In the largest study ever conducted on the subject, about 70 percent of musicians and music industry people polled, say they experienced panic attacks and/or high levels of anxiety and another 68.5% reported they had experienced depression. University of Westminster and MusicTank conducted the study, Help Musicians UK, in an attempt to try and understand the working conditions of musicians, notably the mental state that we don’t see, often until it is too late.
The 2,211 respondents were self-selected and were part of an industry-wide survey.
There are plenty of other important takeaways from the survey. Of those who reported having experienced depression, only 30% said they would be very likely to, or had already sought help, which can be seen as an indictment of society as a whole in its attitude towards mental health, the lack of awareness about depression and the inability for many to get the help they need. That last point is backed by the 55% who say that there are gaps in health care for musicians, who don’t have fancy big company insurance plans and the vast majority of musicians are not millionaires. Take the belief they are all rich elsewhere.
The stress and ill-mental health is attributed to many different factors including low pay, inability to plan a future, lack of recognition, being a woman (sexual harassment, assault etc), unpredictability, difficulty maintaining relationships with friends, loved ones and lovers and more.
Read the survey here to get an inside look at what is going on inside the mind of those in the industry.