Loose Screws Mental Health News

ABC News covers the potential legal wrangling that might occur for Internet users as a result of the MySpace suicide case. I mentioned this in a recent post.

In some sad news after this Memorial Day weekend, Greg Mitchell at the Daily Kos reports that Chad Oligschlaeger, a 21-year-old Marine suffering from PTSD, committed suicide. According to family members, he was taking 8 different kinds of medication to control the disorder. Mitchell has an update on the story.

In some (somewhat) good news, mental health specialists from across the board are offering free services to current troops in an effort to help out with the shortage of mental health assistance in the military.

My Chemical RomanceAlso in a recent post, I also mentioned how people (namely in the UK) have been in an uproar over the fact that some people are equating “emo” music with the glorification of suicide, cutting, and death. My Chemical Romance (MCR), the band seen at the forefront of the emo music scene, has released a statement concerning the uproar and 13-year-old Hannah Bond’s death:

We have recently learned of the suicide and tragic loss of Hannah Bond. We’d like to send our condolences to her family during this time of mourning. Our hearts and thoughts are with them.

My Chemical Romance are and always have been vocally anti-violence and anti-suicide. As a band, we have always made it one of our missions through our actions to provide comfort, support, and solace to our fans. The message and theme of our album “The Black Parade” is hope and courage. Our lyrics are about finding the strength to keep living through pain and hard times. The last song on our album states: “I am not afraid to keep on living” – a sentiment that embodies the band’s position on hardships we all face as human beings. If you or anyone that you know have feelings of depression or suicide, we urge you to find your way and your voice to deal with these feelings positively.

I blame MCR for Hannah’s death about as much as I blame Nirvana and “grunge” music for making me suicidal. (I don’t blame Mr. Cobain at all.) Granted, Nirvana’s music put me in a mental state where I was much more open to depression but I can’t blame a band for my actions. Besides, every generation has the band that every parent feels the need to hate. Nirvana and “grunge” music were “it” for the 90s. MCR and “emo” will soon be out for the 00s. We’ll see what the next band and music genre will influence teenagers in the next decade.

Listening to upbeat music

“She’s gonna step outside / Uncover her eyes / Who knew she could feel so
alive / Her M.O.’s changed / She don’t wanna behave / Ain’t it good to be a brave girl tonight?” — Britney Spears, “Brave New Girl”

Paris HiltonListen to upbeat music you like. Avoid depressing, moody lyrics, rhythms or melodies.

I have a confession to make: I bought Paris Hilton’s debut album.

In my opinion, it’s not the awful atrocity people claim it is. But that’s mostly because she had the money to buy some of the best producers in the music industry to mix and fix her average (not bad but not good) singing.

Her album is a mix of pop and R&B. Think Hilary Duff and Jennifer Lopez songs on the same album. And yeah, yeah, even through in some Puerto Rican Fat Joe.

While people would mock me for such an atrocious purchase (it was under $10 — I wasn’t willing to pay more), it made me happy. Paris’ music, while focusing on how sexy she is and how all the guys want her, make me kinda happy. The melodies and rhythm lift my spirts and make my less than happy moods a little bit brighter. Not to say that’s true of everyone — the music would provide sheer annoyance for my husband.

On the contrary, however, I choose my music to match my mood. Aimee Mann’s songs and lyrics tend to be a staple for my depression. When I’m depressed, the last thing I want to hear is about hope, joy, fun and how everything is so bright.

But these are the very words I need to hear during my dark days. Instead of having lyrics like “You don’t look like anyone that anyone would care about,” I should be listening to something more like “It’s all gonna be OK” or “Spread your wings and soar.”

This makes me wonder if pop music is my cure-all… or at least part of my experimental therapy… But I can’t get rid of my Nirvana Unplugged CD. It’s more nostalgia than holding onto depressing music. (I succeeded in giving away my very much coveted Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral CD. That album DROVE me to pure suicide.)

P.S. I don’t particularly like most pop stars themselves — Paris Hilton included — but as an honest person, I’ll pay my dues to listen to something I like.