Depression & The Human Condition "Sometimes" by City of Ashes
“Some days life’s too much to take
and it’s ok to feel that way.
And you are not alone, you are not alone.”
Where’s the Meaning?
Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. In its most benign form it causes suffering, at its worst it can result in suicide. While sadness and grief are normal human emotions that we all experience, clinical depression is a debilitating and demoralizing illness that according to the WHO, affects more than 300 million people worldwide.
In partnership with the UK Big Lottery Fund, Barclay's Eagle Labs, and Samaritans among others, Brighton/Eastborne based alt rock group, City of Ashes, released “Sometimes,” a short film and accompanying song on depression. Through powerful and emotional firsthand accounts, “Sometimes” aims to humanize the illness and offer support by showing sufferers they are not alone, though they might feel that way.
In sharing his own battle with depression, Lead singer Orion Powell said that he felt duty-bound to create “Sometimes” and additionally cited “a sense of responsibility to do something about [depression].” Orion challenges showcased individuals to share their lowest moments. We hear of the emptiness, numbness, and isolation and of the tragic manifestations of the illness - eating disorders, self-injury/cutting, abuse of drugs and alcohol, and suicide attempts.
Following a detailed presentation of these accounts, we watch as the same individuals who shared their stories are shown singing the chorus, reinforcing that though it is daily struggle, “it’s ok to feel that way” and “you are not alone in this”. In this way, “Sometimes” uses the power of music in an effort to empathetically engage with both sufferers of depression and those who wish to better understand the illness. The open sharing of bouts with depression provides a beacon of hope, support, and community for those who suffer from depression. “Sometimes” also serves as a reminder to us all that we are not alone, there are others that feel and have felt similar emotions of hopelessness and despair, and that there are people who will support and care for us, even when we are at our lowest.
- Is music useful to assuage depression, grief, and sorrow? How can we use music as a tool to share experiences and create communities to help alleviate symptoms of depression?
- Does music lessen senses of isolation and loneliness? How do you cope with sadness? Can music play a role in this?
- What feelings and memories are attached to your favorite songs?
Fortunately, there are many wonderful community organizations providing support and services for individuals afflicted with mental health conditions, such as depression. More information can be found below on two such organizations:
In Music We Trust
Aiden Hatfield, an open and unashamed depression sufferer, has created a strong and supportive community around his social enterprise clothing company, In Music We Trust. His well-designed clothing line celebrates music’s healing effects on depression while offering up 50% of its profits to Mind, a mental health charity in England and Wales.
As one of Britain’s preeminent mental health charities, Mind is dedicated to providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They also “campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.” Follow this link to support their efforts.