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#1132967 - 11/28/17 01:18 PM Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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http://www.classicfm.com/music-news/musicians-depression-study/

This study has been around for over a year and I am just now seeing it..

I'm not sure how I feel about it. It seems to be the only one aimed at musicians, so kudos to "Help Musicians UK" but because it's the only one, who knows how accurate it is for anyone beyond the school (University of Westminster) that was surveyed..maybe that school puts a lot of pressure on its students..that we don't know..

And it's a safe bet that the statistics vary widely from place to place and amongst the various types and social strata of musicians. I imagine that there's been a boon in the practice of psychiatry in Nashville in the past several years do to the changes there, but elsewhere?

Personally, I get depressed as much as the next guy, but I can't single out music as the source or cause. It's been the source of many a peak experience and just as many dark nights of the soul, but overall music is what I love and what drives my life, and I suppose I rewrite my narrative to romanticize the darker moments.

But clinical depression? When I think of clinical depression I think of William Styron's short memoir "Darkness Visible" --if you have clinical depression you are going to know it, and it is going to stop you DEAD in your tracks while you are in it..and I would hope anyone with serious depression is doing something about it, cuz there's lots of great help out there in the form of prescription drugs, reading materials, and talking cures..

It's an interesting study for sure.. smile

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 11/28/17 03:47 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1132968 - 11/28/17 01:48 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Writing songs is one of the only thing that actually makes me feel good.

#1132971 - 11/28/17 02:19 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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9ne Online content
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I'm too depressed to read it....

#1132978 - 11/28/17 03:51 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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I always thought that anyone with an artistic mind was open to bouts of depression. I haven't cut off my ear yet though.
I'll have to thing of a part I don't use much for that.

Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
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#1133099 - 12/01/17 03:22 AM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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This makes me sad... what a downer... sigh...

I am not sure this is true, it is just that writers are more likely comfortable owning up to it.


Brian Austin Whitney
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#1133113 - 12/01/17 09:48 AM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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I can't blame creating songs for mood swings. Like Barry, song-writing is a real way to express myself and the end result can either make me "euphoric" or really disappointed at the result. (Usually a crappy vocal or some simple recording mistake.) Life deals us a different "hand" each day and sometimes the "overload" can really be depressing. I have so many good things going on in my life... it's hard to stay "down" for long.

Sleep deprivation is one of my more serious problems. When I wake up from an unrested night... I can really feel the lack of that "good feeling attitude" and it can take me several hours to feel better. ----Dave

#1133114 - 12/01/17 10:23 AM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Composing and writing songs gives me a purpose in life - and always makes me happy. I would think that people without a purpose would be the most depressed. Although, my composing may have given me an illusionary world of bliss. Which opens up the concept of reality.

John smile

#1133119 - 12/01/17 12:28 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Springsteen, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi, Ray Charles, Beyonce, Kurt Cobain, James Taylor, Elvis

Many many others. I dont know if its a cause and effect issue. I think alot of artists went through alot of grief at younger ages. And they tend to gravitate towards the arts as an outlet. The captain of the football team or the head cheerleader, or the best looking girl in school rarely have these issues. They are socially accepted right away and probably dont even have time or interest in learning an instrument.

If your gonna be a good writer or musician, you do have to spend an awful amount of time alone, and being alone can be depressing in itself

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 12/01/17 12:29 PM.
#1133123 - 12/01/17 01:55 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Mackie H. Offline
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Mackie H.  Offline
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John Loudermilk (Tobacco Road) had a writers course years ago: "Songwriters don't need a shrink,, because they write the hurt out of their mind".

I've written many things out of my mind through the years--I think that his statement has a little truth behind it!

Musicians may have a little different situation to tackle: the degree of accomplishment to the goals they set for themselves--for me I would be somewhat depressed, if I couldn't get the inversion or riff to sound just right, but it would be short-lived and soon forgotten!

Mackie

#1133124 - 12/01/17 02:07 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Springsteen, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi, Ray Charles, Beyonce, Kurt Cobain, James Taylor, Elvis...the bigtimers were more effected by the Hollywood Effect than songwriting & creativity. Stars start believing they’re all powerful & indestructible – stardom diminishes - they turn to drugs to recapture the power – then become depressed when they realize they’re only mere mortals and/or can’t stay on top of the charts any longer. Some can’t handle the reality of life, i.e., we live, we die, we all eventually fail – the Hollywood Effect. Now I'm depressed...

John smile

#1133139 - 12/01/17 10:39 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Colin Ward Online content
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Which is the cause and which is the effect? Maybe depressed people make the best musicians? Maybe being in an industry that is so over saturated with wannabe musicians is depressing? Dunno....but it seems like the best songs are about sad events and rarely about happy ones.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

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#1133177 - 12/02/17 02:15 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Springsteen, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi, Ray Charles, Beyonce, Kurt Cobain, James Taylor, Elvis...the bigtimers were more effected by the Hollywood Effect than songwriting & creativity. Stars start believing they’re all powerful & indestructible – stardom diminishes - they turn to drugs to recapture the power – then become depressed when they realize they’re only mere mortals and/or can’t stay on top of the charts any longer. Some can’t handle the reality of life, i.e., we live, we die, we all eventually fail – the Hollywood Effect. Now I'm depressed...

John smile


Well for sure fame causes it's own set of problems, I do know in BIlly Joels case, he got depression from 9-11, had 2 years in a spiral.

