Music Could be Good For Your Mental Health

In this post, I will write about how music has helped me in my mental health journey.

So I was diagnosed in 2015 and I have been going through treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and social anxiety. 

Music has helped me immensely. 

Apart from listening to music, I found huge benefits from practising music. I got admitted to a singing class and I love it. I love the practice, the sound, the Sargam, etc. 

Although it’s not my main career, I love it as a hobby.

So I have always loved music but the problem was with the consistency of practice. I was not practising regularly. 

3 years ago I started harmonium classes and continued them for a few months. Then I joined singing classes online earlier this year and continued for 2 weeks.

I was not prioritizing it and not practising daily. But with that fixed, I feel much more confident.

I feel more peaceful and in a flow state when practising music. 

So basically I am practising with vocals and keyboard and I am trying to learn the fundamentals first. 

I can’t sing well though and I am trying to improve. It will take time and though I am impatient, I will learn patience along with the mastery of music.

The main things that I want to highlight are “flow” and “peace”. 

Flow is when we become so focused and feel bliss in a task that we forget the passage of time. And peace is when we feel peaceful.

Everybody’s mental health can improve with bliss and peace in my opinion. 

It’s a different matter that learning music may not be everybody’s preference. But it’s a good path to choose if that’s one’s priority.

For me practising music has helped me feel more peaceful and in the flow and is good for my mental health.

Thank you for reading this blog post. Please comment on which song makes you feel peaceful?

Hate Therapy? The Biggest Reason To Motivate Yourself For Therapy

When I was depressed and mentally ill, I went to probably 5 different psychotherapists.

Each of them has a different way of doing therapy(psychotherapy). And most of them did not have any impact on my mental health.

It was only when I found my current therapist that I feel like my mental health is getting better.

I’ll not name anyone, but I’d explain why this phenomenon of most therapy not working occurs.

I’ll not speak about different methods of therapy because I don’t know about them. I’ll write about my understanding and my beliefs.

I think the calmness and thoughtfulness of my current therapist motivate me to get better. I respect my therapist because of it.

And I think this motivation and respect also come from the intuitive understanding and belief that my therapist embodies what he says. That he walks his talk.

Most of the time, other therapists give us advice, but they don’t follow that advice. They are not happy with their lives themselves.

I don’t and can’t respect them because of some reason. Maybe because they don’t set an example for the person, they want me to be.

I think this is very important for even people of other professions- to walk their talk, be who you want others to be first, embody your truth, etc. This is a basic leadership skill.

Every therapist, life coach, and consultant is a leader who leads the clients, and patients from darkness to light. And if the therapists don’t inspire change in the patient by setting an example, then the relationship between the patient and therapist won’t work.

But what you need to do to overcome social anxiety, depression or any other mental illness is to follow your therapist’s advice even though your therapist may not be a good leader.

Just don’t keep changing therapists because you feel like they are not good leaders.

Also, the content of the advice is of little significance from my experience. The relationship between the therapist and the patient is more important than the content of the advice.

I mean who really listens or pays attention in therapy except for the therapist when there is no respect from the patient. Every word of advice goes to one ear and out from another ear of the patient or is entirely ignored by the patient.

Although when the relationship gets stronger and the patient finally respects the therapist, the patient will listen to his advice.

But until then it’s only the inspiration that comes from walking the talk on the therapist’s part that works for the patient.

So, the therapist works to the degree of the personal development of the therapist as a leader and a person who walks his talk.

Therapy is useful. And it is important.

And therapy has helped me feel understood amidst all the medication and psychological tests. I have felt better because of therapy. It has given me a safe space to speak about my feelings. It has helped me persevere during hard times.

I remember there was a psychologist at NIMHANS, Bangalore who was very polite and kind to me. I never forget her kindness. She always saw the good in me.

So go to your therapist or find a therapist near you and get therapy because it is important.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not medical advice. Anirban Saren is not a medical professional or a doctor or a psychotherapist.

How I cope with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety

How I cope with mental illness is simple. I write in my journal, my blog, my twitter page and my laptop. I also read books on philosophy. And when I am restless or bored, I watch Netflix or Anime.

Although time does not seem to pass. My days are very long. I feel like I have nothing worthwhile to do the whole day when I am not writing.

I also feel like I am a failure and a loser often. I don’t know why. There is no logical reason for calling myself a failure and a loser. But whenever I remember past negative events, I blame myself and call myself a failure.

