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Chester Bennington Loses Battle To Depression

You may or may not know that lead singer of Linkin Park (since 1999), Chester Bennington died Thursday, July 20th from committing suicide. The rock singer had struggled with depression for years while also inflicted by drug and alcohol abuse as well as being sexually abused as a child. The singer was 41 years old – taken way to soon.

Chester’s death occurred on what would have been Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday. Cornell, the lead vocalist of popular bands Soundgarden and Audioslave also committed suicide on May 18th, 2017 after performing a show at the Fox Theatre in Detroit on May 17th.

It was known that Chester and Chris were extremely close friends. They performed together in the past. Bennington actually performed at Cornell’s funeral as well as delivered a eulogy for his close friend. He wrote an open letter expressing his grief and emotion.

The part I find the most heart-breaking is the ending, Chester writes, “I can’t imagine a world without you [Cornell] in it. I pray you find peace in the next life. I send my love to your wife and children, friends and family. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.” Then only a couple months later, Chester took his own life. So sad and heart-breaking.

Here is a video I dropped of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell performing the song, Hunger Strike together. Their passion as friends and emotional lyricists are inevitable in this video.

Their music was deeply emotional combining love and hate, joy and anger, pain and forgiveness all wrapped into one. The music world is hit hard by this loss. Linkin Park’s fan base is huge with many top hits. They are my favorite band and I had been listening to them ever since the age of 4. I am deeply triggered by this loss.

Chester, your loss has affected us all. Your fans love you. Your family loves you. Thank you for getting us all through the dark times. Your music was truly inspirational and meaningful. You have helped so many and I am sorry you could not receive the help you needed to ultimately become better. You will be missed dearly but your music will go on forever. R.I.P Chester Bennington (1976-2017).


Mental Illness and Suicide Awareness

It was very evident that Chester struggled with depression. He has openly talked about his depression in the past with bandmate, Mike Shinoda.

The death of Chester once again proves that anyone can be depressed. Anyone can have a mental illness no matter if you are rich, poor, or famous. No matter if you have everything going for you or you don’t. Anyone can become a victim. This is so important.

Mental illness is so important and deserves all the attention, care, and respect it can receive. Please check on your loved-ones. You never know what battles someone fights on the inside. You never know what demons they are facing. A smile can hide everything. Always be kind and respectful.

Mental illness should be treated equally as a physical illness. It is a disease. It is not an easy fix and needs time and care. It needs time to heal. It needs respect and support.

Let’s raise awareness on this issue and end the stigma that those suffering from any form of mental illness are crazy and can be fixed easily. Those people who say such a thing are majorly wrong and do not understand the implications of a mental illness. Depression is a disease. It is a disorder.

Mental illness is crucial. Those who are suffering are in a dark place and need support. Again, you can’t just snap out of it. You can’t just think positively. You can’t just be cured. But with proper support and resources, it is possible to get better. There is always hope. Know that.

Chester Bennington was in a dark place and ultimately lost his battle with depression after fighting for years. Yes, drugs, alcohol, and abuse were also factors that did nothing but induce his depression unfortunately. But ultimately it was the depression that took his life. That is another issue I want to raise here – the implications of suicide by mental illness. 


Those who say committing suicide is cowardly or selfish are wrong. It is not. Whoever believes this has never been in the situation and obviously can’t seem to understand what these victims go through until their last thoughts.

Those who end their own lives are in extremely fragile states. Depression is a disease that kills just like cancer. It is ultimately a battle lost from an illness in which we all try to fight when having it.

These people suffering are seeing their state from the outside in. Their mind is working in a way that tells them the only way out is suicide. There is no other option. Of course there actually is but those suffering from depression and on the verge of suicide cannot see this.

The depression has taken over and stated that the only way to end your suffering and pain and to ultimately gain peace, is by taking your own life. This is extremely tragic and honestly, suicide should never be an option, but clearly it is and we can’t do anything to make it impossible.

Suicide is ultimately a choice however. But not a choice one suffering makes clearly and makes as themselves. Again, it is the depression influencing this choice. Do you think people want to commit suicide?

No, they need to. They have to. It is the only option for them in their eyes. It is the only thing they believe will end their pain and suffering. It is the only thing that will make them happy and peaceful in their eyes.

Of course, Chester thought about his family, his kids, his wife before taking his own life. It most likely broke his heart. He may even thought that living was a burden for his family and friends. But the feelings of defeat and major depression triumph any of these alternate feelings of emotion.

