Clinically Speaking is a blog that will allow anyone to learn about Social Work, case presentations in psychotherapy, and the relationship of pop culture in psychology. Come one...come all!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Music To My (Patient's who have Depression & Alzheimers) Ears...

When I was in undergrad (a few moons ago), I had a friend who wrote a paper on humor and psychology, which stole my thunder at the time. However, I did have another “out of the box” type of therapy in psychology, and that was music (my thesis was Music and Psychology). Music plays a role in everyone's life from owning an iPod, to realizing that most movies would not be as good if it didn't have the right music for each scene.

So, does music play a role in psychology? Turns out very much so in treating people with Depression, Anxiety and Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer's
When I did research on there was data to support the reasoning that music helps with people suffering from Alzheimer's was that the music that was being played for the patients in session was music from their youth and young adulthood sparking the patient to learn(remember) the songs which would kick start their anterograde memory helping them recall events from those points in time. On the Alzheimer's Foundation of America website they dedicate an entire page to the usage of music therapy with people suffering from Alzheimer's and Dementia. Here is the link Music Therapy and Alzheimer's

Depression
There recently has been many news and medical outlets that have reported the usage of music therapy. BBC news reported that researchers at the University of Jyväskylä, said: "Our trial has shown that music therapy, when added to standard care helps people to improve their levels of depression and anxiety...After three months, patients receiving music therapy showed a greater improvement in scores of anxiety and depression than the other set of patients." Furthermore Fox News reported that Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis collaborated with Drexel University to in study to exam the usage of music therapy and people who have depression or anxiety who have also been given a cancer diagnosis. Debra Burns, the lead researcher reported that "Compared to patients who only received standard cancer treatment, the combined data from the studies suggested that patients who also had music treatment rated their anxiety and pain lower and had higher mood scores. In addition, their heart rates were lower by about four beats per minute; on average...There was no effect, however, on how patients rated their depression or fatigue."

The article goes on to dispute the effectiveness but it’s worth noting that these are some of the advances in "outside the box" thinking.  Patients with mental illness need to consider every form of therapy before entering treatment, as well as clinicians being able to say "oh play therapy or CBT isn’t for everyone let's try something else".

Again, just another example of how the mental health field continues to develop. 

Happy Friday and Happy Football!!!
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