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Music helped alleviate the symptoms of depression that became very prominent in my mother following her stroke.Personal interest arose in the therapeutic benefits of music after suffering a period of disharmony within myself, caused from a build- up of stress due to work, self-employment, and family commitments and so on, resulting in a lack of self-care. Music was a help at the time and offered an escape from the complicated workings of my mind.
Music seems to affect ‘particularly the “stress” hormone cortisol’ in that it can reduce its levels.
Serotonin is associated with mood, appetite, sleep, and depression.
A realisation period has to be endured in order to re-evaluate and re-formulate one’s circumstances.
The paradox is music helped me become more in touch with my feelings while also offering relief from them.
Her frustrating inability to express language since her stroke emphasised the shock and delight expressed both on her face and ours when she suddenly started to sing along with ‘The Rose of Tralee’ as it played on the radio.
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Thankfully amusia, which is the loss in understanding music, did not affect either Margaret or my mother, as music played such a fundamental part in their lives.
Music is a universal language that can be understood by all humans it – ‘dynamically engages the emotional and spiritual part of being human’ It offers comfort and therapy to those suffering conditions such as brain damage, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, autism and depression.
Music can have a profound influence on mood, potentially elevating the positive aspects of mood, such as vigour, excitement and happiness, and reducing depression, tension, fatigue, anger and confusion.
Radio Luxembourg helped her to sleep at night and Gerry Ryan kept her happy during the morning. She knew all the latest pop songs and we all sang along with her.
Even though she was challenged both mentally and physically she used music as a form of communication with everyone and used it well!