21 November, 2018
Therapy: A More Natural Method
What is anxiety? Is it made up? What is a safe way to treat this condition? While most know what anxiety feels like, and how painful it can be, many doctors are still attempting to find out these questions. What complexes doctors in today’s world is the teenage brain. Generation X has the highest number of anxiety diagnosed teens in almost a century, and what can be done to help? Doctors are so overwhelmed by the mass amount of patients; they quickly prescribe pills such as Oxycodone or Vicodin. When in reality there is a much simpler and ultimately safer alternative, it is music. Although prescribing medicinal pills to treat teen’s anxiety might be seen as useful, it is overall unhealthy and should be replaced with a safer, more natural alternative such as listening to music.
The primary symptoms of anxiety are very ordinary in a teen mentally and physically. This is very normal; however, 25% of 13-18-year-olds have an anxiety disorder. This disorder goes beyond the primary symptoms. Phycologist Katie Hurley explains these symptoms:
“For many teens, things like public speaking, final exams, important athletic competitions, or even going out on a date can cause feelings of apprehension and uneasiness. They may also experience an increase in heartbeat or excessive sweating. That is how the brain responds to anxious feelings. For some teens, however, anxiety can go beyond these typical symptoms to negatively affect friendships and family relationships, participation in extracurricular activities, and even their schoolwork.” (Hurley 1)
Teens become entrapped in a depressed state; most cases go unnoticed because of the disbelief of parents and doctors. The lucky teens that are heard out and seek help, unfortunately, are given potentially harming and addictive drug in order to cope with the disorder. “The anti-depressants that are most commonly supplied give temporary relief by boosting the brain’s dopamine levels.” (NCBI 23) After the drug wears off, however, the brains previous levels of dopamine lower even further. This causes the brain to crave more of the anti-depressants and begins the addiction cycle.
Thankfully, a healthy alternative is always readily available. Music naturally boosts the brains dopamine levels. This means the brain does not have to be dependent on different chemicals. Music therapy is a set of activities such as performing, composing, or improvising music in an attempt to help depression and anxiety. Music’s main help is it shifts focus away from the stress and replaces it with something rather soothing, or pleasant. The University Health News expounds saying: “Music affects physiological factors like heart rate and hormone levels, modulates the nervous system, and has psychological effects.” (UHN 2) Music can also be combined with other therapeutic models like art or imagery. Something that helps music therapy is finding something t...