Following the recent suicide of Chester Charles Bennington of Linkin Park, and Chris Cornell, lead vocalist of the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, many in the music industry have come forward to openly discuss the mental health issues afflicting artists as well as other people.
Bennington knew his demons well and openly talked about his history of drug and alcohol abuse. The singer often referred to his struggles as “the bad neighborhood” that he tried to escape many times. In the case of Cornell, his widow blamed anti-anxiety medications for altering her husband’s mind before he took his own life.
Though the music industry has started acknowledging and addressing mental health issues, there is still a long way to go. With the passing away of two icons of the fraternity, it is time that it came together as friends, co-workers, and as human beings, to not only pay closer attention to, but also confront the inner demons that often plague the industry.
Recognize, talk, and act
While the world is yet to come to terms with the death of the two legends, it’s time to recognize the mental health issues affecting the industry, setting realistic expectations and talking about them.
Music is often used as an outlet for expressing one’s thoughts and emotions or commenting on issues. Despite this many musicians are unable to resolve their problems, which need addressing. What complicates matters is that the industry itself is, unfortunately, set up in an environment that accepts and encourages drugs and alcohol. Thus, many end up using such substances to tackle what’s plaguing them. This makes for a deadly combination.While some use such substances for fun, others use them to self-medicate or cope with the social environment.
Accompanied by the pressure to perform is constant scrutiny, need to achieve success in a volatile industry and the extreme highs and lows associated with performing on stage. As a result, mental health issues are common among musicians and often exacerbated.
Though lately there has been much talk about mental health and addiction in the industry, the biggest issue that needs to be overcome, is the stigma associated with such health problems. A change in mindset along with open discussions will encourage more artists and industry workers to step forward, take action and spread awareness about preventive techniques and access to appropriate help. With a rise in the number of people suffering from such mental disorders, it is high time that the industry took note and did something about it.
Musicians are more prone to mental health problems
According to a 2016 study, by the University of Westminster, musicians were found to be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression. The research that was carried out in the United Kingdom, found that 71.1 percent of the musicians believed that they had experienced anxiety and panic attacks while 68.5 had experienced depression. In spite of such a high percentage of musicians suffering from mental disorders, of the 2,211 self-identified musicians, 52.7 percent found it difficult to get help while 54.8 percent believed that the services or the help they found had substantial gaps in it. According to the study authors, the music industry might indeed be making musicians sick or at least contributing considerably to their low levels of mental health.
Contrary to the popular notion that there is a strong relationship between poor mental health and creativity, there are plenty of real-life examples to show that a better mental health contributes to better creativity and a much better life.
Road to recovery
Mental health issues can be treated, and talking about them can make a huge difference in the way one sees mental health and explores options to treat it. At Sovereign Health of Florida, we offer each of our patients’ individualized, evidence-based interventions in a safe, private and trigger-free environment. We offer the best-in-class treatment for mental health disorders including depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders and many others.
For more information on our holistic addiction treatment programs or to locate our state-of-the-art mental health inpatient treatment centers near you, call our 24/7 helpline number. You can even chat online with our representatives, who would be happy to answer all your queries, for further assistance.