In addition to having several less and more severe side effects, including permanent disruption of the body’s self-healing mechanism, antidepressants do not always help away from the psychological problem. Researchers have found that group drumming brings relief from psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.

Choosing a suitable medicine can take months, and the patient feels like an experimental animal hoping that another medicine might help. Even antidepressants can make the patient’s condition worse enough to make them more suicidal.

Drums in Circle

Thirty mentally ill patients participated in a ten-week drumming program. The control group contained 15 persons.

Peformers play drums during Wing Heritage Day at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Aug. 9, 2019. Organized by the Diversity and Inclusion committee, Wing Heritage Day is a celebration of the diverse culture, heritages and backgrounds around the base, the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Class Christopher S. Sparks)

For 10 weeks, the treatment group attended a 90-minute group drum session once a week. Each of the 15-20 people sitting in the circle received a traditional African djembe drum. Twenty percent of the time was devoted to theory and 80% of the time was devoted to music.

The control groups did not participate in drumming, they were enrolled in other social activities (e.g. Quiz Nights, meetings of women’s institutes and book clubs).

Biological (state of the immune system, cortisol, etc.) and psychological changes were monitored in both groups

Drumming Heals

The results of the study indicate that “within 6 weeks, the drumming intervention group experienced a decrease in depression, increased social resistance; within 10 weeks they saw further improvement in depression and a significant improvement in anxiety and well-being. These changes were maintained after 3 months. The drum intervention group also saw a shift in their immune profile from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory responses,” reported Collective Evolution.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is at the top of the disability ladder. This research suggests that there are other ways to treat depression if the patient does not suit the chemical. The question also remains to what extent the placebo effect vs. the chemical substance contained in antidepressants per patient.

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