It was the news that so many of us wanted to be untrue as the media began reporting the death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. A close friend to Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame, who passed away earlier this year in what appears to be extremely similar and tragic circumstances, it is believed that Chester sadly took his own life. For me and almost everyone I know, Linkin Park was a soundtrack to our teenage years and Hybrid Theory was an album that we all hold close to our hearts to this day.
There was a vast number of media outlets that reported this news in an extremely unresponsible way, by detailing the method of suicide and providing no information on where people could find support if they were suffering or affected by the news. It is important to recognise that the circumstances around the passing of Chester Bennington are sensitive and can have a profound impact on people especially if they are suffering from depression or other mental health struggles.
Chester had spoken publicly in some detail about his battles with depression and addiction. It is clear that in recent years that struggle has taken its toll and has sadly reached a conclusion that is devastatingly permanent. Reading the tributes from friends and fans alike, it is hard to imagine that Chester truly knew the impact that his music art had on people of all backgrounds and has even helped through their own mental health struggles and dark times.
It seems that for whatever reason, Chester couldn't find a way out of the darkness he was struggling to escape. If you find yourself in a similar position, the longer it goes on, the harder it is to see an alternative and it's incredibly difficult to imagine things getting better. It was four years of trying to desperately overcome depression before I began facing thoughts of suicide and hitting rock bottom and those thoughts controlled the last three years of my life.
I wanted to share the extent of my seven year battle with depression and three years fending off the intrusive thoughts of suicide because now, as a result of years of hard work learning about myself, my mind and mental health as well as finding the right medication and attending various therapies I am in recovery in regard to depression, which if you asked me if I even thought it was possible as little as six months ago, I'd have doubted it deeply.
I can say that without any doubt, at all, there is an alternative to suicide. If you are suffering from depression or another mental illness, it can be incredibly difficult to see through the dark clouds but the light is on the other side of those clouds and whilst there is no easy fix there is always a way forward. The first step is talking, whether it is a friend, family member or calling up Samaritans. Talking alone can be a huge help and one that can change a hell of a lot.
If you have been affected by the news or any themes in this blog post, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in the USA you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.
- Other websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Rethink Mental Illness advice and information service is open 9:30 - 4pm Monday - Friday - 0300 5000 927. They have over 100 factsheets with easy to understand information on a variety of issues related to mental health
- CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. Call 0800 58 58 58 or visit thecalmzone.net
- The Mix is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: email@example.com
- HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41