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Musicians may be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression

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Music can be a great alleviator for struggles with mental illness, but new research suggests working in the music industry can have a detrimental effect on mental health.

Help Musicians UK surveyed 2,211 musicians on their mental health, the largest study of its kind in the UK to date, with the findings suggesting that musicians may be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression than non-musicians – with 68.5% admitting struggles. ONS data suggests 19% of over-16s in the UK suffer from depression.

On top of that, a staggering 71.1% of people surveyed believe they have suffered from panic attacks or high levels of anxiety.

The study included not just musicians but DJs, live crew and music management, with 66.2% of people who took part between the ages of 18-35.

MC and artist Context, real name Dr George Musgrave, collaborated with Sally Anne Gross, MusicTank and The University of Westminster on the study that showed while working on music production helped artists “find solace”, working within the music industry itself caused significant stress. The majority of people surveyed felt it was difficult to get help.

Work problems included anti-social working hours, the difficulty of sustaining a living and a lack of recognition, while for women, who were 43.9% of respondents, sexist comments, sexual harassment and balancing work and family also played a part.

This year alone Kid Cudi has checked into rehab with depression and Adele has opened up about post-natal depression, while Benga released his first music in three years after struggles with mental health.

Help Musicians is continuing with the next phase of the study, delving deeper into the meaning of the findings and possible causes, and hopes to open a mental health service for those in the music industry in 2017.

You can reach them for help and advice here.

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