Having a hard time.

Heavy subject alert.

Hey guys. Haven't been on the forum in quite a while. I'm gonna cut straight to the chase, I've been dealing with some mental struggles that have greatly affected me musically, and I wanted to know if anybody has ever experienced similar symptoms to what I've been dealing with. I want to keep this brief and as "not dark" as possible. Just need some insight.

It's been a hard couple of years for all of us, for obvious reasons, but I've also lost a close family member and have been dealing with pretty strong and growing emotional numbness that started even before that. I have felt a slow decline in my psychological health and have always tended to gravitate towards music as a way to mitigate that. But that's like... impossible now.

I have spent the last couple of years really honing my craft and grew exponentially, both on drums and guitar. My technique and improvisational ability had never been better. At the same time, I've been drumming at my church and have experienced an influx of... less serious musicians that don't often practice/are stuck in a rut. I've been playing for about 15 years at this point, and in all that time I haven't had to focus nearly as hard on "carrying" something musically. I don't want to say anything harsh, I love these people, they just don't have any natural ability to lock in.

Well, one Sunday, we were playing and I suddenly kinda just... zoned out. Still playing, doing everything technically right (I think) but I just... wasn't in it. And completely lost the ability to "feel" any groove. I chalked it up to a lack of sleep and continued on with my day.
Well, over the last few months, this has happened a bit more. Slowly, more and more often, I'd experience this sensation. And then all at once, I think about a month ago, I've almost lost it completely. I generally cannot feel music. At all. I can't sense a groove. Can still "play it." But at this point even just listening and relying on technical ability causes me to get lost in this strange "state of mind." Very, very rarely will I not experience this in some fashion when I pick up the guitar or sticks. The best way I can explain it is that it feels like... there's no pulse. Instead it's just a flatline. My head just doesn't latch on even though my heart wants to. I can't often sing in key anymore; and I have perfect pitch (can name any note I hear) but that's going away too. It's like a perception thing or something.
Today, for the first time in a very long time, I was listening to a certain band while I was working and got excited by their music, and I was in it again. Then experienced a job related frustration, and now it's gone. This seems to be depression related, and I'm not sure what to do about this aspect of that. But at this point I'm ready to just drop it all. It's just... hard.
I've tried connecting with other musicians, listening to lots of music, playing, not playing. I'm doing everything I can not to be critical of myself when I practice, which is... sometimes effective. All in all, this seems to be tied to emotional expression, which since I'm dealing with this numbness, makes for a rough time.

Long story short, I need to get help, and today that has really clicked. I just want to know if anybody has experienced anything like this and what you've done with it. Because frankly I'm scared.
 
I have never experienced anything like this, and all I can do is send healing vibes your way!!

I have experienced depression at different levels for the past 20 years, but they never manifest this aggressive...I wonder if it is not only psychological, but also neurological...like physical?
 
I woke up one morning with sudden onset hearing loss in my left ear. I did some gigs but felt removed from the music as you describe.
After treatment and a few months of waiting my hearing gradually returned and I’m back ‘in’ the music.
Have you had a hearing test?
 
Have you considered therapy?

You may be dealing with some underlying issue that is conflagrating you mentally. Sometimes it takes talking to someone with an outside perspective to get some clarity on ones self.

People are like buckets. If you dont empty the bucket, it starts to spill over and cause problems elsewhere.

There is no shame in getting help.
 
Well you lost a close family member and that really takes a toll on you. I’d find a counselor to discuss your concerns/emotions to help you over this hump. Sometimes we don’t pick up on how something affects us emotionally till it smacks you in the face how disconnected you are from your normal self.
 
Daynne, you are scared and that's ok!

I won't disclose too much on the public platform that is this forum, but I will engage with you as a PM ok?

I have mental health qualifications as part of my career and I'll be more than happy to discuss my personal experiences and work related experiences with you.

Just give me some time and I'll get in contact with you.

Hang in there champ, ol' uncle Ben here will try to help.
 
I moved country recently and was lucky to find a band really quickly to play with. As it turns out there are a few band members who are going through some tough times mentally and when they opened up said they didn't know what they'd do without the band to play in. We're really lucky in that everyone gets on so well we'd be mates even without the music. I know it's probably not easy to just find a group of like minded musicians, and it might take some time to do that, but if you could it might put the groove back into your playing.
 
