What did Steve Vai say about Depression?

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about what did Steve Vai say about depression, what did he say about his own struggle with depression, his journey, and growth, and also include various other people who struggled with depression in their lives. 

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What did Steve Vai say about Depression?

 “The way to cure your own depression is to realize what’s causing it. The thoughts in your head about yourself and the world are the only things that cause depression”, Steve in an interview.

Mental health concerns in Musicians

Addiction and mental health concerns affect musicians at an alarming rate. However, the industry is taking action like never before, thanks to a new wave of projects and groups aiming to assist. According to a study, musicians are three times more likely than the general public to suffer from anxiety or despair.

According to a 2018 research by the Music Industry Research Association, half of the musicians suffer from depression, compared to fewer than a quarter of the total adult population. Suicidal thoughts were indicated by approximately 12% of the participants, which is nearly four times the general population. The results are even more stark, according to a 2019 report issued by Swedish digital-distribution company Record Union: It was shown that 73% of self-employed musicians had struggled with stress, worry, and despair.

When musicians work at night on tour, their circadian rhythms are usually interrupted. They’re also subjected to a lot of noise. As a result, sadness and addiction are common among them.

In fact, some research suggests that clever, creative people are more likely to be depressed than those who are less intelligent and smart.

Other Celebrities who have struggled with mental illnesses

Def Leppard’s Steve Clark was a multi-millionaire rockstar with everything a musician could desire. He was gifted, but he became so miserable that he attempted suicide by drinking. Since Phil Collen (His drinking companion and fellow Def Leppard guitarist) had sworn off alcohol to avoid health problems, the booze really triggered the depression. So, despite touring the world and being adored by beautiful ladies, he tried to break his fingers before going on stage because he was so depressed.

As a comedian, voice actor, and movie actor, Robin Williams was incredibly talented. He had a natural flair for comedy and always seemed to be in a good mood. But, in the end, he committed suicide due to depression.

So, even if Steve Vai is, in my opinion, the best guitarist of all time, he can still be melancholy; he’s probably not as well-known and wealthy as Def Leppard or as well-known as Robin Williams, but both were depressed. So this simply goes to prove that fame and talent aren’t enough to make you happy.

When Steve opened up about his own mental health struggles?

During a conversation, Steve talked about his own childhood and also about a breakdown that happened to him on tour. 

“Things came to a head for me when I was on a tour with Zappa-Montreal in 1980. I had a complete breakdown, an anxiety attack that lasted. It was panic, terror, and fear lurking that just came out. I had no idea what it was, I wasn’t doing drugs, alcohol, anything.” He also suggested how your own thoughts make you believe things that are not true and you believe there’s something wrong with you and it just gets more and more intense with time. He said that even though he enjoys music and the reason he makes music is how much he loves and enjoys it. He was under the notion that if you become famous, you go crazy or nuts.

He held that core belief for a long part of his life and he even reminisced about his aunt telling him something similar in his childhood. She said that when you’re young and hear such things you often think that you got it and you don’t want to become famous but once you actually get to a bigger city to chase your dreams, it is nothing more than a rat race.

Steve talked about how different depression actually is and he even talked about how serious of a condition is depression. He said,” Depression is a whole different sensation, and I had it for a period when I was that young man, and it is horrible.” But it was also valuable to me because I believe that your greatest spiritual teacher is also your own suffering and troubles. 

How did Steve Vai manage his mental health issues?

Steve spoke about his own struggles with mental health issues in an interview and discussed how spirituality has been a savior for him and how he has been practicing meditation and soul searching to help himself. 

Steve’s India visit and discussion about depression

News18.com interviewed Vai about his first-ever visit to India, experience interacting with Indian fans, the changing music scenario, the demon of depression, and more. Excerpts from the interview (only mentioned question-related to depression)

Q.(Interviewer) We have often seen so many great musicians dying from depression or drug problems and it’s unfortunate. Why is that musician are more likely to suffer from depression? How do you think this can be cured? 

STEVE VAI: Realizing what’s causing your depression is the first step toward recovery. The only thing that causes depression is your own thoughts about yourself and the world. The emotions felt in the body match the thoughts a person chooses to think, but a person must be able to discern the quality of the notion they are thinking. Most thoughts are repeated, centered on the past or future, and are usually unpleasant and fearful, yet individuals believe that they are their thoughts, so they will feel horrible if they are thinking poorly.

The first step to recovery is to assess the quality of your ideas. The majority of people have a little voice in their heads that constantly speaks to them. Everything, including itself, is criticized. It’s usually a complaint or a search for anything to satisfy it. It takes a pessimistic view of the world, blaming others and dividing individuals. The ego is what it’s called, and it’s probably talking to you all day.

