According to my Goth pen pals, it is this exact engagement with the darkness that makes the subculture more willing to talk about issues of mental health.

“Goths are, at very least, much more in tune with such issues than the average person,” Jack Corax, a 21-year-old PhD candidate living in New York, told me. “Goths tend to value honestly engaging with emotions, and the culture definitely has this slightly perverse sense of community stemming from a ‘we’re all fucked up in some way or another’ sort of vibe. I want to stress that Goths don’t ‘glorify’ or fetishize death/suicide/mental illness; we’re just (on average, anyway) much more willing to talk about/understand them, as opposed to having them be taboo.”

“Being Goth [means] being able to express your darker emotions (greed, lust, grief, anger, agony) and get them out of your system,” a Los Angeles-based Goth named Jill Ford wrote to me. “After that, it becomes much easier to adjust and have a regular life, because you don’t have to hide that you have problems. You can be a full, capable person with them.”