Many times in the course of intense mania or psychosis context becomes very difficult to grasp. You can begin to loose social context, introspection, orientation or even awareness that you are held within such a state. This effect is amplified during “Onset” or the first time that an individual experiences symptoms. During my Onset it took me several months to realize that my brain had stopped working in the way in which I was accustomed. There were very few people around me who knew me well enough to notice a change since I had just arrived at college. Even once I began to realize what was happening there were few who could help, I turned to music, a decision that probably saved my life. Something about music helped my simplify my feelings and consolidate them. I soon found Grunge, a raw and organic genera of rock from the early 90’s. I found comfort in relating to music written by those just as angry and confused as myself. Day after day unto this day this music gives me a venue to mentally purge and perform self-exorcism.

Now, I understand that not everyone is able to so closely relate to music in this way. However, I think that music can be a great tool to supplement other treatment. Most importantly, music mixes will all forms of medication (regardless if you were prescribed the right kind), can be effective no matter the “diagnosis” (even if the doctor got it wrong) or even if no one believes you.

Since my Onset I have done a lot of headbanging and air guitaring. I find it a way to channel all of my confusion, hate, sadness and perhaps even my loneliness. I doubt that many will understand just how important this is to me. It has stopped to be just expression, but part of my survival.
I found that different songs, artists and styles were more or less effective based on my mania, depression, psychosis or even sanity. I highly encourage music therapy; some may prefer more calming styles of music…or perhaps something with more than 3 chords. The point here is to find something with tone and/or lyrics that you can relate to. On that note, sometimes trying to cheer yourself up isn’t the best thing for you. To be perfectly honest, you will always have those around you that will try to cheer you up, even if it isn’t what you want. You have the right to be angry, furious. Therefore, you also have the right to a healthy outlet. This can be one of those.

Below are a few songs that have been very important to me, I hope they can bring you a similar sense of meaning and resolve.

-Erich Zann (pen name)

Erich is the pen name of our guest student blogger who can be contacted by e-mail at:


“She scratches a letter
Into a wall made of stone
Maybe someday
Another child
Won’t feel as alone as she does

It’s been two years
And counting
Since they put her in this place
She’s been diagnosed
By some stupid ****
And mommy agrees
Why go home?”

-Pearl Jam: “Why Go?” (Ten)

“To put my mind to bed.
This ringing in my head,
Is this a cure ,
Or is this a disease?

Nail in my hand,
From my creator.
You gave me life,
Now show me how to live.”
-Audioslave: “Show Me How to Live” (Audioslave)

“On an evening such as this,
It’s hard to tell if I exist.”
-Barenaked Ladies: “Pinch Me” (Maroon)

“Like autumn leaves
His sense fell from him
An empty glass of himself
Shattered somewhere within
His thoughts like a hundred moths
Trapped in a lampshade
Somewhere within
Their wings banging and burning
On through endless nights
Forever awake he lies shaking and starving
Praying for someone to turn off the light”
-Rage Against The Machine: “Born of a Broken Man” (Battle Of Los Angeles)

Disclaimer: The views expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of Disability Access Services or those of Oregon State University.

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