[Guest post by D. Osborne. As the title suggests, this post contains suicide triggers]
I’m spending the holiday listening to some of my favourite albums, including Joy Division. I got to thinking about their singer Ian Curtis, who is often derided for being a “navel-gazing goth idiot” for killing himself at the age of 23.
I think this is rather inaccurate, not to mention unfair.
Ian Curtis may have been 23, but he was a married working class northern man with a kid who had been working full time since his O Levels.
When he died, he had a stressful job (professional musician) that involved being away from home a lot and working unsocial hours.
If the film Control is to be believed, he also had serious money worries that he was attempting to conceal from his wife and family.
Again according to the film, he had no social support structures in place to help him deal with these stresses, particularly the contrast between his professional life and his very traditional home environment in Macclesfield.
On top of this, he had severe health problems (epilepsy that appeared to not be amenable to treatment) that were threatening his livelihood.
When his wife left him, it appears to have pushed him over the edge.
I’m not saying that his suicide was inevitable by any means, but that’s a very long list of risk factors, isn’t it? It’s a lot for a man of any age to deal with on his own. Poor bloke.
The Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90 or on email@example.com
For mental health resources aimed at young men, visit the Campaign Against Living Miserably.