The tragic news of the suicide of Linkin Park’s frontman, Chester Bennington, has caused the whole world to be shocked and heartbroken. His music has touched the hearts of millions. Thank you for the music, and for making us feel understood during the darkest days of our lives. For understanding us when no one else did. Even if his light has gone out, he has enlightened the lives of millions each time we had “one of those days”. His songs were there to accompany us through the long nights as if it was a pat on the shoulder saying “You’re not alone.”.
Right after hearing about the tragic news on my news-feed, I was in shock. I was wishing that it wasn’t real, hoping what I read was just another fake news post. However, the news was confirmed when Mike Shinoda confirmed the news on his Twitter, saying he was ‘shocked and heartbroken’ at the tragic news. It still feels unbelievable. He left us too soon.
When I got back, I binge-watched all their videos on Youtube. From their popular songs like “Numb” way back in 2007 to their latest song “One More Light”. And it felt as if all their songs were a series of hints about his depression and suicidal thoughts. A cry for help in hindsight.
It made me realize how significant mental health is, and how its importance is trivialized in today’s society. The stigma associated with suicide, depression, anxiety and other types of mental health issues is still here to stay. For example, men in our society are expected to “man up” and should not show any weakness or emotions. No wonder males are more likely to commit suicide compared to females. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. We should be able to talk about our feelings more openly.
His very last interview shed some light on the problems the singer was dealing with.
The interview focuses on Chester’s mental health and his battle with depression, as well as the complexity of the illness.
The father of six, who was found dead at his home on Thursday, had spoken openly about his turbulent past in regards to substance abuse and mental health.
In an interview obtained by Mirror Online, Chester said:
“I came to a point in my life where I was like, ‘I can either just give up and fucking die or I can fucking fight for what I want’, and I chose to fight for what I wanted.
I wanted to have good relationships, I wanted to love the people in my life, I wanted to enjoy my job.
I wanted to enjoy being a dad and having friends and just getting up in the morning, because that was a struggle for me.”
The star revealed in May how the album had helped him come out of the ‘darkest time’ of his life. He also revealed that the album was a very ‘personal’ piece of work and had been ‘very therapeutic’ for Linkin Park to write:
“I’m just going to focus on what’s going on right now and make the best of the situation no matter what it is – I’m not going to question it or analyse it in any way because that’s me going back to my old behavior where I was trying to control everything.
We got into a lot of aspects of our lives that we probably wouldn’t have normally shared with anyone and just dealt with it on our own.
We brought in various issues and situations into the writing process.
When you hear it in the context of the music, there’s a hopefulness and there’s a sense of moving forward and moving on and that’s really where we’re coming from.”
He also added that entering therapy had also helped him with his personal struggles:
“It was all really things I could work on if I chose to, and make myself happy, you know?
Make myself capable of dealing with life on life’s terms, like it’s not always going to be peaches and cream but it doesn’t always have to suck when it’s not.
For me it took a lot of work, it actually took me opening up and talking to my friends about it and writing about it, and like going to therapy and battling my demons.”
My thoughts on Depression and Suicide
Let’s raise awareness for people who have depression and the tendency to commit suicide. Raise awareness for people looking for a way out. For people dealing with internal struggles that are hard for them to express. Please spread the love and care for those who need us to be there for them. Try and be more empathetic for what they’re going through. Be good listeners and do your very best to understand them with all your hearts. Without any stigmatization. But more consolation and encouragement. Let love be genuine!
How To Tell If Someone is Suicidal
If any of these issues have affected you, please don’t suffer in silence. Call Samaritans on their free 24-hour hotline on 116 123.
SUICIDE STATISTICS — AFSP
In-text: (AFSP, 2017)
Your Bibliography: AFSP. (2017). Suicide Statistics — AFSP. [online] Available at: https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/ [Accessed 22 Jul. 2017].
Edited by Viveca Shearin