The Boss was never a druggie, or a boozer, its unique he never did drugs and made band mates sign contracts stating they couldnt use drugs while working with him

But he got major depression which came from his upbringing.

It's mostly chemical imbalances, but I dont think writing music causes depression, I think people inclined to depression start writing music, a way to channel it into something positive as opposed to going on a shooting spree!.

#1133179 - 12/02/17 02:33 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by Colin Ward
Which is the cause and which is the effect? Maybe depressed people make the best musicians? Maybe being in an industry that is so over saturated with wannabe musicians is depressing? Dunno....but it seems like the best songs are about sad events and rarely about happy ones.



They always said rock music was sad lyrics set to happy music. And actually, that goes against prosody theory in songwriting. But rock n roll never obeyed any rules!

#1133214 - 12/03/17 05:34 AM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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MATT STONEHAM Offline
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Depression , cant say I have ever felt it upset as a teenager because i was dropped from a football team even

though I scored Three Goals , I got over it fairly quick I did not get depressed

If I did not write songs after years of performing and writing I would be upset but maybe try something else

I knew a couple of Top Comedians who probably died of depression they were constantly up and down

I believe certain people are just born to be depressed , I knew a girl who could be bright and cheery one minute

and depressed the next, I got slung in the clink once , for some minor crime by todays standards , and even

though I was set up I just made sure I had plenty of books to read, and got on with it

I have been a musician guitarist vocalist since me teens and made a good living out of it but didnt like some of the

places I had to stay at on tours, ended up buying a Camper Van

I got married 50 years ago just got on with it nothing to be depressed about still with the same beautiful woman ,

we get a bit tired but never depressed, also never got into drugs or smoking in an addictive way I know very little

about drugs hard or mild , Drugs can ruin your life I understand that , and never needed them

Started my own Publishing Company in 1986 , mainly to publish my own stuff now publish a few other writers

Every day I wake up I am glad to be alive and nearly always write a song both lyrics and Music , I am my own best

critique and i am constantly updating my work even whist making my own Work Demos

i have three sons and one daughter they can all sing quite well and one is a Brilliant Guitarist : Bassist and Arranger

He produces all my backing tracks and I sing the vocals , Still got a Great voice I am told and I write in many genres

What is there to be DEPRESSED ABOUT

Last edited by MATT STONEHAM; 12/03/17 05:41 AM. Reason: errors

Without the right music your clever lyrics will never be heard, if you want success be prepared to re write many times and even change the meter you chose originally
#1133215 - 12/03/17 07:27 AM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Yep, nothing to be depressed about. Think of life as an exciting movie, and we all know how it's going to end.

John smile

#1133230 - 12/03/17 01:08 PM Re: Musicians Are 3 Times More Likely To Be Depressed [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Some great comments here; thanks folks.

I agree with most..normal everyday depression is no match for the healing powers of music and using one's imagination and making stuff. It help puts the "little things" in their place.

But let's keep in mind that clinical depression is another thing entirely, and sort of takes over and then consumes one's thoughts and depletes one's energy and renders one helpless in its presence. Feel blessed if you don't have to deal with this, cuz many creative types do. Music is especially problematic as it's a language that everybody understands a little bit differently, and so there's a constant "Tower of Babel" effect we deal with, and there's been a lot of changes in the music business, and change is probably what's difficult for many and what's at the root of much serious depression.

Nick Drake became a folk music icon a decade after he died in the mid-seventies, and not even Joe Boyd his famous producer had much of a clue how crippled this young man was by his depression: Drake wrote nearly every song in a different tuning, and so it was those awkward minutes between songs (retuning his guitar when playing live) that made his live show an epic fail--that and his quiet delivery. And though his recordings were well recieved for the most part, they didn't sell at the time..so these things amplified an already pre-existing condition. We can say he was a coward for ending his life early, but I can understand being in so much crippling pain, psychic or otherwise, that thinking about ending it all seems a viable solution.

Keith Jarrett is one of the most amazing creative types to have ever been born. He can sit down at a piano and create beautiful intricate pieces of music from an empty mind--from "the void" --and his music has touched millions and has crossed and annihilated boundaries. He spent much of the nineties with chronic fatigue and it's accompanying depression. We don't think of Jarrett as a depressed guy, but if it's strong enough, sometimes it wins and can lay you low for years.

Though it's not quite a musician's version of "Roger and Me" in Nashville, MAB has been keeping a stoic front about the changes in his fair city, but I imagine when you look closely at the folks affected by the changes there, there's probably some resilient healthy folks adapting to the changes, but others who are having a difficult time of it, and if there's a pre-disposition towards depression, it may very well have found many of the musicians there..

Vic and Fdemetrio make a good point. Artistry and depression have a relationship that goes back centuries, to Beethoven pounding out his feelings on the piano and before. We can be ahead of our time and no one understands us; or we can be so reluctant to change that we become immobilized..petrified stone as a last defense against the change--that's depression, right there.

David Byrne sang "if your work isn't what you love, then something isn't right." But most of us have love/hate relationships with our (music) work. Maybe we're blessed to not have any serious (mental) health issues..and maybe we avoid some of them by living (an artistic) life in a relatively safe comfort zone? Just thowing conjecture out there, now. Don't hate me. But maybe our most beloved artists are the ones that are brave and go down into the underworld and dig stuff up where others dare not go, and then share that with us. And those that gaze into the abyss like that..you know what they say about that..

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 12/04/17 11:36 AM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)

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