I used to watch a lot of TV and movies but I don’t really do that any more (unless it’s safe media, that I have watched before). The problem with visual media is that it’s audible too, which means potential for more triggers. Both visual and auditory response has to be accounted for. The triggers can be really subtle at times too, so you won’t react massively but it can have an impact. It’s these little disruptions at the wrong time that can be the straw, that broke the camels back.

Songs are a lot shorter so avoiding triggers completely is just so much easier to achieve with music.
It terms of mental health management, music is perfect because it can be highly emotive. This is part of the reason I wanted to create Au-thentic versions, because music can be really powerful and personal.
You can create emotionally based playlists for different situations and moods. This doesn’t just reduce triggers but gives you a portable, and adaptive mental health management tool. It can help give you a little bit of a safety net, especially in situations that you are unable to control.
What you do is you select songs that make you feel like you want to. If you need to release emotions pick a highly emotional song and use crying to release some of that build up. Doing that can stop you from getting a meltdown, especially if negative emotions are the issue.
If you are recovering from a meltdown use music that makes you feel calm or happy (or hyper, I find that quite effective). The music will be a very individual and personal choice, but if it’s not right song at the time, your mind will let you know. It doesn’t take long before your mind actually confirms by not rejecting, so you know when your listening to the right track.
Now there is one warning, using this technique when the cause is a unresolvable trapped thought can have a downside. You may feel like yourself and happy, for a short time, but when that thought repeats you can crash really hard into burnout and it happens fast.
It will always be best to find some way of getting closure for repeating thoughts. In any way you can, but once you have and the thought dissipates, using this technique, can help, speed up mental recovery.
This works well really with any music you feel that mental connection to (the music style and genre itself is unimportant, because it’s the feeling of the song you connect to). It’s the emotive ability that can make music an effective mental health tool.
All our best and love
Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva
#mentalhealthadvocate #together #community #actuallyautistic #autismacceptance

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