Depression. It is something people rarely talk as if it may be contagious. It is a disorder, a real disorder that people of all ages struggle with every day, most of the time behind closes doors. Some hold it in, afraid people might not understand. Others wear it proudly on their sleeve, unashamed of their own disorder.
This last month, the world mourned yet another music legend when Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park took his own life by hanging at the age of 41. The singer had been open about his struggle with depression before his death as well as his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Friends of Bennington recently told Rolling Stone magazine that the singer never kept his struggles with addiction and depression a secret.
Though the later singer was open about his depression, his death was still a shock to those who knew him.
Ryan Shuck who had been a longtime friend of the singer and played guitar in a side project with him called Dead By Sunrise believed that Chester “had a couple of drinks shortly before he died. Shuck stated that “We don’t know how much, but it doesn’t take much when you’re that advanced an alcoholic and an addict and you’re battling to the extent he described to me. You don’t need much to lose your mind for a minute.”
Bennington had mentioned to Shuck that he had been six months sober a month before his death. The late singer had also been texting back and forth with his onetime bandmate, Robert DeLeo in Stone Temple Pilots prior to his death. Robert described his message as “loving positive, looking-forward-to-the-future, growing-old kinds of things.” In an email that was sent to former drummer of Guns N’Roses, Matt Sorum, saw Bennington expressing his want to perform again their all-star covers band Kings of Chaos.
The singer had a lot going for him, his band Linkin Park was set to start their 29-date North American tour. Not only was a tour in his future, their new album, One More Light which was released early May had topped the charts. But even the good things in life wasn’t enough.
Bennington was open about his thoughts of suicide saying that he thought about it a lot. His thoughts stemmed from the fact that according to the singer, he was abused and raped as a kid.
In an interview with The Guardian, the singer said that, “When I was young, getting beaten up and pretty much raped was no fun. No one wants that to happen to you and honestly, I don’t remember when it started.” A picture at his mother’s home brought back the memories.
Whether there was any drugs in Bennington’s system before his death is still unclear and the toxicology report is pending. Investigators had found no signs of drugs or prescription drugs in the singer’s home during their search shortly after his death.
After the passing of Chris Cornell this year, Bennington wrote a heartfelt message paying tribute to the late singer. He wrote that he couldn’t imagine a world without his late friend in it.
Unfortunately, the world will have to live without him as well.
Photo credit: Shareef Ellis