In Mental Health Awareness Week and following the death of Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchinson, Dr Catherine Loveday and Sally-Anne Gross discussed recent research into the psychological issues affecting musicians.

Approximately one in four people in the UK suffer from mental health difficulties each year and a survey carried out by University of Westminster for Help Musicians UK suggested that the problem might be up to three times greater in those working in music, 70 per cent of whom reported suffering from anxiety and/or depression.

Research by Dr Catherine Loveday looked into this tendency and pointed to the pressure to harness creativity on demand, the tensions around ideas of authenticity versus commercial success, and the loneliness and lack of social support as some of the reasons for it.

Dr Loveday wrote: “Scientific research shows that music encourages a sense of camaraderie and connectedness, and studies have even suggested that brain activity may become synchronised during performances. But when this is happening in a professional capacity, the experience may be short-lived and lack the authenticity and substance of long-term social support from real friends.”

Read the whole article on The Quietus.

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