Musicians are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression

Major new study cites strains of music industry and career uncertainty among contributing factors

Musicians 3 times more likely to suffer from depression
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New research indicates musicians are three times more likely to suffer from depression than the general public.

The findings come from the Help Musicians UK's Can Music Make You Sick survey, where 71% of those taking part said they had experienced anxiety and panic attacks, while 65% had suffered from depression.

Contributing factors include the difficulty of sustaining a living, anti-social working hours, exhaustion and the inability to plan their time/future

Poor working conditions were said to be a major contributing factor, including: "the difficulty of sustaining a living, anti-social working hours, exhaustion and the inability to plan their time/future".

Other considerations are a lack of recognition for one's work, physical impacts of a musical career and issues related to the problems of being a woman in the industry, including sexist attitudes and harassment.

Can Music Make You Sick is the largest survey of its kind in the UK, assessing 2,211 musicians. Most respondents (66.2%) were aged 18-35, with a relatively even gender split (55.2% male, 43.9% female).

"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," says HMUK chief executive Richard Robinson.

"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."

For more information and to read the results in full, head over to HMUK's Music and Depression page.