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Study suggests musicians really are sadder than normal folks

Morissey (Photo: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Possibly answering the old High Fidelity question, “What came first, the music, or the misery?” a U.K. study of 2,000 music industry workers has just been released, suggesting that musicians might be far more prone to depression and anxiety than their non-musical ilk. Conducted by Help Musicians UK, the study found that roughly 70 percent of musicians said they’d been afflicted by either panic attacks, anxiety, or depression, a number much higher than the U.K.’s national average of 1 in 5. (To be clear, that latter number was gathered via separate methodologies from the music study, so the claim that “musicians are three times more likely to be depressed” might not be entirely true.)

The study noted that, while making music itself was cathartic, a number of music business factors—like “anti-social working hours,” “a lack of recognition for one’s work,” and “issues related to the problems of being a woman in the industry”—all contributed to people’s dismay. The study also notes that only half of respondents found it easy to get help for mental health issues stemming from their jobs; a similar number said that there were critical gaps in the industry’s mental health coverage.


[via Consequence Of Sound]

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