Producing with Depression

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Producing with Depression

Post by bamboospaceship » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:28 am

I noticed on the Production Bible (which has helped me immensely) there is a link to a dead thread (under "Production Lifestyle") titled Producing with Depression. Since the thread was dead and the topic seemed relevant I thought I'd try to revive it.

As a depression sufferer, I have always struggled maintaining my production output and interest. This is particularly frustrating as production is one of the few things in life that actually makes me happy. I often find myself demotivated when producing, with feelings and thoughts like "Everything you make is shit" or "You'll never be good enough" etc etc. Typical depression thinking. But I know that producing is what makes me happy - regardless of the results - and I actually feel like being overcritical of myself is what has kept my standards high enough to improve the quality of my productions over time. So how do you guys stay motivated? Any secret tips or tricks? Would love to hear your thoughts on this one...

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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by NinjaEdit » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:28 am

I've experienced depression before. You've really just got to treat the depression.

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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by soronery » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:36 am

i've checked the production bible and there is a link to a thread called 'overcoming depression' in the bible but the thread itself is actually called 'how do you pick yourself up when feeling a bit miserable?'


not sure if that's the one you meant.

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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by Kongret » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:01 am

I meditate, helps quite a bit. I get waves of complete despair after every track I make. I'm usually satisfied with my music, but can't get it anywhere so I end up thinking that I suck and my life is worthless :D

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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by magnetron_sputtering » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:18 am

Kongret wrote:I meditate, helps quite a bit.
Fuckin' A+ on the meditation. Read this:
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by Dub_Fiend » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:02 pm

I've recently gone to the doctor about my depression. Normally I'd be fine but since I've started the meds my work ethic is just shot, I'm so apathetic about stuff and I've not written any tunes in weeks. Hopefully things will even out as the drugs work.
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by Thierry_D » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:22 pm

hypnotherapy for depression

its really good it make you relax

look it up on your side of the world
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by fragments » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:27 pm

OP just a suggestion...I have seasonal depression...some winters it is far worse than others...I found with music in particular if I just made music that expressed what I was feeling instead of worrying about genre, that helped a lot. I would do it more as therapy than something I was really going to release to the world. I also found doing jam sessions instead of telling myself I had to sit down and write a song that would be finished product helped. Even if you dont finish anything releasable with these methods you are still working and learning.

Not entirely related...but...Im on about my 8th week of detox from ganja and I am feeling fantastic...though I was pretty much a daily smoker for close to a decade up until recently. May actually just quit it for good. I am 100x more productive, creative and I work faster too. I have been waiting for years for my experience and learning with music to fall together and it really feels like it is now. Until winter hits
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by Crimsonghost » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:34 pm

Depression is a fickle thing. And also something you can easily get yourself worked up about. Sometimes i feel great, and others it just dont want to fucking do anything. Meds do help, but you have to find the right ones. I think ive tried 3 different ones before i settled on something that actually works for me, so if you are taking them and you still dont feel right i would suggest talking to your doctor about getting something else.

As far as the "all your tracks are shit" ect., thats just a normal part of making music. Its perfectly natural to think that your never good enough or that your never going to get anywhere. I was reading a issue of guitar world years ago and a famous and well respected guitar player (cant remember who atm) said "Its perfectly natural to feel like you are never good enough. Instead of letting it get you down, use that as motivation". Or something to that effect. But i remember reading it and it being very powerful. And its something thats stuck with me for a long time. Just keep making tracks and eventually you'll get to the point where your happy with you're output.

Also, dont be afraid to take a break from producing. Sometimes i go months without even thinking about making a (electronic) tune. Up untill recently all i wanted to do was make some metal, but now im feeling the whole ambient thing. If you have other hobbies, just walk away from the daw for a little bit and come back with a clear head and some fresh ideas. If your just sitting there every day trying to make a banger it can get super frustrating because your forcing yourself to do something that your not really in the mood for.

Excuse me if im rambling, im really hungover and words hurt my head. :corntard:
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by koncide » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:48 am

Some of the greatest musicians of all time have also been some of the most fucked-up, neurotic, and mania-prone people who have ever lived.

Embrace it, use it for your art

As for overcoming negative attitudes and poor motivation, I guess you just have to remind yourself why you make music in the first place. Different reasons for different people.

Keep a plan in mind and strategise. Give yourself deadlines, or if you're making tunes for other people, keep their deadlines in mind.

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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by mromgwtf » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:02 pm

Feels good not to have depression. Feels good man.
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by outbound » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:39 pm

You just need to learn to reframe situations to improve your mood. Here's a list of bad frames / good frames

Bad frames:
-What if this is no good
-What if people don't like it
-What if I don't like it
-What's the point if it isn't good

Good frames:
-This could be better than what I've made before which is improvement, this can make me feel better.
-If other people don't like it then I could use that feedback to improve my work/self
-If I'm happy with it and people don't like it should I let that affect my enjoyment of a pass time? IF I am 100% happy with what I'm making then no need to send it out just enjoy it. If you want to make music other people enjoy then find another angle at least now you know.
-If my music isn't good then I have to think why do I want to improve? Am I getting my self worth from my ability to make music? is this healthy? If you decide you want to use this ability to build your self esteem then keep with it and improve, find specific areas you can improve on (sound design, arrangement etc) that way you can more easily track your progress and feel better.

And no.1 try not to compare yourself too much with other people who are more successful. It can be motivational but at the same time setting unrealistic targets can get you down, better to set smaller goals you can accomplish and keep achieving them before moving on.
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by legend4ry » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:49 pm

And this is why I drink nearly every day.
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by Huts » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:04 pm

That's some awesome advice Outbound, I feel like I should put that on a whiteboard next to my desk as I feel like #1 and #2 happen every time I start working on a tune.
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by jaydot » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:35 pm

Doesn't making music help ease the depression? In a cathartic way


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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by zosomagik » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:11 pm

jaydot wrote:Doesn't making music help ease the depression? In a cathartic way

Everyone's different, but that's how I feel. When I'm going through one of those heavy waves of depression I just want to lock myself in my house and make music all day, and not talk to people at all.

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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by Dubber_Dub » Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:34 pm

Getting a life balance is so important. Its easy to be unsocial and think thats what you prefer. exercise is the one for me.
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by nowaysj » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:28 am

Vigorous exercise, good food, good sleep.

Vigorous exercise, good food, good sleep.

Vigorous exercise, good food, good sleep.


But production is terrible for depression. Production/music making is fucking helluv hard to do at the top level. And even the few that get up there are only up there for a couple of minutes and then have to come back down. I swear to god, take up horseback riding or something.
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by erratech » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:14 am

@Nowaysj That isnt the act of music making tho, thats the act of comparison and judgement. If you make the music simply to express something then I think it can be fantastic. There is a difference between music-as-art and music-as-therapy imo but they are both creative ways to express yourself and fantastic.
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Re: Producing with Depression

Post by thekuku » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:12 am

jaydot wrote:Doesn't making music help ease the depression? In a cathartic way
It helps but it can't wipe it out completely. I could literally spend 4 hours on a tune in the morning and feel proud of it, then at the end of the fulfilling day cry thinking I'll get nowhere in life. The next morning I feel good again, ready to finish the work. So it helps but I wouldn't try making music this sad, this confused. Why should I though, you should allow yourself some time to feel down.
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