Is Music Addiction A Thing?
The question whether or not it is true that there are some individuals who have a strong compulsion to listen to certain types of music, regardless of its quality, is still open. There are many theories about why someone might develop such a condition. Some believe that it may be due to an imbalance between the brain’s reward system and the stress response system. Others believe that it may be due to chemical imbalances within the brain. Still others believe that it could be genetic. Whatever the reason, it is clear that there are those who experience a strong compulsion to listen to particular kinds of music.
What Is Music Addiction?
In order for us to understand what exactly constitutes as ‘addiction’, we must first define what the term means in general terms: “Addiction” refers to any behavior that results in repeated use of a substance or activity despite negative consequences. For example, if you smoke cigarettes because they make your life easier, then smoking will eventually lead to health problems such as lung cancer and emphysema. If you continue to do so even though these risks become apparent, then you would be considered addicted. The same concept can be applied to the activity of listening to music.
Research suggests that there may be a link between dopamine and music. Most people are familiar with dopamine as the brain’s ‘reward’ chemical; it is released in response to pleasurable stimuli such as food, drugs, or having fun. It appears that individuals who compulsively listen to music have particularly high levels of dopamine induced by music.
This means that they may be experiencing stronger pleasurable feelings than the average person.
Despite the potentially addictive nature of listening to music, it is not believed to be as harmful as some other substances and activities. In fact, research has shown that it may even have some benefits. For example, listening to music can lower stress levels, increase focus during exercise, and even help with depression.
To what degree these effects are due to music as opposed to simply listening is unknown.
Music addiction can take on a few different forms. The first is addictive personality. This type of music addict has traits that make them prone to addiction in general.
These traits include low self-esteem, loneliness, and isolation. They may use music as a way of blocking out the rest of the world in order to provide themselves with temporary relief from their problems.
The second type of music addict is similar to the first, but instead relies on music for different reasons. These music addicts may have a problem with substance abuse or an eating disorder. They turn to music in order to avoid the physical symptoms of withdrawal, which leads them right back to their substance of choice (or in this case, music).
The third and final type of music addict is more of a ‘mild’ addiction. These are people who genuinely love music and cannot get enough of it. They listen to music on a regular basis, and it has become a central part of their lives.
While this type of addiction is not as potentially harmful as drugs or alcohol, it can still lead to excessive use and even familial problems.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Music Addiction?
The signs and symptoms of music addiction can vary from one person to the next. Someone with addictive personality may be drawn to music as a way of self-medicating. This means that music may help them cope with a difficult family life or high stress job. With continued use, this music addict may begin to rely on music so much that they feel compelled to listen to it even when they are not in a stressful situation.
The second type of music addict also has addictive traits, but with different origins. These people are often musicians and develop an obsession with a particular genre of music. They listen to music all the time, and may neglect other areas of their lives such as a job or school.
The third and final type of music addict is similar to the second type in that they both have addictive personalities and may rely on music as a way of coping with stress. This type of addict is not a musician, nor are they using music as a way to avoid physical symptoms of withdrawal. They simply love music and may even be obsessed with collecting different instruments and albums.
What Are The Causes Of Music Addiction?
The causes of music addiction are not yet well understood by modern science. There are, however, a few theories being considered as to what may cause it. One theory is that music is similar to a drug in the way that it affects the brain. Music can, for example, make people feel happy or sad. It can make people relaxed or energized. Some music may even cause people to hallucinate. If people listen to music that causes them to feel a certain way, then they may become reliant on that music in order to feel that way again.
Another theory is that music is a form of creative expression. People may turn to music because it allows them to engage in a creative activity that they can enjoy independently.
A third theory proposes that music is a social phenomenon. People may be drawn to music in order to interact with others who also enjoy it. This means that people may turn to music in order to feel a sense of belonging or inclusion.
What Does Treatment For Music Addiction Involve?
As mentioned, the causes of music addiction are not well understood by modern science, which means that there is no real cure for it. Treatment for music addiction typically involves some combination of group therapy, individual sessions and anti-depressants.
People with music addiction are not necessarily “bad people”. In many cases, they may have a genuine passion for music and wish to pursue a career related to it. With the right treatment, the right medication and the right support, people with this condition can live a happy, healthy life.
next: How To Stop A Music Addict From Ruining Their Life
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As an addition to recovery programs that help people with music addiction, there are a few additional things that family members and friends can do to help. Music is very powerful and people may become reliant on it in order to feel good or to block out negative emotions. It is important to keep music out of the home entirely.
Instead of playing music that may remind someone of their former “high” times, family members should try to fill the home with positive energy and happy music.
For people who may be in the initial stages of recovery, it may be helpful to keep them busy with constructive activities. This may mean establishing rules around the home which encourage productive behavior. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the person has plenty of support around them and people that they can talk to if they begin to feel unwell.
During the early stages of recovery, it is particularly important to take things one step at a time and not to rush the person into situations that they may find to be overwhelming.
It is no easy thing to deal with a music addict. The first step is to seek help through a professional music addiction treatment center or through individual therapy. With the right support and proper treatment, people can and do recover from this condition every day.
The addict needs to want to get better, but there are ways to help them through the process.
Find music addiction treatment today.
Sources & references used in this article:
Music and altered states: consciousness, transcendence, therapy and addiction by D Aldridge, J Fachner – 2006 – books.google.com
Music therapy and addiction by R Soshensky – Music therapy perspectives, 2001 – academic.oup.com
Music consumption: Lifestyle choice or addiction by A Cockrill, M Sullivan, HL Norbury – Journal of Retailing and Consumer …, 2011 – Elsevier
Addiction is a choice by JA Schaler – 2011 – books.google.com
Participatory choral music as a means of engagement in a veterans’ mental health and addiction treatment setting by M Liebowitz, MS Tucker, M Frontz, S Mulholland – Arts & Health, 2015 – Taylor & Francis
The social potential of music for addiction recovery by S Reynolds – 2011 – Macmillan
12 Steps Might Not Be Enough: Playing Music and its Effects in Addiction Recovery by K Harrison – Music & Science, 2019 – journals.sagepub.com