What Chester Bennington Taught Me About Mental Health

Tremendously huge but unknown ratios of people in this world are living with depression. Many are still holding onto tiny glimmers of hope that is still left in their lives and the rest are suffocating in despair.

It’s been six days since Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, died. The cause of death? Suicide.

It’s always been known that his life was full of traumas and in spite of that he was a very strong person; someone who was not just appreciated for his voice or his song writing talents or many other talents but also admired for his fortitude through which he endured all of the sufferings in his life.

He was a source of inspiration for millions of us. And it has been rough, not only for his friends and family but also for the millions of us; the millions for whom his life was very significant.

As I am writing this, I write while listening to his songs and it is bittersweet.

His death, well actually his cause of death, is also quite significant for millions of us. Now that he is gone, for many of us who were barely holding onto something, maybe a Linkin Park song or the inspiration that came from Chester’s own life is also gone.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful of Chester; I have my upmost respect for him.

His suicide has indirectly created a ripple effect. There are many effects from his significant death but there are especially two that comes into my mind again and again:

  • Most of us are already depressed to some extent and some of us are so deeply depressed that our lives are barely hanging by a thread.
  • Suicide is an epidemic. His death signifies that suicide can happen to anyone regardless of fame, money, respect, love, family.

By now, we should all take mental health seriously and this myth that suicide happens to the weak, should be abolished.

Suicide doesn’t happen to the weak. Quite contrary, it happens when the rushing force of suicide outweighs the strength that had kept it at bay for so long.

This effect which has signified that suicide can happen to anyone creates fears but also sets a stronger platform for mental health to be taken seriously.

But sadly, his death also can affect many millions of us to lose hope and give up because of the question that comes into our mind that ‘One of our inspirations couldn’t handle life, so how can we?’

This happens.

This sadly happened to Chester, whose inspiration, one of ours also, Chris Cornell, whose death affected him. Chester’s death came in Chris’s birthday followed hours after a tribute song dedicated to Chris.

I’m not saying that Chris’s death was the only reason why Chester committed suicide but it was one of the significant one. I like to believe and I wish if it came true that if Chris was still alive, Chester would also still be with us.

I’m not blaming Chris. I’m just saying suicide, especially ones like these, who are our role models, inspiration, has a ripple effect.

It encourages suicide involuntarily as well as sends a spine chilling message that suicide and mental health are not a matter of myth but are very true.

Suicide takes away the people we love and also takes away a huge chunk of our lives as well.

It leaves behind tragedy and dismay. It leaves us to grief but also leaves us to point fingers at ourselves, blaming ourselves for not being able to comprehend the victim of it.

It leaves us regret and a black hole that keeps sucking us empty. It also creates a vicious cycle, that, someone takes his own life and later the one affected by it does the same and so on.

This article is not against Chester Bennington or Chris Cornell or any victim of suicide. This is simply a cry for caution and a message to those who comprehend or shall comprehend about suicide.

You are not alone. Don’t give up. Your life matters.

‘Who cares if one more light goes out?

I do’ — Chester Bennington.

Rest in peace, Chester Bennington.