Music Therapy for Reducing Anxiety in Critically Ill Patients

They say music is food for the soul, and over the years this assertion has been confirmed as so many great scientists, athletes, doctors, and artists have pointed to the fact that music has helped them get through some tough situations. Most great people say they are able to focus on the tasks they’re faced with when they listen to their favorite songs.

It births the question, however, if music therapy can actually help to reduce anxiety in critically ill patients. Before we dive headlong into that, we should, first of all, consider two questions. First, what actually is music therapy? And secondly, what causes anxiety in critically ill patients?

What is Music Therapy?

Simply put, music therapy is the use of music for the purpose of accomplishing therapeutic goals. Music therapy is only used when the patient becomes restless or extremely worried and anxious, due to ill health, or other problems.

A music therapist is somebody who specializes in administering music therapy to patients who are anxious, afraid, or restless. Studies have shown music therapy to be highly effective for reducing anxiety in critically ill people.

What Causes Anxiety in Critically Ill Patients?

One may ask, what could actually be the reason why a patient who is bedridden would be anxious, what could he really be so anxious about that he would need a specialist to administer music therapy to help him calm his nerves? Below are some of the reasons.

·       Panic disorders: This is a psychological health condition where the affected person is excessively paranoid to the point that his/her daily life becomes affected.

·       Hypochondria: This is also a psychological problem that involves the patient being excessively worried that there is a medical condition that his body is battling with which has not been figured out.

·       Mental disorders: Patients who have mental problems can oftentimes fall into anxiety.

·       The fear of death: When a person is critically ill, there’s always a tendency that they would become anxious to get well due to fears and worries that they might not make it out of the Illness. Sometimes this is due to their own personal feelings, or what the reports say about their health.

How is Music Therapy Administered?

As was earlier mentioned, music therapy is administered by a specialist. This is usually somebody who studied music therapy as a major and has been working as a music therapist.

Many years ago, a patient could require the services of a musician whose work they admired and ask that they create music for them which would fit their mood.

In recent years, a music therapist works with both the young and the old by first of all assessing the overall health of the patient, sometimes asking what genre of music they love, or just critically selecting one which they know will help calm the nerves of the sick person.

Music therapy is recognized worldwide to be an effective way to help critically ill people release their tension and it will continue to remain effective, alongside other more formal types of medicine.