Depression is caused by this. To get out of it, you must see your thoughts from the perspective of a non-critical, non-judgmental, quiet observing presence within oneself. It can be surprising to learn that you have been maintained a slave to this little voice if you recognize the toxicity in your own thoughts. Mindfulness, or the practice of watching one’s thoughts, is a Buddhist tradition, yet anyone can perform it.

The less you listen to, believe in, and heed your inner voice, the more liberated you become. That’s when something else, calm and joy, can emerge in you. Your inherent states of being are peace and joy. It’s at the very core of who you are. Now, if you read that and find fault with it, that’s the ego at work.

Many people believe that in order to be happy, they must have certain things, but what they don’t realize is that the concepts they hold are forming their view on events in their lives and the world in general. Most people, particularly young musicians, believe that once they’ve “made it,” once they’ve sold a million records, amassed a large sum of money, won first place in all the awards, received a Grammy Award, and are adored and featured on the covers of all the magazines, they’ll be able to be happy and at peace.

Many artists, though, who may have had all of those things, may come to realize that’s not it. Worldly achievement is good, but it will not provide a person with a sense of genuine fulfillment, serenity, stillness, or joy. In reality, it has the potential to make a person’s situation considerably worse.

Some people can achieve very high levels of recognition only to realize that they brought their wretched selves with them and that despite their great accomplishments, they still feel insufficient, fearful, and unworthy. This causes mayhem in their minds and souls since they are searching for something that no one else can provide. Because your mind can’t move as quickly when you drink alcohol or use drugs, it can’t fixate on all the normal negative thoughts that are in your head, being drunk or high can actually provide some relief from the tormenter in your head, but it’s not the solution because you’re simply turning a blind eye to the problem, and once you’re sober again, you’re confronted with your old unhappy self. For some people, this agony is overwhelming, and they consider committing suicide as a means of escape.

I’ve spent hundreds of hours in meditation and a lot of souls searching. I don’t consider myself an authority on truth or spirituality. Like everyone else, I’m still a work in progress. However, there are a few things I’ve realized as knowledge within me. The first is that we are not separate from the Universe, and the second is that everything is OK and there is nothing to be afraid about. If understood and accepted, those two basic realizations can provide a profound sense of serenity.

Conclusion:

Now, more than ever, the music business is taking steps to address the increasing mental health epidemic. New initiatives are emerging from both corporate behemoths and grassroots organizations, including festivals and benefit events aimed at raising mental health awareness, as well as attempts by record labels and artists to de-stigmatize mental illness. From Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber to Lizzo and Demi Lovato, musicians are increasingly disclosing their personal mental health challenges.

The idea of assisting artists has been around for decades — the Recording Academy established MusiCares in 1989 to provide medical and financial assistance — but the number of services available to musicians in need has suddenly skyrocketed. “We’ve lost so many artists,” Lyman explains, “that [business officials] are finally paying attention.”

Frequently Asked Questions:

What happened to Steve Vai?

Steve Vai injured himself striking a different chord and meditating on it for almost 20 minutes and went to surgery after the incident.

Is Steve Vai still alive?

Yes, he is still alive and there was a death hoax making rounds all across the social media platforms but his representatives dismissed the guitarist’s death posts and stated that he was just another celebrity who has been victimised by this fake death news and he is actually doing well and he is alive. 

Is Steve Vai still married?

Yes, he is married to Pia Maiocco and even has two kids with Maiocco. She is a former bassist of the Vixen band. 

How many guitars are owned by Steve Vai?

He has more than 300 instruments that are displayed as his collection on his website. 

Has Steve Vai done drugs?

He has never done drugs, he did not ever have an alcohol problem and he is quite far from the image that is usually held by rockstars. 

Where did Steve Vai go to college?

He went to college at Berklee College of Music and has an incredible career as a guitarist, composer, singer, etc. 

References:

Steve Vai Opens Up About Stigma of Depression, says being drunk or high is not the answer. https://www.news18.com/news/movies/steve-vai-opens-up-about-stigma-of-depression-says-being-drunk-or-high-is-not-the-answer-1599337.html

Steve Vai: When I was a kid playing guitar too loud, neighbors would complain…

https://www.guitarworld.com/features/steve-vai-when-i-was-a-kid-playing-guitar-too-loud-the-neighbors-would-complain-and-my-father-would-tell-them-to-shut-the-fk-up

Steve Vai opened up about his anxiety attack during a tour with Zappa https://rockcelebrities.net/steve-vai-opens-up-about-the-anxiety-attacks-he-suffered-while-touring-with-frank-zappa/

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