We all heard the shocking news of the death of Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington a couple of weeks ago. And it was even more shocking to know that it was him who took his own life when he decided to hang himself at his home, just 2 months after his friend and singer Chris Cornell committed suicide the exact same way.
And yes, Bennington’s death was a big deal to many, especially us, the 90s kids. and that’s because Linkin Park took a very big part in our lives and we all grew up listening to their music which influenced us in a way or another. And that is an enough reason for our timelines to be filled with such sad news, old songs for the band, and articles about that tragic incident.
But although it’s been more than weeks now since Bennington’s death has been announced, and our timelines are now full of other news, I still find it very hard to believe that event. And that’s not because I was so obsessed with his music or I don’t know how will I live without it, but because I find it very weird. I find it so hard to understand how can a person suddenly decide to end his life just like that. I find it so hard to understand how can a person be so fine from the outside yet be dying from inside. I find it so bizarre that with that success someone can be going through, they can still find it hard to cope with life and enjoy it.
I mean, Linkin Park released an album last May that was topping the charts and was nominated to win awards. Their last song “Heavy” which was sung by Chester was a hit in all radio channels and they were planning a tour this summer. And yet, with all that happening, Chester decided he doesn’t want to go on. When did it happen? When did the thoughts come to him? Why would he suddenly decide that he will end his own life and that he can’t take it anymore?
But that’s the thing we don’t realize about depression. That’s the thing we refuse to believe. That depression is real. It’s a very serious illness, and just like many other illnesses, it might end with death. And although its symptoms might not be physical, it is very cruel and very hard to fight, very hard to escape.
Bennington had a very big battle with depression through his life, and although it appeared to many that he was fine and had reasons to be happy in his last days, depression was stronger than all of that and it convinced him to bring his life to an end.
Depression knows no circumstances. It knows no conditions. You can be on the top of the world and surrounded by the most loving people but it will keep draining you and will not let you escape that feeling of sadness. And that’s exactly what was Bennington was talking about is his last single “Heavy”, he even confirmed in an interview with Music Choice that this song describes what exactly is he going through in his life and how he keeps feeling uncomfortable all the time even at the times when every thing is good.
Yes, this is depression and that is what we really need to learn about it. We need to understand that it can hit anyone, regardless of their circumstances. We need to understand that everyone around us might be fighting a battle that we don’t know about.
Depression controls you. It keeps you down even when you keep trying to be fine. You can be on the top of the world yet it will keep draining you. You can be surrounded by the most loving people yet it will keep taking you from them. You can have a lot of plans ahead yet it will steal your energy and prevent you from doing them. And even though you keep trying to get out of it, you just don’t know how to do it. You will find yourself happy one day, and feeling completely down the next.
I am not trying to describe any symptoms here, I am just trying to draw you a picture of what it might be like, and even I will never get the full picture of what a depressed person might be going through.
My point is, we need to take depression more seriously, especially in our society. We need to be more aware of it and of what it can do to a person. Yes, Chester Bennington was not the first suicide we heard about in our lives, but it should be a kind reminder that depression is real and that we should pay more attention to it, whether it’s us who are going through it or if we know someone who does.