Schizophrenia is a spectrum disorder that affects around 3.2 million Americans. A highly stigmatized disorder, schizophrenia may include disorganized thinking and speech, odd patterns of behavior, hallucinations, delusions, and more. As emphasized by the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA), around 50% of all people with the disorder do not seek treatment. This is often due to fear of stigma, as many people in the healthcare industry still have misconceptions. When selecting a reputable treatment center, it’s important that you find a place where you feel respected and heard. There are many centers that place emphasize on individual experiences – often by providing a wide range of holistic approaches.
Music therapy has been a major component of addiction and mental illness recovery for several years now; it typically consists of either lyrical analysis, instrument playing, listening to music, composing music, or something similar. These opportunities provide clients with a sense of grounding and clarification – often giving individuals depth and uncovering of thoughts and feelings that may have been tucked away beneath their addiction or mental illness. Although schizophrenia often required medication to treat symptoms, holistic therapies such as music therapy can be a great addiction to a person’s treatment regime. For instance, a 2013 study with 57 adult females with severe mental illness participated in a 13-week music therapy intervention; results from the study showed that participants experienced increased self-esteem, enjoyment in the music therapy group activities, and a greater appreciation towards therapist sand peers.
Another study sought to explore how patients with psychosis experienced music therapy; 4 main themes emerged:
- Freedom: Individuals stated that music therapy helped them take their mind off their mental illness, giving them a sense of freedom and creativity.
- Contact: Described as a personal matter, music therapy seemed to help many participants connect better with themselves regarding one’s identity, self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-esteem. It also helped them get in better touch with their emotions, and better contact with others through group activities.
- Well-being: Enjoyment, satisfaction, motivation, mastery, and hope were all mentioned as experiences that people had.
- Symptom reduction: Many individuals reported feeling relief from some of their psychosis symptoms: disturbing thoughts and images and visual hallucinations seemed to lessen in intensity when music therapy was enacted.
You don’t have to be talented or a musician in order to participate in music therapy. All you have to do is show up. If you haven’t already, speak with an individual from a reputable treatment center about incorporating music therapy into your program. You may uncover or learn something you never would have known before.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.