Luckily never experienced it, but it takes courage to realise and accept that you are not yourself. And the step to get actual help can be a large one, but once that's taken... :)
A couple of my good friends have similar experiences and I'd only encourage(d) them to talk about it and/or seek help. Change can be scary, but with the backing of friends/family/professionals it can be less scary.
 
Heavy subject alert.

Hey guys. Haven't been on the forum in quite a while. I'm gonna cut straight to the chase, I've been dealing with some mental struggles that have greatly affected me musically, and I wanted to know if anybody has ever experienced similar symptoms to what I've been dealing with. I want to keep this brief and as "not dark" as possible. Just need some insight.

It's been a hard couple of years for all of us, for obvious reasons, but I've also lost a close family member and have been dealing with pretty strong and growing emotional numbness that started even before that. I have felt a slow decline in my psychological health and have always tended to gravitate towards music as a way to mitigate that. But that's like... impossible now.

I have spent the last couple of years really honing my craft and grew exponentially, both on drums and guitar. My technique and improvisational ability had never been better. At the same time, I've been drumming at my church and have experienced an influx of... less serious musicians that don't often practice/are stuck in a rut. I've been playing for about 15 years at this point, and in all that time I haven't had to focus nearly as hard on "carrying" something musically. I don't want to say anything harsh, I love these people, they just don't have any natural ability to lock in.

Well, one Sunday, we were playing and I suddenly kinda just... zoned out. Still playing, doing everything technically right (I think) but I just... wasn't in it. And completely lost the ability to "feel" any groove. I chalked it up to a lack of sleep and continued on with my day.
Well, over the last few months, this has happened a bit more. Slowly, more and more often, I'd experience this sensation. And then all at once, I think about a month ago, I've almost lost it completely. I generally cannot feel music. At all. I can't sense a groove. Can still "play it." But at this point even just listening and relying on technical ability causes me to get lost in this strange "state of mind." Very, very rarely will I not experience this in some fashion when I pick up the guitar or sticks. The best way I can explain it is that it feels like... there's no pulse. Instead it's just a flatline. My head just doesn't latch on even though my heart wants to. I can't often sing in key anymore; and I have perfect pitch (can name any note I hear) but that's going away too. It's like a perception thing or something.
Today, for the first time in a very long time, I was listening to a certain band while I was working and got excited by their music, and I was in it again. Then experienced a job related frustration, and now it's gone. This seems to be depression related, and I'm not sure what to do about this aspect of that. But at this point I'm ready to just drop it all. It's just... hard.
I've tried connecting with other musicians, listening to lots of music, playing, not playing. I'm doing everything I can not to be critical of myself when I practice, which is... sometimes effective. All in all, this seems to be tied to emotional expression, which since I'm dealing with this numbness, makes for a rough time.

Long story short, I need to get help, and today that has really clicked. I just want to know if anybody has experienced anything like this and what you've done with it. Because frankly I'm scared.
That’s a brave post mate and I can see why this is a frightening experience for you, not to mention the drumming aspect is merely the icing on a :poop: cake. Definitely speak to a qualified professional about this…sending you all my best!(y)
 
So what's the problem.
emotional numbness
imagine playing a gig Todd and thinking "I don't want" to be here or "I want to walk out" or "I am leaving" type of thing.
the problem is not knowing what the source is of these feelings.
is how I read it.
I could only suggest doing something you know you are capable of- whether it be stacking wood in the back yard- anything no matter how simple- to build re-build up your motor neurons (obvious I'm no doctor) But something- wax the car- other tasks. Do them. Get your mind on something that you can start and (even if it takes time) finish,
Everything's an operation- whether it's playing guitar in a band- or walking down to get the mail in the mailbox. It's all an operation.
Concentrate on the mundane (but still necessary) life tasks (instead of performing) for a while. i dunno. I would say maybe leave Music for awhile.

And while performing mundane tasks if these feelings persist- run don't walk to your nearest// trusted/ liked/ medical professional and have a good long talk
 
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If people around you don't understand or cant offer help, that's normal. Don't let it add to the discouragement.

We're living in a manufactured hell of a society that seeks to alienate you from several points of balance and a healthy, nurturing perspective. Don't let them beat you. Just don't play their game.
 
I woke up one morning with sudden onset hearing loss in my left ear. I did some gigs but felt removed from the music as you describe.
After treatment and a few months of waiting my hearing gradually returned and I’m back ‘in’ the music.
Have you had a hearing test?
That's an interesting question. I personally don't feel like my hearing has changed, was it noticable for you?
 
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