My parents and sibling are very supportive. They listen to my problems and sympathize with me. They always encourage me to go out and live life. Sometimes I listen to them and sometimes I don’t.

Depression is a sneaky thing. It enters through the back door and when you are unaware, it gets a hold on you. I cope with depression by listening to music.

With bipolar disorder, where two extremes of the personality dominate at different times based on the mood. I cope with it through maintaining a journal.

With anxiety, I don’t cope quite well. But I try to not depend on my parents too much and try to become independent.

Well, why do I have mental illness? I don’t know. It happens to some people.

I hope I become a great writer, blogger, author, etc.

I think one can never overcome mental illness fully. One can only live with it better.

My plan is to write great stuff. And achieve my dreams through it.

I also think coping is possible only if you know yourself. If you don’t cope well, then probably you don’t know yourself well.

Thank you for reading my blog post. Stay tuned for more.

The Only Thing More Powerful Than Death

The reason I am sharing this idea with you is if you are going through depression or any mental health issues, then it could be a reminder to take steps to overcome depression and not feel hopeless.

I could use the word “love” but I have not experienced the truth of it yet.

But what’s true in my experience is that death is the most powerful thing. But movies like the Titanic, friends who have been in love, inspiring stories of love,etc. make me think differently.

I mean it’s so beautiful that someone can stare death in the eye and refuse to be afraid before death.

As you know that in Titanic, the ship was sinking and Jack, Rose’s beloved, was hand-cuffed and trapped in a room in the ship and if Rose would not rescue him, he would sink with the ship.

In the end of the movie, Rose survives and Jack freezes and sinks in the ocean. And it’s all sad and I feel teary eyes.

But in my and your life, we had moments when we were at a turning point with a choice of going after what our heart wants and what society wanted was to do. In those moments, we sometimes choose our heart wants even if it means to suffer greatly or even face the unknown or death.

This is what is more powerful than death. To follow your heart, to follow love, to face the unknown is more powerful than death itself.

Depression, social anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, suicidal tendencies, etc. are not easy things to deal with. And my words may not mean much because I am mostly always depressed in life and still socially anxious, but things will get better with our efforts to take regular medication and go to therapy.

I have faith in myself, you and everyone that things will get better for me, for you and for everyone.

I hope you got someone out of this blog post. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post.

About “Perfect” Social Media Photos

The reason I am writing this is to show you a unique perspective on comparing yourself with other people.

Social media is full of the perfect moments in the lives of us but sometimes when you are down in the drain these perfect moments seldom empower you.

Instead they make you feel like a failure.

Comparing myself with my friends and college mates who have girlfriends/boyfriends, perfect slim bodies, and happiness makes me feel like I am missing out on life.

And if you feel like same way when you scroll your social media feed, you are not alone.

But we know how it goes. They probably feel as empty inside as me or maybe more. But the truth is my social life is not what I want it to be.

And I am not blaming anyone.

Ok ok I am blaming my past. But I am learning to see past these superficial comparisons.

So what is the solution?

I noticed that as soon as I focus on what I love, that is self-expression, I feel good about myself. I am even planning to go all in.

As soon as I write I feel like I am doing something unique to me. I am sharing my unique life story and gifts to the world.

I don’t know what the phd psychologist will recommend as a solution but this one solution, doing your passion works for me.

I follow a guy whose name is Grant Cardone, New York Times best-selling author and the founder of the 10X Rule and I love his ideas. One of his ideas is to swim in the kool-aid than just drinking it. It means to immerse yourself in an activity or learn about something so much that you forget everything else and fully commit to it in order to be a master in it.

In Grant’s own life he is busy all the time and tells his viewer that if you want to meet the devil, have blank space in your calendar. It is a good example for comparing the negative thoughts and comparisons to the devil in your head.

So I hope you liked this little post and see you every Monday. I say Monday but I am posting a new blog post everyday and it gets old when I say “see you every Monday”. So see you tomorrow!

My Personal Mental Health Journey

It started with me thinking like everyone was looking at me and thinking bad things about me.

I was 15 in 2015 and extremely self-conscious. I did not know what was happening. So I went to the one plan where you can get all answers free of cost- Google.

After researching google for a few hours that afternoon I read the text “Social Anxiety Disorder”. And when my mother arrive home from work, I told her about it.

She knew what it was because she had it when she was young.

But all I could think was it is the worst thing that can happen to a human being. I won’t even wish it on my worst enemy because I knew even at that time that social anxiety is worse than death.