In the end, it doesn’t matter for those who commit suicide. They literally cannot go on anymore. Depression kills. But we can beat this and raise awareness for those suffering to receive the help they need. Together, we can offer support in hopes of preventing depression and suicide. Like any disease, there is always hope. Depression can be cured. You can become better and will become better.

So please be supportive at this time. Be respectful for Chester and his family. It is not the time or place to bash his music if you are of dislike. Keep your thoughts to yourself.

I want to emphasize that there are plenty of resources for those suffering. There is always hope. There are always people who care and love you. There are always people who want to see you happy and succeed. Do not commit suicide. People need you in their life. Know this. You are not alone. 

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Each year 44, 193 Americans die by suicide.

This is an insane amount and needs to be reduced. Please, let’s end the stigma revolving around mental illness together. Let’s push people to get support. Let’s check on our loved-ones. Just ask if they are okay. Watch over them and listen compassionately. Tell them they are not alone. Tell your family you love them and wouldn’t know what you would do without them.

Let’s give those who suffer from depression or any other mental illness the most respect possible. They are in a battle with their mind every day. Depression is a disease – not a hoax, not a simple fix. Let’s raise awareness on this issue. With the stigma defeated, more people suffering from mental illness will get the resources they need to get better. We can do this together.


Thank you Chester for all the great memories. You were truly talented and truly inspirational. I hope you have found your peace you needed and are in a better place then where you once were. I am sorry you lost your battle and I am sorry you did not get the help that ultimately could have worked for you.

I am sorry you lost hope. I am sorry you had to end your own life. I give my condolences to you, your family, your friends, your fans, and your bandmates at this time.

Your music was truly inspirational and emotional. You allowed people to get through their dark times by your strong lyrics and most likely even saved lives. You will truly be missed as a person and as an artist. Linkin Park is my favorite band and I have been listening to your music everywhere lately. Your passing has hit us all very hard. Thank you again. Your music and your talent will live on forever.

R.I.P Chester Bennington (1976-2017).

Here is a tribute and the evolution of Linkin Park.

Here is Chester and Linkin Park’s latest album, One More Light – very inspiring, emotional, and sentimental.

Always in our hearts.


SUICIDE HOTLINE

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Please reach out if you are suffering. There is always hope and there are always people who care. If you ever want to connect, leave me a comment below. I have had years experience with depression and am always open to talk. I live to help people with similar struggles and together, I believe we can all raise mental health and suicide awareness in hopes of preventing both.

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Robert Sherwood

38 Comments

  1. Thank you for the passionate and thoughtful post. Thinking about suicide as the only way for those suffering helps people understand how urgent the drive is to kill oneself. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Hi Millie, thank you. Yes, I agree. Suicide is very serious and needs all the attention, respect, and care it can receive. Depression and other mental illnesses kill and through spreading awareness, we can all help those struggling to receive the support and help they need. Thank you for reaching out.

  2. Nice post. Very sad indeed. I was shocked and taken back when I heard of Chris Cornell’s passing and now this. I used to listen to Cornell’s music growing up and I always found it a bit dark but edgy and entertaining. Its very sad, depression is tough and I know it can seem overwhelming when you’re going through it. Hopefully people will see this and get help if they are struggling.

    • Hi Tom, it is very sad. I am still trying to cope over the loss. Cornell and Bennington’s music was very inspirational, emotional, and ultimately spoke to us on so many levels. They both helped us get through the hard times in life. I hope to raise awareness for those struggling with mental illnesses. You are not alone and remember someone always need you in their life. Together, we can all end the stigma revolving around mental illness in hopes of allowing those struggling to come forward and receive the help they need. Through this, we can reduce the number of cases of depression and suicide each year. Chester and Chris both will be missed but their music and strong lyrics will live on forever.

  3. Hello there,

    Being a huge Linkin Park fan, his death shocked me and left me heartbroken.
    Such tragic events make you realize how fragile life is.
    Depression is a disease like you mention and not an easy fix or just some character weakness.
    One of the greatest voices in rock has died and it is very sad.

    • Asen, I completely agree with you. Depression takes lives. It is very serious and people need to realize this. We need to all offer support and respect to these victims. R.I.P Chester. Thank you for reaching out.

  4. That was a beautiful article! I lost my father to suicide, so I know how devastating depression can be! Thanks for writing about it so eloquently!

