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Post Show Depression – also called PSD – is the state a performer enters after completing a show. Beginning just minutes after completion of a show, people who suffer with PSD will struggle with feelings of hopelessness and loneliness after the end of a much-rehearsed performance.

What causes Post Show Depression?

PSD occurs when a performer has dedicated many hours, weeks and months to a show. It usually begins the day after a show has finished, however symptoms can begin as early as closing night. It is most commonly found in local theatres, high schools and anywhere that there may be a stage to perform on.

 Who is at risk of Post Show Depression?

Anyone can get PSD, but certain behaviours increase your risk. Factors that increase your risk of getting PSD include:

  • Hanging around your local amateur theatre group.
  • Attending your local Performing Arts Academy.
  • Learning an instrument/craft that requires stage performance.
  • Pursuing the arts as a profession.

What are the symptoms of Post Show Depression?

There are many possible symptoms for Post Show Depression. You may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of organisation in your life.
  • Absent-mindedly singing/speaking lines from the show.
  • Wondering what to do with your life.
  • Acting out moments of the show in your living room.
  • Listening to the music on your iPhone.
  • Organising catch ups with cast and crew.
  • Wondering what you’re going to do with all this spare time.

How is Post Show Depression diagnosed?

Post Show Depression is usually diagnosed the morning after closing night, when you wake up from that excruciating “Closing Night” hangover. This hangover symbolises the end of you needing to care about your health, about your vocal folds, and whether or not the cast and crew respect you. The phrase “Can’t, I’ve got rehearsal.” Has lost it’s importance and meaning and you now don’t have any excuse not to attend your work colleague’s boring party.

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How is Post Show Depression Treated?

Simple. Audition for another show.

Complications

You are now hooked to the world of theatre. You have no other option but to continue to perform in show after show and succumb to the life of a performer.

In extreme cases, people who suffer from PSD will take extreme measures to cure themselves. This may include pursuing the arts as a full time job and putting their money and time towards dancing lessons, acting classes and singing coaches. If these symptoms continue, make sure to seek guidance at your local Performing Arts Academy.

WARNING: Post Show Depression can lead to Social Media Addictions and Netflix Binges. Please seek guidance from friends and family and… Get back to work!

Here’s to the performers out there – amateur and professional. How lucky we are to share the stage with each other! Whether it be in opera, art song, acting, musicals etc. Art is what brings us together.

 Written by Katherine Goyder

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