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Musicians ‘50% more likely to be on medication’

As awareness grows of poor mental health in the music biz, a new study from Norway has found musicians are disproportionate users of therapy and psychiatric drugs

By IQ on 14 Oct 2016

Depression

Mental health in the music industry has been a hot topic in 2016, with the MMF’s Fiona McGugan, panels at The Great Escape and Bigsound and the launch of Help Musicians UK’s Music and Depression (MAD) study all serving to draw attention to an issue hitherto largely undiscussed.

Now, a new study from Norway has revealed the extent of the problem, finding that musicians in the country are three times more likely to be undergoing psychotherapy than the average Norwegian and 50% more likely to be using psychotropic medication (a class of drugs that includes antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilisers and anxiolytics).

The study, led by Jonas Vaag of the North Trøndelag Hospital Trust’s department of psychiatry, found the disproportionate use of medication and therapy among musicians to be “consistent with previous findings indicating high rates of sleep difficulties and psychological distress among musicians”.

The results are “consistent with previous findings indicating high rates of sleep difficulties and psychological distress among musicians”

Use of therapy was reported most frequently among singers, while the most widespread use of psychiatric medication is by rock musicians.

“The results underline the importance of investigating both the content and quality of services provided,” concludes Dr Vaag’s team’s report.

 


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