Kate Kotlyar: My Experience with Post Concert Depression (PCD)

crowd on a concert

My PCD Experience

Like many of you, I am a victim of post concert depression (PCD). It’s that feeling you get after witnessing a fantastic concert- that feeling of longing, denial, and even hopelessness.

The first time I got PCD was when I was 15 after a Muse concert. It was my first stadium show. My first time seeing them. Not to mention I was also in the pit. My brother pulled me out of school early on a Tuesday afternoon & we drove down to San Diego from Los Angeles. Muse was one of the first bands that I got attached to, so seeing them live was like healing my inner child. I remember being the youngest person in a 100 ft radius of us, the shortest person, and the loudest.

After the show, I was still in shock for the rest of the night. Speechless silence occasionally interrupted by an excited giggle expressing my disbelief that I had seen Muse live. The next morning came and I remember feeling sad and lost. The next day, I went to school & life continued as if I hadn’t just had the most ethereal experience of my young life. I missed the stadium, the screaming, the jumping, the singing, and the band.

I never wanted that joy to end.

greyscale photography of man playing guitar
Photo by Thibault Trillet on Pexels.com

Concerts are Therapy

Attending concerts is possibly the most therapeutic activity in my life (even more than actual therapy). There is an indescribable feeling of joy and adrenaline that you experience at live shows and while listening to music. It cannot be manufactured anywhere else, not even at the top of a 500-foot roller coaster as it teeters before the drop. Watching your favorite artist live is an out-of-body experience where you can scream your heart out and let out every single emotion you’ve ever felt.

I think that part of my PCD comes from screaming my heart out and letting out all those emotions. After concerts, I tend to feel empty because reality starts setting in as I realize I’m not going to be able to see that artist live for a few years and experience that one-of-a-kind feeling. This emptiness is a similar common attribute of clinical depression. While PCD requires no formal diagnosis, I think it’s valid and important to acknowledge that it can be a very real mental struggle, too.

Your Experience is Valid

There have been people in my life, more casual music and concert fans (not the fangirl type, unlike me), who have tried to invalidate my PCD. “You’re overreacting. That was not the best night of your life. You’re fine, stop being dramatic.” I heard these words when I would scream at One Direction concert videos as a kid and I get those same reactions now- but instead in the concert seats at a Louis Tomlinson show.

Cherish that time in the arena, stadium, concert hall, theater, hole-in-the-wall venue, or backyard. Enjoy the concert because, before you know it, it’ll be over.

people on concert

PCD affects everyone in different ways. Some people try to combat that feeling by rewatching videos they took at the concert, others look for videos and photos on social media, and others relive those moments in their heads. Whatever method you use, just know that PCD is a normal part of concerts, and don’t let anyone minimize your feelings about it. Just feel pity that they haven’t experienced an insanely good concert yet.

Tips to get over your Post Concert Depression here.


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