In July 2017, the music world was shaken by tragedy: the lead singer of the band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, committed suicide. Almost none of his friends and colleagues guessed that the artist was depressed.
His widow launched a flash mob on the Internet after her husband’s death. The flash mob manifesto was a video shot 36 hours before Chester’s suicide. The video shows the singer goofing around, laughing and playing with his son. The bottom line is that no one recognized behind that mask the condition that was about to lead to self-destruction.
Following Bennington’s widow, thousands of Internet users posted their photos and videos, which at first glance do not say anything, but are in fact made during a period of severe depression or a few hours before the suicide attempt.
This action showed how urgent for the modern world is the problem of depression, its diagnosis and the understanding that this disease can lead to death.
Chester Bennington was 41 years old, with six children from two marriages. And at first glance he simply could not have had a reason for depression and suicide: fame, money, love – he had everything that others only dream of. Shortly before the tragedy, his band released a new album that instantly topped Billboard magazine’s top 200. And just a few days before his death Bennington was working in the studio and looked very cheerful.
He was the embodiment of the American Dream, the guy who went from being a troubled teenager and a salesman at Burger King to a global star. And that at only 23 years old!
Many people believe that depression requires a good reason: a life full of failures, the death of loved ones, tragedies on a universal scale. But the truth is that this is far from it. Just as the seasonal flu virus doesn’t pick you for your social status and success in your personal life, so depression doesn’t care who you are or how much money you made this year.
Despite his success and fame, Bennington has had mental health problems. There are reports on the Web that he was sexually harassed, bullied and beaten at school as a young man. The musician also admitted that he had tried all kinds of drugs and alcohol even before he was of age.
Now, after his death, there is plenty of information about how his mental health problems appeared as well. Chester was often hospitalized and even went on tour in a separate bus. But at the time, it seemed to many that his struggles with addiction only made the artist’s image more appealing, more dramatic.
And he sang openly about his problems: drugs, family quarrels, his parents’ divorce. It seemed part of rock culture, nobody thought it really mattered to the artist. Only after the singer decided to voluntarily leave this world did his fans begin to pick apart the songs he had written line by line. But everything was on the surface: “I don’t like what’s going on in my head… If I could slow everything down, let the problems go… I’m driving myself crazy.” Found one of the many interviews in which the artist admitted that thoughts of suicide have long visited him. But how many took it seriously? I don’t think so. Drama has long been a companion piece to the history of rock singers.
Suicide attempts are one of the most dangerous consequences of depression. According to statistics, 40 to 60 percent of all suicides on Earth are attempted by depressed people. At the same time, men are four times more likely than women, since men have traditionally been brought up in a system of values, where there is no place for emotions and tears. As a result, it is more difficult for them to share their experiences with loved ones and their condition often goes unrecognized. A man goes out the window and his wife or mother exclaims: “No way, he didn’t have a reason! Someone pushed him!”
A suicide attempt can also be the finale of such a condition as reactive depression, when a sudden catastrophe in life turns a person’s life into a meaningless existence, there is no energy left to overcome difficulties, to start a new path. All a person can do is take one single step. To nowhere.
According to official WHO statistics, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. It affects more than 264 million people in the world. At the same time, everyone can be at risk of this disorder.
This disease is associated with genetic predisposition, and with psychosocial factors.
In our country, especially outside of big cities, to address for the psychological help to experts is not accepted, even ashamed. And the meaning of the word “depression” is distorted by misconceptions. This leads, among other things, to an increase in teenage suicides and even homicides (for example, when in severe post-natal depression a mother kills her children and herself).
Many harmful myths have formed around depression.
It is a delusion to think that depression is just a person’s unwillingness to “get a grip. And it is equally misleading to think that a bad mood and depression are synonymous.
Another common, but mistaken phrase about depression is: “But before no one knew depression, and nothing, lived a good life. That’s not true. If people didn’t know about the disease, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist.
Depression has been known throughout the written history of mankind.