Heavy metal and mental health

by Barbara Miller

Metal music fans in France are no more anxious or depressed than the general population, in fact, they are somewhat less so. Fewer than 5 percent of the 333 fans in a recent study have pathological symptoms, as evaluated on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Characteristics of the small minority with high scores for anxiety and depression are: literature/arts interests rather than scientific interests, writing metal music lyrics, alcohol consumption, and body modification/scarification.  Relevance: opponents of metal music should re-examine the basis for their criticism.

Photo, “Heavy Metal Funhouse”, via Flickr and Creative Commons.

2 thoughts on “Heavy metal and mental health

  1. Interesting! I few years ago I stumbled across an article on the relation between country music and suicide (http://www.millersville.edu/~schaffer/courses/f2003/soc101/articles/maguire-snipes-94.pdf), and it seems like these studies of anxiety and depression should rather be directed towards the fan base of Kenny Rogers and Shania Twain. After all; “The authors interpret their findings as evidence that country music may ‘nurture a suicidal mood’ … “


  2. John

    Would this not have more to do with class? Metal whilst traditionally a white working class artform is now more common amonst the educated classes, whilst pop country is more commonly appreciated by uneducated whites.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s