bipolar and musicWhen I was in fifth grade I got my first cassette tape, Run DMC Raising Hell.  I would listen to it on my headphone before going to bed.  Back then I didn’t know that music was a useful tool to calm my brain. After years of my childhood suffering from insomnia, somehow the music gave me solace.  Interestingly enough, it wasn’t some soothing calm music that got me through a sleepless night, it was the hard rhythms and beats of rap that allowed me to sleep.

When I was in high school, I would take long drives on Sunset Blvd and listen to music. I’d listen to the Beastie Boys and ride down the Pacific Coast Highway, and the music allowed me to take a breath and drive calmly without any anxiety. I didn’t know there was relief from anxiety brought forth through music.

When I was 28-years-old I blasted Tupac in my car on the 101 Freeway on my way to a party in Hancock Park, knowing that I wouldn’t know that many people at the party and it would probably be a scene, I felt a little nervous but, the beats somehow managed to relax my mind.

Now, looking back, my response to music was a sign of mania.  The stronger the beats, the louder the sound, it all pointed to calming down mania that would stir up in me.  Sounds weird that music that is less than considered calming brought me peace among manic storms, but it did nonetheless.

There are a lot of adolescents out there that listen to rap music, but, if you have a daughter or son that started a relationship with music at a very young age, and found it calming to them, they might have something else going on inside their mind.