Eventually I begged to my parents to take me to the doctor because in India mental health is still a stigma. And most people think that mental illness happens to only those patients who are in the mental asylum.

I went to the National Institute of Behaviour Sciences in Kolkata and they made me see the psychologist. But I refused to see the psychiatrist and decided to not medication.

Long story short, the psychologist and I had a disagreement. His techniques did not work or at least it did in his textbooks and he probably said to me, I don’t remember the exact words, I had to do those techniques in order to get better. Then I started seeing other psychologists.

Then my parents took me to the Apollo hospital in Kolkata. This time also I refused to take medication. But he recommended a psychologist near our home in Howrah.

The new psychologist explained to me why I had social anxiety. She told me it was because of my parents marital conflict. But her solutions were like the previous psychologist-same textbook solutions that never works for me.

The solutions like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy don’t work for me. I am depressed and I don’t need more depressing stuff like CBT.

So the same conversation happened that her solutions were not working. And I started seeing other psychologist. Or at least I wanted to but I felt so hopeless that I did not see other psychologist and turned to religion.

I real the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita and meditated diligently for 20mins everyday and in between I missed school and played Fallout 4 and other shooting games all day and I failed in class 11.

Then I joined an new school that I hated and I started to feel frustrated with myself. I stopped going to school for a few months and my plan became to meditate and dissolve my “ego”. I didn’t even know what that meant.

It turned out to be very dangerous for my mental health and I developed insomnia and psychosis. And I had to go to National Institute of Mental Health And Neurosciences and I had to take medication.

At this point of time my parents were very supportive. My sister was also very supportive. Most of my relatives were also supportive despite not understanding what mental health issues was.

At NIMHANS I met many new people and made some friends. And although it gave me a new insight into my problems through the regular therapy and careful medicine prescription at NIMHANS, I did not find the solution there.

When I came back to Kolkata, I was more depressed than ever. The psychosis and mania and insomnia occurred again. So we went to the SSKM hospital in Kolkata.

I still haven’t found the solution. What I mean by solution is mental peace.

Meditation does not have it. Psychologist does have it. I am also doing reiki healing. I think reiki works but I think what I am looking for outside me is already in me. But I don’t know how to use it.

Life is not perfect. It is an ongoing struggle. But there is hope.

I am 22 and I still have to go to therapy, get reiki healing, take medication,etc.

Do I have to feel handicapped?

No I don’t. I know that I am equally capable as everybody else. In fact I as a person can do more than others. In an internship training test I was the best of 400candidates my age not few days ago. I don’t blame mental health issues for anything. It is a part of me. If I can accept my good side I need to accept my bad side. There is no place for blaming in my life.

Do I feel like I could be more successful without my mental health issues?

No I would be less successful if I did not have the mental health issues.

Do I love myself?

I love myself and something I feel angry at myself but it’s all a learning process.

So I think you get the picture. It’s not a success story yet. It’s more like a mundane story.

Stay tuned for every Mondays when I surely upload blog posts. And have a great day dear amazing readers!

I am waiting

Before writing anything I would like to tell you that none of my words are researched or scientifically validated. These are my own personal experiences and opinion. I don’t take responsibility for any problems faced from you following my advice.

So let’s start. The reason for this blog post is to make you think differently about waiting for life to happen.

I am waiting. I am waiting for something that will come to rescue me from my mind’s prison. It’s not even a person I am waiting for. I am waiting for the right book, the right video on YouTube, the right series of events, the right timing,etc.

When I read the above lines, I feel despair. I feel like this is not the right way to live life but I am too depressed to take action. And so I feel like I can’t do anything about it and I feel like my life is hopeless.

Medication,therapy and reiki works but only to the extent that I am willing to cooperate. By cooperate I mean take the medication, go to therapy and do the homework and actually do the little things that the reiki master tell you to do in addition to healing.

But when you are depressed to the extent that you can’t make yourself do anything consistently by yourself and you have professional help but nothing seems to work, it becomes really difficult to see results.

So what is the solution?

Let me tell you a story of one of my friends who was suicidally depressed. She probably felt very hopeless and could not even express her emotions. And her recovery was very difficult but it happened and it was almost as if a miracle had happened and you had to thank God for this miracle.

Having faith in something greater than yourself is key. It seems there is no one solution to mental illness. But you can stay strong. You can have faith.

You don’t have to pray or read the scriptures. Just have faith.

This blog post has not been easy for me to write. It is emotionally challenging. I hope you will come back every Monday to read my new blog post. Stay tuned till then!