I'm not sure if this is best placed here or in debate or something, but I put it here to hopefully get more personal experience etc. Also a quick warning, my post and this topic could contain references to suicide, self harm etc (though I will be careful to respect TSR rules) so just read with caution if you are a bit sensitive to those sorts of subjects
I'm wondering what people think about the effects of "dark music" on mental health. So many adults seem concerned about teenagers listening to bands like Greenday because they might give them bad ideas and encourage them to commit suicide or something. Is that really what happens though? Are people depressed and suicidal due to the music they listen to or do they listen to that music because they are depressed and suicidal? Does it even matter or are people just freaking out over nothing?
Now I have my own view on this and i'm going to post it here, but I am interested in what other people think too. Do you think music affects mental health? Have you personally been affected by music?
Anyway, time for my view on the matter. It contains a bunch of personal experience and is pretty long so I'll spoiler it.
When I was a kid I think it was kinda implied to me (i'm not sure who by) that dark music made dark people and if you listened to creepy music you were likely some sort of satan worshiper or self harmer (There was also a somewhat naieve and degrading view on self harm and mental healt problems in general). I didn't really question this util I was older and I got into the darker types of music.
I wasn't sure why but music just never really got my attention. Yeah I could see how it was good, but it was more just muddled noise to me. That's up until I heared some music that my brother's friends had shared with him (and subsequently appeared on the family iTunes account). This music actually mrade sense to me. It wasn't some girl jabbering on about big sexy butts or something stupid. It made sense and I could actuall listen to it.
It just so happens that this music was "dark music". It was by a band called Blue October which if you look into it is the story of a guy going through divorce and mental health problems. There's referance to drugs, self harm, even murder in some songs. But despite the creepy ideas and it being very dfferent to my experiences- I'd never been through divorce. Never done drugs, self harmed, commited murder or even thought about it- I somehow felt like this music knew me how other music didn't. Somehow I could relate to it.
I searched for other music in the same genre and again this music made sense to me. I started listening to MCR, Greenday, Linkin Park etc and the more I listened to it the more I could relate the lyrics to my own life.
Through this music I started to realise how I was feeling better. It followed me as my own mental health developed and I started to read new meaning into things. Lyrics that I had once blanked out about self harm began to serve as an escape for my own growing thoughts. I started to live my negative thoughts through the music and when I was feeling rough I turned to the music to sooth me and save me from my own mind.
I am very much sure that my mental health problems would have developed without my listening to that music just as much as they did with. I never read meaning into lyrics until I had had those thoughts myself. Just like how I never went out clubbing or showing off my body just because some person sang about it. I believe infact that this music helped me. Frankly it may have even saved my life. When I was at my darkest moments, at a time I didn't feel safe in my own head, this music comforted me and sheltered me from my own mind. It is also because of the music I eventually sought help. I noticed a sort of progression and how I had gone from feeling kinda depressed, to this point I didn't feel in control of my own mind and the music showed me what came next. Paranoia (I was already starting to slip into that), agression, self harm (an ever increasing fear) and sectioning. It's when I started turning to the songs that were once so creepy to me I would skip them that I realised I needed help.
I went to the doctor and saw a psychiatrist. And as my own mental health started to improve the music again followed me. 2 years later I am off ADs and now consider myself (for the most part) cured- depression free. I stopped listening to music so much when I met who is now my boyfriend and started to spend more time with people. I was introduced to new music and listened to that most of the time when I listened to anything. A while later I opened up the playlist that I used to listen to practically non-stop and played it. It didn't speak to me how it used to and the lyrics that once served as my escape now sounded strange and creepy.
To summarise all that mess... When I was in a dark place, dark music spoke to me and helped me through, but when I was not in that dark place, it no longer spoke to me. I think dark music serves as an outlet for people who are already suffering. It appeals to them because they can relate to it. It doesn't make them depressed- they already are. Depression and suicidal thoughts naturally build over time so sure the more you listen to the music the more depressed and suicidal you'll feel, but only because more time is passing.
I hope that makes sense. I was kinda writing as the thoughts came out so it may be a bit of a muddle.
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- 01-01-1970 01:00
- 09-09-2016 11:49
There's this... http://www.nhs.uk/news/2015/08August...self-harm.aspx
Most goths are goths because of both the clothes they wear and the similar music they listen to so I guess there seems to be something in the idea that depressing music can make you more likely to be depressed. But the thing is it's difficult to tell whether the music and their style came first or the depression and then their style etc?
- 09-09-2016 12:03
Greenday is dark music?
I listen to some pretty dark stuff but wouldn't say it has influenced me at all. I just enjoy the immersive melodrama.
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- 09-09-2016 12:05
I often find that dark or angry music helps me get it out of my system. For example, as a shut-off, I relate very closely with The Wall; when I'm feeling down or angry about people, listening to it helps me feel like a bit less of an *********.
- 09-09-2016 15:04
It has never really negatively affected me and I listen to a lot of dark music. But then I started to listen to music like that way before I had any mental health issues so maybe I'm just lucky in that regard.
- 10-09-2016 10:41