What is the relationship between Country Music and Depression? 

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This blog will cover topics like country music, popular country music artists, what is depression, its symptoms, causes, risk factors, treatment, the link between country music and depression, and answer frequently asked questions. 

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What is the relationship between Country Music and Depression? 

Country music is often considered to be the kind of music that can make you feel sad or depressed. This can be due to the fact that country songs or country music often has lyrics that are sad and melancholic in nature. 

Most of the songs about heartbreak are related to the country music genre and can make a person feel sadder. 

Let us explore it in detail in the later section but before we get to that we must understand a little bit about country music and depression and then only we can understand the link between these two. 

What is country music? 

Country music, often known as country and western music, is an American popular music genre that began in the early twentieth century in rural parts of the South and West. The recording industry introduced the name country and western music (eventually shortened to country music) in 1949. 

Country music refers to the style of music accompanied by rhythmic guitar tones. It originates from Southeast folk music and Cowboy music of the West. It usually has a romantic genre and is simple in form and harmony. The melancholy ballads are accompanied by acoustic or electric guitar, banjo, violin, and harmonica

Popular country music artists

Luke Bryan

Bryan, a Georgia native, began playing the guitar at the age of 14 and rose to fame with early tracks such as “All My Friends Say” and “Someone Else Calling You Baby.” On the Billboard Country Airplay chart, his album “Kill the Lights” garnered him six #1 song.

Tim McGraw is an American singer-songwriter.

Tim McGraw is an American singer-songwriter. McGraw is married to fellow country music star Faith Hill. He has a history of chart-topping successes. He was honored by the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association with three Grammy Awards.

Alan Jackson

Jackson grew up in rural Georgia, performing gospel music. The Country Music Association named him Entertainer of the Year three times. In 2017, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Buck Owens 

Buck Owens, whose real name was Alvis Edgar Owens Jr., was a famous country music star in the mid-1960s. “Act Naturally” and “My Heart Skips a Beat” were two of his most well-known songs. After appearing at Carnegie Hall and the Fillmore in San Francisco, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Garth Brooks 

On Billboard magazine’s Hot Country Singles chart, Brooks scored 18 #1 singles. “The Dance” and “Friends in Low Places” are two of his most popular songs. His album “Ropin’ the Wind” hit number one on the Billboard pop chart in 1991, making it the first country album to accomplish so.

What is depression?

Depression is the common term usually used to refer to major depressive disorder and it is a mental condition that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is usually characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest in pleasure, feelings of fatigue, etc. 

It often leads to various mental health and physical health-related issues and also affects a person’s ability to perform at work and even function at home. Despite depression sounding like a debilitating condition, it is treatable and there are experts helping a person to deal with their symptoms and take care of their health. 

Symptoms of depression 

  • Sadness, sobbing, emptiness, or a sense of hopelessness are all symptoms of hopelessness.
  • Angry outbursts, anger, or frustration may arise even over little situations.
  • Loss of enjoyment or interest in most or all of one’s favorite activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports
  • Sleep issues include insomnia and sleeping too much.
  • Even simple tasks demand extra effort due to weariness and a lack of vitality.
  • Food cravings decreased and weight loss, or increased food cravings and weight gain
  • Depression manifests itself as anxiety, agitation, or restlessness.
  • Slowing down one’s thoughts, voice, or physical movements.
  • Inadequacy or regret, brooding on past failures or blaming oneself are all symptoms of depression.
  • Thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and recalling information issues
  • Those who have had frequent or persistent thoughts of death are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, attempts, or attempts at suicide.
  • Back pain or migraines are examples of undiagnosed physical problems.

Causes of depression 

Depression can be caused by a variety of factors. They can be biological or situational in nature.

Common causes of depression

  • Brain functioning – In individuals with depression, there may be a chemical imbalance in areas of the brain that control mood, thinking, sleep, food, and behavior.
  • Hormone imbalance – Changes in the female hormones estrogen and progesterone during various stages of life, such as the menstrual cycle, postpartum, perimenopause, and menopause, can all increase a person’s risk of depression.
  • Family history – If any member of your family has previously had depression or another mood disorder, you’re more predisposed to acquiring it. 
  • Traumatic experiences – Some occurrences have an impact on how your body reacts to fear and stress.
  • The structure of the brain – You’re more likely to get depression if your frontal lobe is less active. Scientists don’t know if this happens before or after the onset of depression symptoms.
  • Medical problems – Chronic sickness, insomnia, chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, heart attack, and cancer are among illnesses that can increase your risk.
  • Use of drugs –  A history of drug or alcohol abuse can increase your risk.
  • Pain – People who are under emotional or chronic bodily discomfort for an extended period of time are more likely to develop depression.

