Some people cannot feel happy, not even on sunny days surrounded by loving family and friends. Those people will have difficulty contributing to the family, or feeling happy enough to perform their half of a satisfying long-term relationship or finding contentment living single. Even when showered with the good things in life, they nevertheless cannot feel content or happy. Their emotions overwhelm their ability to talk themselves out of it. That state of depression can begin in childhood.
Sometimes, depressed people have not learned how to be grateful or how to forgive people who have hurt them. Their unhappiness can be countered with “positive thinking” or cognitive behavioural training (CBT) or the acceptance of religious ceremonies of forgiveness and absolution. When they learn a new way of viewing reality that can be applied to their frustrations and disappointments and anger or hurt, gradually (or perhaps even suddenly) they become happier and more content.
Sometimes, depressed people are not getting good nutrition, enough exercise, or some other physical need. Their outlook on life can be changed with better nutrition, exercise, nutritional supplements, purer water, quitting smoking, or some other physical change.
Other depressed people are unable to change their feelings by applying a tried-and-true system of rational, optimistic, or faith-based thinking. They try to make life-style changes that have physical effects, but cannot stick with them. No matter how hard they try, they remain anxious, hurt, angry, jealous, disappointed, frustrated, and sad. Some days may be better than others, but overall the world is never sunny enough for long enough. They no longer trust the people who have told them to do this, that, or the other thing to feel content. We call that condition “depression.” It may be mild, moderate, or suicidal.
A colleague of Alfred Tomatis, Guy Bérard, discovered the audio deficits that cause depression. They occur, usually but not always, in the left ear. The points of hyperacusis show on the audiogram as “peaks” in the profile at 1 and 8 kiloHertz for mild depression, at 1.5 and 8 kiloHertz for moderate depression, and at 2 and 8 kiloHertz. Between those points of hyperacusis is a trough that indicates relatively poorer hearing of the frequencies between the peaks. Music therapy usually flattens the peaks and raises the trough so that all frequencies are perceived more uniformly. The stream of sound energy conveyed to the inner ear (vestibular canals and cochlea) as well as directly from the stapedius muscle into the vagus network can be distributed with a more equal balance of frequencies across the hearing spectrum. The brain and nerve networks use that energy to integrate not only the cerebral hemispheres but the workings of the organs and all the muscles in the body.
The condition we call “dyslexic syndrome” produces shifting cerebral integration, like an electrical switch for a motor being turned off and on every couple of minutes so the left-brain cannot stay dominant and both halves of the brain are deprived of a normal supply of sound energy. No matter how happy the person feels, an inevitable mood of depression swiftly follows. Those fluctuations happen constantly so that the child cannot progress in learning as quickly as normal children. They can become generally unhappy and discouraged with their achievements as compared with others, which increases their depression from the “on-again, off-again” sound energy supply.
Those people may discover chemicals that make them feel happier for a while by relaxing their ear muscles to increase their emotional, right-brained state of consciousness. Alcohol, marijuana, illegal drugs, or prescription medications weaken the ear muscles and undermine left-brain dominance to create those right-brained “highs.”
By the time the negative side effects of those chemicals on the ear muscles have become frightening, the person has no more ear control over using them. They have become addicted to their artificial means of achieving “happiness.”
Daniel was about 11 years old when he fell into despair of ever achieving the relationship with his parents, teachers, and others that his siblings enjoyed without difficulty or that his siblings had with one another. He became rebellious and sad. The oftener he failed over the next few years, the more vulnerable he became to artificial, chemical happiness. Nothing we did as parents to bridge the gaps seemed to be enough. He required far more time than our other children, which made them feel neglected. By the age of 15 he was addicted to alcohol, marijuana, and hallucinogens. His behaviour had become harmful to himself and to others.
The health of the middle and inner ear is essential to normal behaviour. The spectrum of human behaviour, including so-called “mental” illnesses, is generated in the ear.
Within a few days of Daniel’s Tomatis Method listening intervention he became calm, happy, able to communicate comfortably with adults, and pleased with the “new” person he had become. He was no longer shy, withdrawn, or ashamed of his former limitations. He gained the sense of balance that allowed him to stand erect, sit up straight, write legibly, draw images as they appeared in focus, remain attentive, and sleep soundly.
Unfortunately, none of us realized that his ears needed much longer treatment to gain normal tonus (muscle strength and flexibility). When his listening program stopped, he rapidly lost left-brain dominance and crashed into the state of non-dominance (of the two halves of the brain) called “schizophrenia.” It took ten years for me to sort through all the issues to discover that the cure for his schizophrenia was the same as his cure for dyslexia and as my cure for CFS/fibromyalgia: strengthening the ear muscles with high-frequency music.
Listening for the Light explains how music can transform the syndrome of dyslexic behaviour into normal learning and behaviour. http://www.northernlightbooks.ca