    • Wow, so sorry to hear that Sylvie. I am here if you ever need someone to listen. You’re welcome. Suicide is truly serious and devastating. We all need to give awareness on this issue.

  5. Hi, Rob. This is a very well written post. You truly speak about this issue from personal experience and from the heart. Reading this just makes me really sad. I will never look at depression the same way again. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you Cindy. I do believe it is important for us to speak up and speak from the heart. We should discuss our mental illnesses. It is how we will receive support. Depression is serious and needs to be looked at carefully. Thank you for reaching out.

  6. Very heartbreaking. I shake my head when ignorant people say that committing suicide is a cowardly act. Depression is as serious a disease just like any other and it needs as much attention. I hope that people are able to reach out and get help sooner. I also pray that Chesters family finds peace and comfort. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • I agree. I do not have time or room for those people. It is a disease. I don’t understand how people say such a thing. Imagine being in that situation. It makes you wonder how someone could actually commit suicide. They must be in such a dark place to do that. Literally, put yourself in their shoes and imagine taking your own life. It is tragic and heart-breaking. It needs to be understood and respected. We all can raise awareness.

  7. Hi Rob,

    I really liked Chester’s songs and style. I was listening to their music for many years.

    It is heartbreaking to hear that people with depression the feel like they had to commit a suicide.

    I will try to follow your advice and support my family, friends and myself. Sometimes, it is not easy to face and deal with the daily challenges.

    I learned many new things from your article, thank you.

    • Hi Ilias, same – his music was so inspirational and emotional. Yes, support those you care about and let them know you are always there for them. You’re welcome, glad I could help.

  8. Wow such a strong and relatable post. It seems almost everyone has lost someone to suicide or knows someone who has — I myself lost my cousin to hanging. And we were just kids, she and I both about 19. We loved hanging out and listening to Linkin Park (and Korn). So when I heard of Chesters death, my mind snapped back to my cousin and I purchasing the then-new Linkin Park album and heading back to her place to pop it in the ol’ CD player. He will be missed, as she still is.

    • So sorry to hear about your loss Courtney! Sometimes people get pushed way to far down that they ultimately lose their battle. But there is always hope. These people can be brought back up again which is why it is important we all raise awareness on the issue. That is wonderful. His music is very touching! Again, sorry for your loss. I am sure she is missed as well as Chester.

  9. Hello Rob

    It is indeed very sad. I did not listen to western music a lot but I did listen to these guys music the most whenever I wanted to tune on western music. In the end a old track but loved it. I loved their music and I am heart broken too. I hope their soul RIP.

    A very good post on depression and it is sad that people call such souls coward because like you explained it they are not cowards I agree but just that they are taken down by their illness which obstructs their capacity to think. I hope this causes awareness among people. Thanks you for sharing.

    Best Regards
    Raman

    • Yes, I love “In the End” – such a good tune. One of my favorites for sure. I completely agree with you. It is definitely not selfish or cowardly. Chester lost his battle after fighting for years. Depression takes lives. However, I want everyone to know that there is always hope. Someone out there is going through the same thing as you. You are not alone and people need you in their lives. I am glad you reached out, thank you!

  10. Thanks for this important article. Very informative and yes Linkin Park’s lead singer’s Chester Bennington’s death has brought this matter to the forefront showing us we need to pay more attention to this issue in our community. I personally have gone through a period where I was depressive but fortunately my wife and my church community was around me and was able to help me recover sooner than if I was without them.

    • You’re welcome! Yes, issues like suicide are very serious and need to be brought to close attention. Glad you have found the help you needed and were able to recover. Thank you for reaching out.

  11. I appreciate this story. It is a good example of how suicide comes on people from deep personal issues. Because one cure does not fix all people. It is important for those around the afflicted to act on any change they see in their loved one’s.

    • Thank you. It is extremely important we all keep an eye out on our loved ones. A smile can hide everything. So just ask how they are doing and let them know you are always there for them.

  12. Growing up Linkin Park was one of my favourite bands. I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news. It just goes to show no one is immune from depression and the consequences of it.

    It is up to all of us to provide the support that these people need.

    • I completely agree Peter. So tragic and heart-breaking for the rock community, Linkin Park community, and whole music community. I give my condolences to everyone affected by this loss.

