February 14th, 2011
Metalheads, we have a bad reputation in the world! People think that we are Satanist (did they know that a style of metal is called White Metal?), people think that metal is only noise with puking-pig-horrible-voice (This is the grindcore! There are many many many kind of metal which are really different each other, including kind of voice, music and lyrics) or we are depressed and suicidal… for this last assumption a recent scientific paper have shown that we are normal! Yes we are! Ok some of band or metal style speaks about Satan, Death, Occult, Murder, Torture and many other not really happy topics and generally when you see the name of the band or its album artwork you can guess the topic of lyrics and sometimes even the kind of metal. But still we are mentaly OK.
A French scientific team decides to focus on Metal Music and Mental Health in France. Because we have a bad reputation, because a big part of the present French government want to stop the HellFest (Metal Festival in Clisson), because stupid people says “metal music is bad, corrupt and put our children on the wrong way, also it push them to suicide and making violent act”, because we wear almost only black clothes (and some have many tattoos and piercing), this scientific paper bring the truth in Hell about our mental health mainly anxiety and depression.
How they have done that?
- To detect anxiety and depression they have used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
- They have taken into account these several factors: age, gender, employment status, education and ﬁeld of study, body modiﬁcation (piercing, tattoos, scarifications), motivation and number of and type of participation at metal concerts
- 282 males and 39 females (= 321 French metalheads) were selected. They have found them by internet metal community and they have taken only those have filled completely the questionnaire. The mean age is 22.67 years old (between 13-44 years old).
What are the results? Here the result and some explanations about them.
- The mean of the score for the HADS is far lower than the cut-off which determines the presence of anxiety and depression. Except and like for every population, 15.58% has high probability of anxiety and 3.43% for depression. → Globally metalheads are really not anxious or depressed.
- Gender, age, number of concerts per year, preferred musical style and body modiﬁcation practices of tattooing and piercing had no link to mental health, in terms of either anxiety or depression. → So listening black and death metal don’t affect you mental health even if you listen to Dark Funeral, go often to death metal concert and have tattoos representing Baphomet.
- Metalheads with high grade have less anxiety. Also those who have an arts and literature background have more anxiety than those have a scientific background. And finally the lower the employment status, the higher the level of depression and of anxiety. → These are general anxiety and depression factors finding in all population, it is not specify to metal music fans.
- The score of HADS for depression and anxiety of metal lyrics writer are higher compared to other groups. Alcohol consumers during metal gig have a higher score of HADS for anxiety than the other groups and persons with scarification have a higher score of HADS for anxiety. But these score are still under the cut-off to determine presence of anxiety or depression. → For instance in these cases we don’t know whether songwriters are inspired because there are anxious and depressed or metal writing song increases anxiety and depression and even, for this metal music fan population, the HADS score remains low.
- Finally and about ritual practicing during metal concert, people who do ‘‘stage diving,’’ ‘‘moshing’’ and ‘‘Bravehearting’’ were not linked to mental health. But metalhead who do ‘‘pogoing’’ are less anxious than other groups contrary to person who do ‘‘slamming’. → Funny correlation isn’t it? The significant relation is statistically really weak, so don’t really take into account about metal concert dance and mental hearth.
We are on good health! Yeahhhh \,,/ So fans of metal are not anxious or depressed! No, horror picture representing dying and suffering persons with theirs guts getting out of their body and with blood everywhere on album artwork, lyrics about death and promoting the supremacy of Satan, dark clothes and tattoos did not affect our mental health contrary what people thinks. Actually it could be the contrary, according to the paper and other studies, being confronted to death openly and directly help to manage and be more comfortable with death in general and in real life. So it could explain why metalheads have a lower anxiety and depression than the rest of population, because we used to hear and see horror, death, suicide and torture ritual by metal music, lyrics and artworks.
Finally, guys, Stay Metal \,,/ and don’t forget that music is pleasure!
Recours R, Aussaguel F, & Trujillo N (2009). Metal music and mental health in France. Culture, medicine and psychiatry, 33 (3), 473-88 PMID: 19521752