Chester Bennington‘s gritty rock voice belied a man struggling with depression and a history with drug and alcohol abuse.
On Thursday, July 20th, Bennington – frontman for the million-selling alt-rockers Linkin Park—was found dead by police just before 9 a.m. inside a private residence in Palos Verdes Estates, California, authorities told PEOPLE. His death also comes on the same day that his late friend and Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell would have turned 53.
Bennington was 41 years old and left behind six children.
Bennington had been candid about mental health battles in numerous interviews over the years. In 2015 he opened up about his dark periods to Rock Sound.
“I literally hated life and I was like, ‘I don’t want to have feelings. I want to be a sociopath. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to care what other people feel like. I want to feel nothing.'”
During an equally revealing interview with Kerrang in 2011, the singer opened up about being molested when he was 7 years old.
”If I think back to when I was really young, to when I was being molested, to when all these horrible things were going on around me, I shudder,” he said.
Bennington joined Linkin Park in 1999, and the band scored their first commercial success the following year with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which contained the popular songs, “Crawling,” “In the End,” “One Step Closer.”
"My whole life, I've just felt a little off... I find myself getting into these patterns of behavior or thought – especially when I'm stuck up here in my head.
I like to say that 'this is like a bad neighborhood, and I should not go walking alone.'"
Americans suffer from
depression each year.
more lives than war, murder, and
natural disasters combined.
of all people who die by suicide
have a diagnosable psychiatric
disorder at the time of death.
fewer than half
of those affected with depression
in the world (in many countries,
fewer than 10%) receive treatment.
“Depression doesn’t have a face or mood.”
“Suicidal thoughts were there, but you’d never know.”
If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone- and there is no shame in seeking the help you deserve. Depression is a mental disorder, and it often is a side effect of other disorders. Regardless of the overall quality of life, depression causes millions to suffer. You are not alone.
In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line- the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support.
For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at facebook.com/CrisisTextLine.
For support outside the US, find resources at http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html