advertisement

Depression Killed Chester Bennington

July 26, 2017 Mel Lee-Smith

Depression killed Chester Bennington, but his lost battle with depression doesn't make him weak. Depression can affect anyone, even the celebrities we admire.

Last week, Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington died by suicide, just a little over a month after depression killed Chris Cornell. In the wake of a celebrity’s suicide, people often say things like, “It just goes to show that money and fame will never make you happy,” and, “I wonder what drove them to it.” The answer is simple: depression killed Chester Bennington.

Those without mental illness, as well as those who don’t fully understand it, often try to connect someone’s depression to their lifestyle or their past. Those people want to know “the reason why.” What they need to understand is that depression is the reason why; depression kills those ones who die by suicide. Depression can affect anyone for any reason – and sometimes for no real reason at all – regardless of fame or fortune. Sometimes, depression even kills the people we look up to.

Depression Has Killed Many Artists

Over the years, we’ve lost many musicians to suicide, notably Kurt Cobain, Nick Drake, and Ian Curtis. What did those men have in common? Depression.

It isn’t just music, though – artists in all genres often struggle with depression. Van Gogh’s last words to his brother Theo were, “The sadness will last forever.” In her final written words, Virginia Woolf speculated that she was “going mad again."

Everyone is familiar with the trope of the tortured artist. Art allows us to explore the darkness inside us. Music, in particular, allows us to voice that darkness, to scream and shout it if we need. For famous artists, exploring that darkness is their day job. This is especially evident in Linkin Park’s case – just listen to songs like Bleed it Out, Given Up, What I’ve Done, and One Step Closer.

Depression Kills, But Music Brings Life

We all know the saying, “When words fail, music speaks.” Many of us, mental health aside, can relate to this. Those of us with mental illness often find it difficult to articulate how we’re feeling. This is why we tell our family and friends, “Listen to this song. It describes me perfectly.”

Linkin Park’s songs, especially Bleed it Out, reassured me – and countless others, too – that I wasn’t alone, that even famous people whose lives seemed so perfect somehow understood what I was going through. In college, when I discovered I had borderline personality disorder (BPD), Linkin Park’s music got me through my struggle with hospitalization and medication.

After my first hospitalization, I fell in love with life again and played Linkin Park’s Lost in the Echo on repeat. It became my theme song. Even now, it makes my heart hammer and makes me feel like I can take on the world and win. The song has made me cry more times than I care to admit because I can see myself and the things I’ve struggled with reflected in the lyrics.

Final Thoughts About Celebrities Depression Has Killed

Bennington’s suicide is a tragic event, one which is particularly painful for the fans who considered him a role model and felt his band’s music spoke to them or got them through dark times. Just because Chester Bennington died by suicide doesn’t make him weak. I, and so many others take solace in the open and honest way that Bennington lived. He made no secret of his battle with depression and addiction. He's still my hero, even though depression killed Chester Bennington.

I’d like to wrap up this post with some inspiring lyrics from Lost in the Echo:

I can’t fall back, I came too far,

Hold myself up and love my scars.

Those two simple lines mean so much to me. For someone who’s struggled with self-harm for nearly nine years, who hates and hides her body as a result, those lines speak volumes. They remind me that I’ve achieved incredible things in spite of my mental illness and self-harm addiction. They remind me that my mind and my body are all I truly have, and I should love, accept, and care for them as they are. The same is true for you, and for all of us.

Life is temporary, but art is eternal. Bennington’s battle with depression and the art he made as a result will continue to inspire, support, and reassure those who struggle with depression for generations to come.

Sources

 

APA Reference
Lee-Smith, M. (2017, July 26). Depression Killed Chester Bennington, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalhealthforthedigitalgeneration/2017/07/chester-bennington-is-still-my-hero



Author: Mel Lee-Smith

Mel Lee-Smith is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor fuelled by a lifelong passion for language (and coffee). She writes because she wants to make a difference. Connect with her on her websiteTwitter, Facebook, Medium or Google+.

Helen
says:
September, 12 2017 at 6:13 pm
I am 56 living in sydney female. I have struggled with MS and depression for many years and was a Linkin Park listener. Depression is like your getting choked of oxygen and you cannot breathe and think. It is an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and frustration. I was only through Gods grace that I can work, live and still struggle through life. I work full time still and am divorced trying to bring up a 20 year old son with Ausbergers. Its hard and I want to die but I keep trying to help others instead of myself and this keeps my little light on for now.
andria
says:
July, 31 2017 at 3:36 am
Mel, that is a beautiful eulogy to Bennington (even if U didn't mean it as such. I love this bit the most .. I’d like to wrap up this post with some inspiring lyrics from Lost in the Echo:

I can’t fall back, I came too far,

Hold myself up and love my scars.

Those two simple lines mean so much to me. For someone who’s struggled with self-harm for nearly nine years, who hates and hides her body as a result, those lines speak volumes. They remind me that I’ve achieved incredible things in spite of my mental illness and self-harm addiction. They remind me that my mind and my body are all I truly have, and I should love, accept, and care for them as they are. The same is true for you, and for all of us. xxx

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 31 2017 at 5:09 am
Thank you for the kind words, Andria. I think this post is more a reflection on his death than a eulogy. It's tragic, especially considering that the honest and raw nature of his music helped so many people.

Leave a reply

advertisement