Addiction is alive and well among performance artists because of the kind of lifestyle they lead. This is not to say that every performance artists is an addict, or that there are not many performance artists who have recovered from addiction, but performance artists are statistically more prone to being addicts than other professionals. There are a number of reasons for this which center around the psychological make up of performance artists and the professional demands on them. These hardships lead to addictions such as alcoholism, drug addiction and sex addiction.
Alcoholism is one of the most common addictions found among performance artists. Alcoholism is universally something people lean on as a coping mechanism. There is nothing wrong with having an occasional beer at the end of the day, but when it becomes a crutch or a necessity, there is a problem. Performance artists frequently suffer from disorders such as anxiety and depression, and alcohol is often the medication of choice to soothe disorder symptoms.
Drug addictions are also commonly found among performance artists. Some drug addictions begin for the same reasons that alcoholism begins: the individual is trying to lower stress and anxiety symptoms, or erase their depression symptoms by chemically altering their minds. Another reason drug addiction begins is because performance artists are also experimental and adventurous by nature. They want to see the world from different perspectives so that it can inform their craft. Unfortunately, sometimes this leads to a habit they are unable to break, and it takes over their lives in the form of addiction.
Sex addiction is also too frequently a curse of performance artists, more than likely because it is a very visceral and performative type of escape, which suits a person whose profession is also visceral and performative. Sex addiction can be caused by underlying coping issues or past traumas that take shape in the form of an insatiable libido. It can also be caused by a singular or reoccurring sexual encounter that took place when the person was young.