Yesterday, we lost another brilliant musician and artist to personal demons. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park committed suicide yesterday. He was only 41 years old and left behind 6 children. I find it hard to understand why someone would do such a thing, but then I have never suffered from depression, nor have I faced the struggles associated with fame and fortune.
The important thing is that if Chester had not been a famous person, we would never had heard about this tragedy, but the impacts on his family and friends would have been just as devastating to them. We always try to find reasons for suicide that relate to some type of defect with the person when we should be looking more at the deeper issue of depression and how it can literally destroy someone’s life. We often wonder why someone like Chester would feel so desperate and are more than willing to blame drugs or alcohol and that somehow absolves society of the issue that depression actually does exist and that is really does destroy lives on a daily basis.
I don't know for sure if there were drugs or alcohol involved, but that isn’t really the point. Drugs and alcohol are means for people who suffer from depression to attempt to self-medicate because of the stigma that admitting to suffering from depression would place upon them.
People like Robin Williams, Chris Cornell, and now Chester would seem to have everything that one could possibly want. That sentiment is the first sign of the problem. When we believe that success equals happiness we have instantly ignored the condition of depression. When we see or hear of someone having a problem with drugs or alcohol, we morally judge them and then walk away instead of trying to find out why they feel that they need those things to cope with their own lives.
The real tragedy is that we will hear from Chester’s friends and family and then the “experts” will put together all of the warning signs that led to this awful event. Why don't we focus more on looking for those “warning signs” in everyday life so something can be done to help that person before it becomes a tragedy?
Opening up to someone about inner demons is never easy. People feel that an admission of such things will cause rejection and ostracism and they are often right. The problem with suicides caused by depression is that everyone is responsible, not just the victim. Any opportunity for human interaction on a deep personal and friendship level that is missed is just a step towards the ultimate destination. We need to care more about each other as people, and quit caring about what a person does, or what they have accomplished. We need to quit believing that “success” is the panacea for all problems. We need to love one another as brothers and sisters.