Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington was found dead by an employee last Thursday in the bedroom of his house. Just at the age of 41, he left behind a wife and six children. Linkin’ Park, whose pop-friendly blend of hard rock and hip-hop won them tens of millions of fans worldwide. With Chester as their frontman, they achieved critical and pop culture success across all musical genres. They famously collaborated with Jay-Z, earned many top 10 billboard hits and even 2 grammys over the years. They were promoting their recent album One More Light, when this unfortunate incident happened.
They have cancelled their North American summer tour, and have also setup tribute website to their singer that features suicide prevention information including phone numbers for the US services Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line. The site also collates social media messages from fans paying tribute to the singer. Fans and celebrities all over the world are voicing their shock over this unfortunate news.
Bennington has faced many struggles in life. He was sexually abused at age 7 by a friend who was a few years older than him. He saw his parents divorce at age 11. All these incidents in his life sent him spiralling into depression. Even though he achieved great success later in his life, he never dealt with it. It led him to become an alcoholic and drug addict. He admitted that he drank to the point where he couldn’t leave the house.
His depression was getting worse with time as he admittedly thought of committing suicide multiple times after his first marriage. Seeing his close friend, Chris Cornell (lead singer of Audioslave) commit suicide on his birthday may have been the tipping point. On his last interview he talked about his complex battle with depression. A cry for help that went unnoticed, unheard as it had multiple times before. This interview showed that he needed help, desperately.
Depression is seen as a sign of imperfection, humiliation and rejection by family, friends and relatives. It brings an amount of embarrassment and guilt to the person suffering from it, making them keep it a lifelong secret. In spite of the taboo in our society, celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Yo Yo Honey Singh, Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma have opened up and spoken boldly about their personal battles with depression and anxiety. This changed the minds of many, but not all.
People need to be aware of the fact that depression doesn’t discriminate. Pretty, ugly, rich, poor, skinny, fat, privileged, underprivileged, it can happen to anyone, it makes no difference.
People suffering from depression don’t look like they are affected because they never show it; but it doesn’t mean it is non-existent. It is time for India to start a conversation about depression. To understand that it is nothing different than physical pain, and that it should be taken much more seriously or more people will lose their lives to it. It is important to help people in silent agony to speak up.
Are you someone going through depression? Then speak up in our comment section or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to listen.