Health insurance and healthcare are meant to help individuals, not drag them farther down the hole they are trying to escape. As Big Pharma perpetuates the need for opioids, individuals are speaking out about recognizing treatments in art and music therapies. Only seven of 50 states have achieved distinct licensure for art, music and dance therapists. Everyone, especially in this pandemic, has struggled to maintain acts of normalcy. Life is changing which means the way we treat mental health needs to change.
Rhode Island could be the next state to boost its citizens’ happiness and morale by adding art and music therapy as complementary mental health treatments covered by insurance. Rhode Island would be the eighth state to institute distinct licensure for art and music therapists, alongside Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon.
The Center for Disease Control regulations have killed the aspect of talk therapy. Talking to a screen makes one feel more alone than being face to face with a person. Art and music therapy makes one feel on top of the world even if they are alone in a room. Emotions can be shown through making physical art; choosing to get a tattoo over self harming; dancing to music; writing or even creating new music. Art therapy is not a night painting with wine. Art comes in many different forms, just as music comes in different genres. Music therapy can simply be listening to your favorite songs or utilising them through acts of dancing, singing, writing or composing. Treatments in art and music therapy can also help individuals discover new outlets, passions and hobbies or career paths.
Art forms demonstrate and categorize various ranges of emotions. Many college students, especially during the pandemic, are finding it hard to deal with their anxiety and depression. Art and music therapy works well with individuals who are suffering with depression or anxiety, are on the autism spectrum, in need of physical rehabilitation or for people who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson or Alzheimers. Opioids are not always the answer and individuals with a stance against Big Pharama need to have an alternative. Art and music therapy is a form of self-respect to the body and presents individuals with freedom of expression to develop self introspection.
Rhode Island can boost confidence and make us feel more engaged and resilient if art and music therapy are added as statewide approved and recognized treatments. The state does not have any actual therapists or group therapy dedicated to art and music treatments, we only have support groups spread across the state that go unnoticed. Over-the-counter drugs can produce side effects that no individual wants. Antidepressants are the number one prescribed drug in America. Side effects include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, restless agitation, sexual dysfunction, body dysmorphia, weight gain or loss and bipolar or manic episodes. Seemingly so, the drugs prescribed to us to treat depression and anxiety are truly what perpetuates the disorders. Art and music therapy is a healthy alternative gaining recognition across the country.
If you struggle or suffer with depression, anxiety, minor or severe bipolar, ADD or ADHD or are a part of the autism spectrum it is time to talk to your doctor about art and music therapy. It all starts with you. We can be the generation to shed light on these outlets. Next time you see or speak with your doctor bring up the ideas that suit you best. Whether it be dancing, writing poetry, composing a new instrumental or painting and drawing, art and music therapy is meant for everyone - unlike opioids which are created in a lab with human guinea pigs and leave everyone with one or more side effects. Bust a move, play your instrument, write a stanza or a chorus or paint/draw your reality and inner thoughts. Art accepts everyone and it is time for healthcare to accept that.