My Response to the Writer Who Doesn't Feel Bad For Chester Bennington
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Health and Wellness

My Response to the Writer Who Doesn't Feel Bad For Chester Bennington

Because mental illness was his cause of death, not selfishness

My Response to the Writer Who Doesn't Feel Bad For Chester Bennington

For those of you who don't know, I recently posted an article titled, "Why Everyone Should Know Warning Signs of Suicide" focusing on suicide prevention after finding out that Chester Bennington (Lead singer of Linkin Park) sadly took his own life just a few days ago. The basic point of my article was that we should not only care about mental illness because it affected a celebrity. Instead, we should all make an effort to recognize the warning signs of depression and suicide in an attempt to get help to those who need it before it is too late.

Only a short eight hours after that specific article was published, an articled titled, "I Don't Feel Bad For Chester Bennington And Neither Should You" was brought to my attention. The basic premise of this article is that Chester's suicide was "ironic" and "selfish." First of all, the word "ironic" is something that should never be used when talking about suicide or even just death in general. Ever. It is just completely disrespectful in my honest opinion. The way she worded the events surrounding his death sounded like she was attempting to make light of the situation. Yes, Chester Bennington did commit suicide on his close friend, Chris Cornell's birthday, a few months after he also had committed suicide. Those are facts. But saying that you see "irony" in Bennington's death is the most disrespectful thing you could possibly say. We shouldn't even care about those details that the media chose to have a field day with. Those details don't change the fact that the world lost two people to mental illness who did not get the help that they needed and deserved. There's nothing "ironic" about it.

Let's tear apart a few points that she makes, shall we? At one point, the author stated:

"It's cruel. It's wrong. It's disgusting. What's done is done. Instead of glorifying someone who has caused an insurmountable amount of pain on so many people, why not talk about how stupid of a decision it was?"

No one is "glorifying" his suicide. He was a celebrity. The general public is simply paying their respects to someone they loved, looked up to, and lost. I spent my middle and high school days listening to Linkin Park and I was obviously upset when I heard of Bennington's passing. There is nothing wrong with that!

We should also not be calling him "stupid" because of his decision, we should be talking about what could have been done to prevent his decision. She is only right about one thing, what's done is done. But unless you have gone through the exact same things as someone else, you have absolutely no clue what they are going through or what they are feeling. You can't look at someone and see their depression, anxiety, or any other sort of mental illness. It's about knowing the warning signs so that we can speak up and make an effort to prevent self-harm and suicide.

The author then goes on to say:

"If music wasn't fulfilling, you could have tried making a change, not end your friggin' life. Does no one else see how incredibly selfish this is?"

Once again, she is attempting to make light of the situation by being completely ignorant and disrespectful about it. She obviously knows absolutely nothing about mental illness. If you seriously think that a person would decide suicide is the only answer just because their career "wasn't fulfilling," you need to do some serious research before running your mouth. Bennington did not commit suicide because he was unhappy with his career or he wanted to abandon his family like this author tried to convince us he did. He did it because sadly his mental illness took over his brain to the point where he felt that there was no other way out. Mental illness is not something you can just turn on and off by the flick of a switch. Is it possible that he was not happy with his current career? Yes. Could that have been the sole reason for his suicide? Absolutely not. He was suffering from a mental illness that sadly won his battle.

Now after all of this talk about how "selfish" and "stupid" he is, she states:

"Since I know people reading this will ask why I didn't focus on prevention - I'm here to say that this is prevention."

This statement is just flat out wrong. Telling people that suicide is selfish, stupid, and ironic is not prevention. She does not discuss warning signs of depression and/or suicide or how to help people dealing with mental illness...she basically just says you're stupid if you are contemplating suicide, which could potentially trigger someone who is suffering to make harmful decisions. In the end, she is doing more harm than good.

And finally, the author attempts to make her hateful opinions seem not so bad by completely contradicting herself:

"My goal isn't to stir up anger at Bennington. I'm certainly not denying the fact that he battled real issues."

Really? Because that seems to be exactly what she is doing. In her entire article, she did not once discuss any possible mental health issues. Instead, she just used hurtful words against him in an attempt to make him look like a bad person. She most certainly is trying to "stir up anger at Bennington". In fact, I am angry...but for very different reasons.

I am angry because of how heartless her article was and I am even more angry about how uneducated so many people are regarding mental illness. Her article was the perfect example of that. Ultimately, more people need to understand that mental illness is a real thing that affects real people in their everyday lives. If everyone knew the warning signs of suicide then we could possibly prevent more of them from happening. Don't be afraid to speak up if you suspect someone you know is contemplating harming themselves in anyway. Even if you are wrong, it's better to be wrong about it than wish you had said something later on.


Call 1-800-273-8255

If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7. It is free and confidential.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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