World Mental Health Day - 10th October 2021
Dancers smile when they are hurt and keep quiet when they long to cry out. They often put an excess amount of pressure on themselves to be the "perfect" dancer, and sometimes "putting on a good show" takes the limelight instead, which has ultimately lead to 1 in 3 dancers suffering with some sort of mental health issue.
It is well documented that professional dancing can increase the risk for, or strongly associates to mental health issues, such as eating disorders, anxiety, depression and compulsive-obsessive disorders, also known as perfectionism.
Perfectionism is a growing epidemic. There is an unhealthy link between dance and perfectionism. Once seen as a positive trait, researchers are now finding perfectionism to be dangerous and linked to a long list of mental health issues. These include depression, anorexia, bulimia, and suicide, with the latter affecting over 800, 000 people each year in the UK.
Dancers often suffer from these illnesses and sadly there is not enough help provided by the industry.
Any of these illnesses can affect a dancer's performance especially if you're not eating of sleeping well, if you have a lack of motivation, negative thoughts or poor concentration. They can also increase your risk of injury, you may be less alert, distracted, or indecisive.
The fact is, when you injure your ankle, you go to your doctor, but when it comes to our mental health, people hesitate to do anything about it.
WE NEED TO GET RID OF THE STIGMA.
Here are 6 things you can do to protect your mental health:
- Talk about your feelings
- Keep yourself active
- Eat and sleep well
- Take a break when you need one
- Accept who you are
- Ask for help when you need it
DYNS are here to support young dancers in the industry, raise awareness for mental health and to let you know that it's OK to ask for help. We're here to normalise the conversation about mental health in dancers.
It's time to share your story, now more than ever, because your story, your journey, you matter.
Always remember, you don't have to struggle in silence, here are some mental health charities that give 24 hour support:
Call 0300 123 3393
Call 116 123
Text SHOUT to 85258