Jazz and its association with the mental health

The jazz and its association with mental drugs and diseases

Many innovating and excellent musicians in the world of the jazz underwent psic³ticos upheavals and other problems of mental health, fotaleciendo the theory that the artistic brightness often can be related to the mental instability.

A study of 40 musicians, including the trumpet players Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis and the Art Pepper saxophonist, found in them, high levels of drug abuse and alcohol and familiar histories of mental diseases.

Miles Davis

The Dr. Geoffrey Wills, retired clinical psychologist with headquarters in Stockport, Great Manchester, shelp that its work endorsed previous studies that showed that the artists of high performance in the arts had levels superiors to the average of problems of mental health while they managed to produce an exceptional work.

He shelp that the jazz musicians had eight times more probabilities of undergoing dependency to the drugs that the rest of the population then, and the upheavals of the mood were four more common times.

Writing in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the Dr. Wills concentrated in the classic era of the American modern jazz, that included from 1945 to 1960. It discovered that of the 40 studied musicians, four had familiar antecedents of psychiatric problems.
The parents of Pepper had problems related to the alcohol, the mother of the Stan Getz saxophonist suffered of depression and the twin brother of the Erroll Garner pianist had serious difficulties of learning.

Also there were examples of poor devils and unstable childhoods in the 17,5% of the sample. Gillespie and the bear Charles Mingus remembered to be struck by their parents, and the father of the Charlie Parker saxophonist left to the family when his son was only 10 years old.

The addiction to drugs was a great problem between the musicians, with more than dependent half of the heroin at some time of its lives.

€œThe modern jazz was a revolutionary music that was rejected by the public generally, and the heroin, as music, challenging was settled down.

The Davises, Pepper and the Bill Evans pianist developed an addiction to the cocaine. Eleven of the musicians depended on the alcohol and six at some time abused it their lives.

Were serious psic³ticos upheavals in three musicians. The Bud Powell pianist entered several times in psychiatric hospitals and they diagnosed schizophrenia to him, whereas Davis underwent paranoides deliriums and hallucinations due to a psic³tico upheaval induced by substances. The trombonista Frank Rosolino shot to him to its two children, killing to one of them, and soon it committed suicide.

The Dr. Wills discovered that the 28,5% of the subjects underwent upheavals of the mood, whereas two had anxiety problems. Pepper, for example, had obsessive-compulsive rituals of washing and a phobia to see blood and to answer the telephone.

The Dr. Wills shelp that now it hoped to be able to compare the problems of mental health of the musicians of jazz at different times, until today.

€œI am not trying to say that all the musicians of jazz are crazy, but have emphasized a tendency in problems of mental health that is comparable to other creative people€,

Published in www.independent.co.uk
September 2003


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