Musicians are three times more likely to suffer from depression, according to a new academic study from Help Musicians UK.
Although there is still much to learn about depression and its potential relation to a career in music, Can Music Make You Sick? is the largest known academic study of its kind with over 2,200 participants within Britain’s music industry — and definitely shouldn’t be overlooked.
According to the study, “Poor work conditions” are largely to blame for the depression experienced in musical artists vs. the general public. Juggling gigs, money worries, and unpredictable pay are all found to be factors that contribute to both the lifestyle and potential depression.
“Social challenges” are cited as a contributing factor, as relationships with family, friends, partners, etc. often come under pressure for musicians. Findings also suggest that “sexual abuse, bullying and discrimination” within the industry can lead to depression.
Can Music Make You Sick? is commissioned by the charity and researchers Sally-Anne Gross and Dr. George Musgrave from the University of Westminster. The report intends to shed light on the subject as Help Musicians UK focuses on improving work conditions for musicians, artists, songwriters, composers and producers.
Gross and Musgrave contend: ‘This research is a crucial step forward in our understanding of the complex relationship between the working conditions of musicians and mental health conditions.”
Can Music Make You Sick? summary reports can be viewed here.