      We all can provide support in hopes of preventing both depression and suicide.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing. Depression and suicide are often misunderstood, but articles like this are important to put the spotlight on the issues and how we as a community can help when we see friends and loved ones who are struggling. Sometimes a simple question like ‘are you ok?’ is enough to get the conversation started – even if the conversations are difficult to have, we need to keep talking about it, rather than pretending that everything is fine. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Karen

    • Hi Karen, you are exactly right. Sometimes, just asking a simple question like you mentioned is a perfect way to start a conversation. And, if you notice something is wrong and they say they are okay, we need to monitor these people. Always lend a hand and tell them they can come to you for anything and you have their best interest at heart. You’re very welcome.

  14. Rob,
    Thank you so much for writing about this very important issue. This needs to be discussed and shared and people need to be able to find help. I feel so horribly sorry for these musicians and I wonder what the community or people who are around them can do to help prevent such tragedies? There is such a party culture with music and when people aren’t encouraged to stop drugs, etc.. and have depression on top of it, it is apparent what can happen. It is truly saddening to see such young, talented people lose their lives. Again, thank you for spreading the word about the importance of helping those dealing with depression.

    • Hi Melanie,

      You are very welcome and I am glad I could help. Let’s all spread the word and spread awareness. Depression is difficult to detect. In these situations, a smile can hide everything. That is why we should always ask how our friends and family are doing. Tell them that you are always here if they need anything and that you have their best interest at heart. For situations like Chester where the depression is shared publicly, we need to monitor these people. It’s very important.

      I agree with you. Drugs, alcohol etc. induce depression that much more. It is very serious and I wish more people would see this. Thank you for reaching out and if you ever need anything I am always here.

  15. very sad article I am a big fan of Linkin parks music it is true depression is a vastly misunderstood disorder that people need to educate themselves on because more people need to know about this.

    • I completely agree with you Casey. Depression is serious whether people realize it or not. We all must spread awareness on this issue.

  16. Clean and smooth article. It was truly sad when I heard the news. Depression really had taken many life, especially in the musical industry. Suicide can’t be the option for a way out, it only passing the pains and anxieties to the love one and those who care and love you. Sometimes “Being alone doesn’t mean I’m really ALONE, it means I am STRONG enough to handle things by myself “. It is great to have a website like this to help those suffer from mental illnesses like depression. Great job and unique niche. Keep it up Robbie.

    • Thank you, yes very sad news. Depression is very common in the music industry. Just goes to prove that anyone can fall victim to depression. Suicide should not be an option but unfortunately it is and it is inevitable that we can’t make it impossible. However, we can all spread awareness and give our support to help those suffering. I agree with you. Much appreciated for reaching out!

  17. Hey Rob, great article…….I have to say that I was deeply impact on this article because I suffer from depression and am bipolar as as well. I actually have everything in common with Chester Bennington. I have also been diagnosed with psychotic disorder as well as schizophrenia, and have attempted suicide three times, two of which I was brought back from by a matter of minutes.
    I have a wife and three kids 12, 10, and 7. I have been placed in rehab 3 times due to alcohol and drug use and placed in psychiatric hospitals 4 times because of these burdening symptoms and suicide attempts.
    This article hits the nail on the head for me, but I am more stable now after the last 4 years in getting my medication dialed in. I currently take 16 different medications to battle these life diseases.
    So, basically I can relate almost 100% the only difference is I am still alive, and go to a psychiatrist once a month for medication monitoring, and go to a psychologist twice a week.
    I wish everyone had the mindset you do, keep up the good work!

    • Wow! Thanks for sharing Matthew! I am happy for you and what you have done to help it! We must all realize that it is a real illness and the numbers are increasing. Keep doing you Matthew and you’ll get through it!

  18. I’ve listened to Linkin Park for years and loved their music. I actually had no idea that Bennington and Cornell were very close friends. I wonder if Cornell’s suicide had an impact on Benningtons suicide..Either way, very tragic and sad news. Thanks for sharing this thoughtful article. Cheers,
    Darren D.

  19. His death really hit me in a spot I wish I didn’t have, he was like a beacon for people struggling with depression, his fans knew his story and seeing him opening up to us and encouraging us helped many, so knowing he couldn’t continue …is tough, made me realize I shouldn’t ignore mine anymore.
    Thank you for sharing a heartfelt post.

    • Thank you for the comment. I agree. Chester was a beacon of hope for those struggling. He poured everything into his music and unfortunately he helped save us but it was difficult to save himself.

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