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  1. #1

    Unhappy Are musicians more susceptible to depression?

    The question is, does being a musician make you more vulnerable to depression, or is it that music attracts people who are predisposed to depression and other sort of mental kicks?

    Curious to see what responses this will get.
    Charley Gee

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2012 Toot Sweet!'s Avatar
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    I've read somewhere that jazz musicians seem to be more neurotic than the average person. I suspect this to be true ...
    TootSweet
    "The qualities in music which I considered most important -- and still do -- were beauty, simplicity, originality, discrimination, and sincerity." - Paul Desmond

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    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    It's probably more likely that some musicians suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive or BiPolar disorder.

    There is often a component of depression to OCD, and BiPolar difinitely has a depressive phase.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toot Sweet!
    I've read somewhere that jazz musicians seem to be more neurotic than the average person. I suspect this to be true ...
    Yeah, I remember reading an article a while back on how jazz musicians are more likely to suffer from a mental illness, and drug addiction also. I'm trying to find it.....
    Charley Gee

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    Being a musician can make you depressed if you compare yourself (unfavorably) to other musicians. It is best not to do that - Also, being a musician can be depressing if you base your entire self-worth (or lack of it) on your musical ability and accomplishments. Read Effortless Mastery if you are having a problem with these things. IT will help you see it differently.

    Generally, it's good to be an emotional person in my opinion, if you are a musician and can express yourself.

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    Forum Contributor 2011, Distinguished SOTW member, and SOTW Bean Burrito spartacus's Avatar
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    You opened up a can of worms here. There is another thread in this same forum about depression. Hold on to your hat and be prepared for some Mickey Mouse lectures.
    Trophy Husband, doobie doobie doo

    “Life is once, forever.”

    —Henri Cartier-Bresson


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    Discombobulated SOTW Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by blondemusicgurl
    The question is, does being a musician make you more vulnerable to depression, or is it that music attracts people who are predisposed to depression and other sort of mental kicks?

    Curious to see what responses this will get.
    BMG, your question is a little like the classic "have you stopped beating your wife yet?" Either answer confirms an antecedent that may or may not be true.

    What is the basis of your assumed notion that there is a link between being a musician and being depressed? I don't know if it's true or not, but it seems that we ought to establish or refute this contention and only discuss a possible explanation in the former case.

  8. #8
    Forum Contributor 2007 Rick Adams's Avatar
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    Reasearch shows that there appears to be a link between an introverted personality and tendency towards depression.

    The "lone jazz musician" is prehaps on average more likely to be an introvert than the norm, so there could be a common link (personality type) between jazz musicianship and depression, but one does not cause the other (except for my neighbours who have to listen to me practice )
    Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life
    Berthold Auerbach

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    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    I keep hoping that the 19th century notion of the 'tortured genius' will finally burn itself out.

    In my job, I work with 'troubled youth'. Let me tell you, most of them are neither musicians nor geniuses (geniii?).

    So, more susceptible to depression? No
    Susceptible just like the general population? Yes
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2007 Rick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani
    geniii?
    Aren't they what come out of magic lamps?
    Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life
    Berthold Auerbach

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Adams
    Aren't they what come out of magic lamps?
    And give you 12-inch pianists.
    John
    ____
    "...if primitive man had had the saxophone, speech might never have been developed, for it would not have been needed."
    From an early 20th century review quoted by Michael Segell in "The Devil's Horn"

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysax
    And give you 12-inch pianists.
    The first time I heard that joke, I totally lost it.

  13. #13
    Forum Contributor 2007 Rick Adams's Avatar
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    The importance of clear articulation
    Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life
    Berthold Auerbach

  14. #14
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Well, as you can see, BMG, we aren't depressed.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani
    I keep hoping that the 19th century notion of the 'tortured genius' will finally burn itself out.
    I couldn't agree more. There is no doubt that you can be a fairly happy individual and still be able to create, whether it be music/writing/painting.

  16. #16

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    YOU may not be depressed, but I think she was trying to tell you that SHE is.
    That is why I responded the way I did.
    You guys are a laugh though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon
    YOU may not be depressed, but I think she was trying to tell you that SHE is.
    That is why I responded the way I did.
    You guys are a laugh though.
    If that's the case, BMG, then although I assume it's obvious it's worth stating explicitly - hanging out here with other saxophonists for knowledge sharing and camaraderie is great (usually ) but no substitute for treatment.

  18. #18
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    The senior year of school is difficult. There is the excitement of finishing something, and a sense of not knowing where you're going. Leaving things behind...


    But, then you get to university, and let me tell you, it's hard work, but fun and satisfying. If I could go back to one time in my life, it would probably be my years at university.

    This is not depression, but wistfulness. You'll be okay.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2014 jazzbluescat's Avatar
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    Default Are musicians more susceptible to depression?

    Yes, for one reason or other. If you're making money chances are you're not playing what you want. If you are playing what you want, chances are you're not making money. Either can be frustrating, at least. It's a vicious cycle.
    It's always something
    .
    A lot of good arguments are ruined by some fool who knows what he's talking about.

    Dude, Support this Forum.

  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2014 jazzbluescat's Avatar
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    Default Are musicians more susceptible to depression?

    On the other hand, maybe no. Maybe musicians are just more self occupied, occupied with themselves than, oh lord, dare I say it, normal?
    A lot of good arguments are ruined by some fool who knows what he's talking about.

    Dude, Support this Forum.

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