Are our celebrity idols as happy as they look?

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Mental health is probably more openly discussed today than it ever has been before. With some of the biggest stars in the world getting behind campaigns, charities and hashtags all in support of people who suffer from mental health issues, it begs the question: why are so many still suffering?

The mental wellbeing of artists in the music industry has been an unavoidable issue in recent months, with Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez both allegedly spending time in rehabilitation centres recently for reasons related to their mental health.

To add to this, a string of young artists have tragically passed away from alleged substance overdoses in 2018 alone, including Mac Miller and Aviccii.

Graphic: Christian Onions. Statistics: University of Westminster music industry think tank, MusicTank.

The stereotype of the ‘struggling artist’ is proven to be somewhat based in truth, after a study carried out by the University of Westminster found that 71.1% of people working in the music industry have experienced panic or anxiety attacks. Most participants attributed their mental health problems to poor working conditions, anti-social working hours, exhaustion and inability to plan their time/future.

This isn’t a problem restricted to UK musicians, but a worldwide one. A study from the Sonn of Australia University showed that suicide attempts for australian entertainment industry workers are more than double that of the general population and the levels of moderate to severe anxiety symptoms are ten times higher than in the general population.

Graphic: Christian Onions. Statistics: help

Mental health struggles within the entertainment industry are not limited to newspaper headlines, but are more regularly portrayed on screen in popular film and TV. A Star is Born and Beautiful Boy are two new films that deal with the issues of depression and substance abuse, and are both expected to be big players for the upcoming awards season.

The performances by Bradley Cooper and Timothee Chalamet in the roles of characters who struggle with this issue are being highly praised, and are helping to add to the conversation on this topic.

Words: Christian Onions | Subbed: Tabitha Durrant

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