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Musicians who have suffered from mental health issues. Ian Curtis.

Written by on January 31, 2019

Ian Curtis was the vocalist and songwriter of the post-punk band Joy Division. A band that only released two albums due to Curtis’s struggle with depression and subsequent suicide because of it.

Although Curtis’s battle with depression is widely known, his epilepsy is less so. He was diagnosed with epilepsy in early 1979 and was starting to be prescribed various medications, not all of which helped.

Due to his touring commitments with Joy Division, Curtis’s condition worsened, with his drinking, smoking and irregular sleeping pattern being detrimental to his health. The medications Curtis was prescribed for his condition produced many side effects and mood swings. The combination of his musical ambitions, his family life, where he had a wife and a young daughter , and the worsening of his epilepsy ensured that he was reliant on others to help him cope.

May 18, 1980 was to be Ian Curtis’s last day alive. He hung himself with a washing line. He was 23 years old.

In 2007, Stephen Morris, Joy Division’s drummer, expressed regret that, even though Curtis’s lyrics were autobiographical, no-one realised how much torment he was in. The message here is for friends, family, and anyone close to those who suffer from depression to be aware and be there for anyone suffering. Support can help so much.

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