A BBC News report on music therapy cites a study indicating that patients suffering from depression showed greater improvement as a result of music therapy than did patients who received only standard therapy.
After three months, the report says, the patients who received music therapy showed greater improvement in reducing anxiety and stress than the other patients did. After six months, however, the same level of improvement didn’t seem to continue.
Even so, the study seems to bolster the widening view that music therapy can be of great benefit to seniors suffering from a variety of mental conditions or disorders. Just as music and music therapy appear to be potent weapons against the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and other conditions affecting brain function, this may also be the case when it comes to battling depression.
According to Prof. Christian Gold, quoted in the BBC report, “Our trial has shown that music therapy, when added to standard care, helps people to improve their levels of depression and anxiety.
In the same report, Dr. Mick Crawford, a specialist in mental health services at Imperial College London, concurs. Says Dr. Crawford: “The results suggest that it can improve the mood and general functioning of people with depression.”
Music therapy may be especially beneficial to people suffering depression or anxiety as a result of medical difficulties. A Fox News report on music therapy and anxiety among cancer patients suggests patients receiving music therapy along with standard cancer treatments had lower anxiety levels than patients not receiving music therapy. The evidence may not be conclusive, but overall it suggests that an openness to music therapy and its possible restorative or rehabilitative powers may be in order.
It’s no secret that music has the ability to lift many people out of short-term depression or anxiety. Whether it can be as effective in combating effects of long-term depression is less clear, but if your doctor believes music therapy may be what you need, you ought to look at that option with an open mind. If your doctor recommends that your senior health care regimen include music therapy, Medicare, including Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans, can help cover the costs.
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