On 20 July, 2017 at approximately 9:08 a.m. Chester Bennington, frontman of acclaimed rock group Linkin Park, committed suicide. On what was to be the birthday of his friend Chris Cornell, who too took his own life back in May 2017, Chester lost his battle against his demons and hanged himself in his Palos Verdes home. There is a lot of speculation surrounding the ‘why’s’ of this tragic loss of a talented life but all factors considered, one of the most talented musicians of our time is dead because the burden of anxiety and depression simply became too heavy to bear.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the USA affecting an estimated 18% (40 million) of adults older than 18. Mental illness is by no means picky and has the debilitating ability to affect the lives of individuals regardless of their color, creed, or indeed their celebrity status.
Musicians fighting mental health issues
Living in the spotlight under constant scrutiny of the world places unnecessary pressure on individuals already experiencing tremendous strain. The connection between creativity and mental illness seems to become more profound by the day as actors, singers, artists and writers lose their way. Chester Bennington was not the first musician whose mental health took strain and he will not be the last either.
Other musicians who battled mental illness are:
Brian Wilson – The Beach Boys: Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type
Syd Barrett – Pink Floyd: Speculated Schizophrenia
Kurt Cobain – Nirvana: Bipolar Disorder
Chris Cornell – Audioslave: Substance abuse & depression
Demi Lovato: Anorexia, bulimia & bipolar disorder
Barbra Streisand: Social Anxiety disorder
Eric Clapton: Alcoholism with suicidal tendencies