According to a recent report, music industry professionals are three times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than the general population in the UK.
The study, titled “Can Music Make You Sick?” was published by the charity Help Musicians UK. The results were based on a survey of 2,211 musicians, 71% of whom reported experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, while 65% said that they had suffered from depression.
When asked what they believe caused their emotional turmoil, one respondent said, “I’m not sure I’d say it’s the music that makes me sick. It’s the lack of things I’d consider success. It’s the lack of support doing something that’s not considered ‘real work.’”
In 2014, roughly two out of five musicians were self-employed, and it’s no secret that the music industry can be a hard one to maneuver. Another respondent cited “socio-economic pressures” as a primary cause of depression since it is difficult to make a living as a self-employed musician.
According to the researchers, there are several factors that increase the chance of mental health issues among those in the music industry, including “the difficulty of sustaining a living, anti-social working hours, exhaustion, and the inability to plan their time/future.”
The report also points to gender bias in the music industry as a major cause of mental health problems
, citing “issues related to the problems of being a woman in the industry – from balancing work and family commitments, to sexist attitudes and even sexual harassment.”
Help Musicians UK included in its report that the next phase of the study will delve deeper into the causes of mental health issues among musicians and will also explore a range of solutions. The charity also intends to launch a nationwide mental health
services program in 2017 to help individuals who make music for a living.
This goal is an important on,e since 53% of respondents reported feeling that help was not accessible to them. In fact, over 80% of people who suffer from depression never receive professional help.