• Izak Hannard

Alarming new statistics show 7 out of 10 independent musicians suffer from depression

Worrying statistics have emerged from Record Union: The 73 Percent and show that 7 out of 10 independent musicians have suffered from depression/anxiety.

The report by Record Union uses a study from 1,489 independent global musicians between March 21st and April 2nd 2019 to determine the factors as to why depression amongst music makers is increasing at an alarming rate.

Shockingly, the report shows that the biggest factor of this growing health issue is the fear of failure as well as financial instability. The music industry throughout history to our modern day arguably has always focused on how much profit can be made in one moment of time - and these latest figures are demonstrating the toll this is taking on artists across the world.

An independent music maker said: "There needs to be a culture change, of art before profit, of encouraging variety, of benevolence, of selflessness. Feeding cultural diversity is good for everyone, but putting money first starves the industry of flames, of diversity and sustainability.”

Devastatingly, loneliness and the fear of being evaluated by others were other common factors that independent musicians described when discussing their depression. Anxiety and panic attacks were also common symptoms.

Another anonymous independent musician said: "Stop entertaining tragic and destructive lifestyle choices from artists and raise the standard of not ’how to make music’ and also 'how to be a musician. People will always replicate what they see.”

The report highlighted that many of these musicians self medicated to cope with their depression and anxiety. A staggering 54% used alcohol and 50% said they used drugs as coping mechanisms.

Shockingly it was found younger artists were least likely to talk about their mental health, whereas those over the age of 46 were more likely to open up about their feelings. 3 out of 5 of those in the 18-25 category said they worry about their mental health on a daily basis.

Is the music industry doing enough to tackle the increasing mental health issue amongst musicians? 1 out of 5 of the independent musicians surveyed agreed that the music industry is doing enough, which leaves a staggering 81% who think more needs to be done.

An anonymous independent musician said: ”Consider musicianship a job that is deserving of salary benefits just like the people that run the industry. Would be cool if the people that fuelled the industry with their art were taken care of.

"The music industry needs to stop treating artists like they don't have feelings and that regular check ups on artists could benefit mental heath in the industry more."

These shocking new figures show just how much more we need to understand and discuss mental health in the creative industries, and why we need to start being more responsible around the subject in general.

Read the full report here:

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