in a positive and rewarding way. Anyone can create lyrics that reflect their own thoughts and experiences, and select instruments and sounds that best reflect the emotion behind the lyrics. This process can be very validating and can aid in building self-worth. This intervention can also instill a sense of pride, as someone listens to their own creation.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
- Rainer Maria Rilke