Music Helps Improve Mental Health of Recovering COVID-19 Patients: Kauvery Hospital

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  • 25% of people recovering from COVID-19 have a deteriorated state of mental health

  • Depression, insomnia and anxiety are very common conditions among people during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected individuals across the globe physically, economically and emotionally. Just as we see people suffering from physical ailments, mental health also suffers in people who have recovered from COVID-19. The mental health of children, adolescents and senior citizens who are isolated at home without social interactions, people who lost their jobs, especially the migrant workers, families who lost their loved ones to COVID-19 and many others whose lives and travails are not known to us have been deeply impacted by the fall-outs from the pandemic.

Kauvery Hospitals, one of the leading healthcare chains in Tamil Nadu, observes World Music Day on 21 June 2021, and promote the message that music therapy can aid in improving overall health of an individual. Speaking about the positive impact of music on mental health, Yamini Kannappan, Consultant Psychiatrist Kauvery Hospital Chennai says, “Over the last one year we have been attending to patients who are suffering from depression, insomnia, confusion-which are part of post-COVID illness. We have also noted aggression among children and adolescents due to isolation. We see a significant increase in number of people consulting for some mental health concerns. Among our treatment recommendations, music also finds a place as a key therapy which we recommend to relax the brain and body, and relieve stress. The type of music also plays a key role in the result.”

Research in the field of neuroscience has shown that sad music with lyrics lead to greater emotional induction than happy music without lyrics. “Music has profound effects on human emotion and can evoke deep emotional responses. The subjective experience of joy and the objective experience of having goosebumps while listening to powerful music are evidence to the fact that music stimulates the reward center of the brain called nucleus accumbens. While the arousal & mood regulating effects of music are well known to us, the profound effects of lyrics as an efficient emotional processing tool is less explored. Powerful lyrics can increase self-awareness, aid in self-exploration and allow us to process difficult emotions,” says Dr. Yamini.

Music is a therapeutic tool that has been advocated in several medical conditions including dementia and chronic pain syndromes. It is highly recommended in cases of Depression, anxiety, insomnia, Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia, diabetes control, surgery related ailments, chronic pain, cardiac conditions etc. “We have also seen the patient’s verbal communication improve through music therapy. The musical patterns help to express emotions better. Sometimes, its not just listening to music but also writing songs, playing instruments and singing would aid in improving their well-being,” she adds.

Speaking about the effects of Music Therapy, Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj Co-founder and Executive Director, Kauvery Hospital Chennai, says, “Mental health has dominated discussions about people’s welfare over the last few years, thanks to the awareness created by experts and individuals. We have seen a rise in number of people expressing their concerns about their mental health and seeking help. However, there is also a large group of people who tend to ignore any symptoms and shy away from seeking help. As physicians deeply concerned about their wellbeing, we urge people to be aware of their own mental health and also to check on their family or friends and help them in seeking help. This World Music Day, let us march to its beat and rhythm and engage on a therapeutic journey of self-discovery and growth.”

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