Musicians have a higher chance of suffering from anxiety and depression: Study
January 16th, 2017
Filed under: Anxiety by ATAC Team

Music lends soul to words and, at times, provides an outlet for strong or repressed emotions. Music may have a soothing effect on the brain, but it seems musicians do not benefit much from it as they frequently complain of depression and panic attacks.

A recent study, titled “Can Music Make You Sick? Music and Depression – A study into the incidence of musicians’ mental health,” by researchers from the University of Westminster and its think tank MusicTank observed 2,211 respondents and found that musicians are up to three times more likely to get anxiety or depressive behavior compared to the general public. The study is a part of Help Musicians U.K.’s MAD (Music and Depression) campaign launched in the initial phases of the year.

The research, published by Help Musicians U.K. in November 2016, found that 39 percent respondents was identified as musicians, 9 percent was working in management positions in the music industry, 7 percent was in publishing of music labels, 4 percent in audio production and 2 percent was a part of the live crew. The respondents, aged between 18 and 35 years, had a little more than 55 percent males and little less than 44 percent females.

Making music can be depressing

An evaluation of the mental health of these people revealed that about 71 percent respondents complained of panic attacks, while 65 percent reported to have been afflicted with depression. The study indicated that roughly 55 percent believed that there was a gap in provision of services to musicians, while an estimated 47 percent were looking for a dedicated counseling service. Though most participants claimed making music has beneficial effects on the mind, serious issues surrounding mental health came out in the open while conducting the study.

The researchers suggested that “poor working conditions” may be leading to mental health disorders. These conditions may include difficulty in sustaining a living, working overnight, tiredness and the inability to plan a future in the music industry. The participants also indicated lack of recognition for one’s work as a big reason for turning musicians sick and for pushing them towards anxiety.

The survey also stressed on problems faced by female musicians, such as difficulty in balancing work and family commitments and being at the receiving end of sexist attitudes. Richard Robinson, chief executive of Help Musicians U.K., said, “Sadly the results of this survey don’t come as a surprise and paint a concerning picture of the conditions for those working in the music industry. This survey is a vital first step in helping us to establish the scale of the problem and it highlights the importance of the next phases of the survey, which will provide us with recommendations for launching the first music industry specific mental health service. As the leading independent charity for musicians we are in unique position to commission this study and be able to look at the impact that working in the music industry has on people’s mental health.”

Road to recovery

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly 40 million American adults, aged 18 years and above, suffer from anxiety in a given year. If you know someone who is grappling with anxiety, contact the Anxiety Treatment Advisors of Colorado. GAD treatment in Colorado is possible and anyone with GAD can seek help from the anxiety treatment centers in Colorado. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-891-2539 to get help regarding evidence-based anxiety treatments. One should not delay the treatment as it can snowball the situation out of hand.


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