Risk factors associated with depression

Biochemical, medical, social, genetic, and contextual risk factors for depression exist. The following are some common risk factors:

  • Sex. Females are twice as likely as guys to suffer from serious depression.
  • Genetics. If you have a family history of depression, you are more likely to develop it.
  • Social and economic standing-  Depression is linked to socioeconomic status, which includes financial difficulties and a sense of poor social position.
  • Medications –  Certain medications, such as hormonal birth control, corticosteroids, and beta-blockers, have been linked to a higher risk of depression.
  • Deficiency in vitamin D- Low vitamin D levels have been associated with depression symptoms in studies.
  • Gender identity-  According to a 2018 study, transgender people have a nearly 4-fold higher risk of depression than cisgender people.

Treatment of depression

A combination of medication and psychotherapy can help treat depression

Medication

The chemistry of a person’s brain may have a part in their depression and treatment. As a result, antidepressants may be prescribed to help with brain chemistry change.

Psychotherapy

Its often used alone to treat mild depression, but it is more commonly used in conjunction with antidepressant medicines to treat moderate to severe depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression. 

CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on resolving current issues. CBT trains a person to recognize distorted/negative thinking and to adjust their thoughts and behaviors in order to respond to situations in a more positive way.

The link between music and our moods 

Researchers from the United Kingdom discovered that a special orchestra for dementia patients improved their mood and self-confidence.

The orchestra is one of numerous Bournemouth University Dementia Institute research projects demonstrating that dementia patients can still enjoy and acquire new skills.

A total of eight people with dementia, as well as students, professional musicians, and a few carers, took part in the study.

The end results were outstanding. For everyone engaged, the orchestra was a life-changing experience. The health advantages of music are remarkable, whether you are performing it or simply listening and bobbing your head.

Music has been found to release dopamine in two areas of the brain: the dorsal and ventral striatum. When you’re having a good time, such as vibing to your favorite songs, these two areas of your brain light up and elevate your mood.

The link between country music and depression and suicide

Music has the ability to directly impact psychological states, which are frequently a significant factor in suicide attempts (e.g., Asmus 1985). 

The impact of music on mood and behavior can be magnified to the extent that the audience of a certain style of music forms a subculture – a group that shares common values and beliefs and interacts on a regular basis (Gross 1990). 

Fans of country music establish a subculture that promotes the suicidal mood communicated in country music’s themes.

Country song content analysis reveals a variety of suicidogenic themes that can encourage suicide (e.g., Lewis 1989; Peterson 1991). Discord between the sexes, particularly marital turmoil and breakdown, is one such theme.

The subject of alcohol addiction in country music may encourage suicide (Chalfant & Beckley 1977; Connors & Alpher 1989; Schaefer 1988). Drinking is frequently shown in lyrics as a normal and necessary way of dealing with life’s troubles (Chalfant & Beckley 1977). 

Exposure to country music has been associated with higher levels of alcohol consumption in field studies on drinking behavior (Schaefer 1988). Alcohol use, in turn, has been linked to a higher risk of suicide (e.g., Wasserman 1989)

Conclusion

We explored all about depression: what is depression, symptoms, and causes of depression, we also understood the relationship between music and our mood, and we understood the relationship between depression and country music. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): What is the relationship between Country Music and Depression? 

What will happen if you are depressed?

Depression is a serious mental condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can lead to emotions of melancholy, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that linger for a long time. It can also cause physical symptoms like pain, a change in appetite, and sleep issues.

Are women more prone to depression?

Women are twice as likely as males to suffer from depression. Approximately 20% of women will have at least one depressive episode over their lifetime.

What is postpartum depression?

Women are especially sensitive to depression after giving birth because hormonal and physical changes, as well as the increased responsibility of caring for a newborn, can be stressful.

What is the relationship between menopause and depression?

Menopause is the absence of menstrual cycles for a period of 12 months. Menopause occurs when estrogen and progesterone production permanently decreases to extremely low levels. 

When a woman’s ovaries cease producing eggs, she is no longer able to conceive naturally. Some women experience an increased risk of depression as they approach menopause. 

Scientists are looking into how the cyclical rise and fall of estrogen and other hormones may alter the chemistry of the brain in those who suffer from depression.

What strategies are in place to treat depression?

Researchers are trying to figure out how to better understand, diagnose, and treat depression in people of all ages. An essential goal is to investigate techniques to tailor depression care, such as finding features of the person that predict which therapies are more likely to succeed.

What has been the most promising recent development in depression treatment?

Many experts regard ketamine’s capacity to elicit a rapid and effective antidepressant response via an entirely novel mechanism to be the most important discovery in the area of depression in the last 50 years.

References 

https://oli.cmu.edu/repository/webcontent/647f24b980020ca6008421b299b4f7b7/m2_appraisal_sci_evidence/webcontent/Papers/stack_1992.pdf
https://www.dictionary.com/e/what-does-country-music-mean/
https://www.britannica.com/art/country-music
https://stacker.com/stories/1774/best-artists-country
https://www.bbrfoundation.org/faq/frequently-asked-questions-about-depression
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007
https://www.healthline.com/health/depression#treatment
https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression
https://www.aimm.edu/blog/how-does-music-affect-your-mood

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