How Chester Bennington Highlights the Severity of Depression

Music has always been an important part of our lives. It surrounds us and is always at our side when we need it the most, whether it’d be as a way to vent our feelings or understand them better. There are many genres, songs and bands that have thrives and shaped music over the decades and even centuries, and it’s because of that fact that it feels like a part of our lives suffers when something bad happens to a band or singer that we like.

Such a tragedy occurred to the beloved and famous rock band, Linkin Park, after its lead singer, Chester Bennington was found dead in what’s being ruled as a suicide.

Linkin Park became an iconic band during the early 2000’s, with its music covering many different genres among the rock spectrum and releasing hits such as “Numb”, “In the End” and “What I’ve Done”, songs that became hallmarks in many people’s lives.

Bennington joined Linkin Park in the late 90’s when he first joined the band Xero and had it change its name. The creation of what would become the nu-metal juggernaut was the high point of his career and allowed him to accomplish his childhood dream of becoming a singer.

Having grown up in Phoenix, Arizona, Bennington was born to a nurse and a policeman who specialised in sexual abuse. After his parent’s divorce and being put in the custody of his father, Bennington had a lot to deal with, including his own sexual abuse.

Thankfully, he was able to convey all of those feelings in his music, which in turn allowed a generation of young people to identify with the songs that he and fellow band members wrote.

Unfortunately, Bennington’s fame didn’t mean his problems faded. During his career, the singer fought against drug addiction and went through a divorce as well. All of that came to a head with the death of good friend and singer Chris Cornell from Soundgarden, whose death affected Bennington dearly, leading to a resurgence of his depression and mental issues. Which is why the date of Bennington’s death is of significance, as it is the birthday of Chris Cornell.

It’s really sad when situations like this happen because you get all types of people weighing in on what happened. While a lot of people have expressed grief for the family he has left behind (a wife and six kids, three from each marriage), others have pointed out Bennington’s death highlights the importance of mental health.

Mental problems such as depression and anxiety can affect everyone however, and they don’t just go away because your life situation improves. A lot of research in the last few years have been focusing on how the mind works and what causes mental issues; as well as logging the different types of mental illnesses.

The rise in awareness of these issues comes from other cases exactly like Bennington’s. If we look at other famous people who have suffered from depression, we’d be greeted with a long list of names, including that of the famous actor Robin Williams. But beyond famous people, regular people face these problems all over the world and not everyone is able to get proper treatment – whether it’d be due to fear of shame or financial situation.

Thankfully, a lot of efforts are being carried out to give people a bigger chance in overcoming and receiving help for these mental issues.

People are no longer looked down on to the same degree as they were in previous years, where just mentioning that you weren’t feeling one hundred percent would get you stares from others. The World Health Organization (or WHO), recently celebrated its World Health Day by focusing entirely on depression and mental illnesses and how they can affect us.

If you feel like you or someone you know is suffering from mental health (whether it’d be depression or anxiety), then the best thing to do is to get help as soon as possible. There are many organisations dedicated to bringing and providing help to others, even psychiatrists and psychologists that offer treatment and an ear to listen to.

Significant dates such as birthdays and anniversaries can trigger suicidal thoughts in people with depression. Thus, if you know someone who is suffering from depression and it is linked to a death of a loved one, try to bring that person’s attention away from the date by bringing that person away from any possible trigger (e.g. the cafe where they used to hang out; home). If you are the one suffering from depression, then it is best to make plans with friends to go out and do an activity.

Another important step is to learn more about mental illnesses and what causes them, staying informed allows you to plan accordingly and makes it easier to find treatments. To learn more about mental illnesses and treatments for them then the best place to start is the Singapore Association of Mental Health, which offers a vast knowledge on the subject.

However, if you or anyone you know is “on the edge and am about to break” and needs immediate help, don’t hesitate to contact a suicide hotline. Hotlines offer quick and thorough help and the majority of them don’t charge for calls. One such hotline is run by the Samaritans of Singapore (1800-221 4444) and offers both face to face and phone guidance.

Figuring out mental health can be a real problem, especially if you don’t know how to navigate through it. But all you have to remember is that you’re never alone and that it’s always in your control. Hopefully situations like Bennington’s will allow us to understand and help prevent others from suffering through the same thing.


Photo Credits: RT, La Gaceta, Instagram

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