It would appear that mental health issues have extinguished the life of yet another musical figure. This morning at approximately 9am, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington was found dead at his home in Palos Verdes, CA from what law enforcement is reporting as suicide by hanging. Recovery Unplugged echoes the sentiments of support and sympathy for Bennington’s family that are pouring in from millions around, including fellow musicians, and extends our sincerest and profound condolences. Bennington was extremely close with Chris Cornell who also took his own life a few months back. His death has sparked lamentations from all over the music industry, and he will be sorely missed.
While the circumstances surrounding Bennington’s death have yet to be fully investigated, it is true that he struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for many years. He also waged an outspoken war with trauma associated with abuse by an older male in his childhood. Chester Bennington is neither alone in his struggle with substance abuse nor in his struggle with childhood trauma. According to SAMHSA’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 43.6 million (18.1%) Americans ages 18 and up experienced some form of mental illness. In the past year, 20.2 million adults (8.4%) had a substance use disorder. Of these, 7.9 million people had both a mental disorder and substance use disorder, also known as co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.
Chester Bennington’s death reminds us that, whether we live what many of us regard as an average life or we manage to carve an extraordinary musical legacy, we are all equal in the eyes of addiction and mental illness. Linkin Park’s Meteora was one of the biggest alternative records in musical history; however, success still was apparently not enough to keep Bennington from the demons that plagued home, nor was it enough for his close friend Cornell. Recovery Unplugged would like to remind those struggling with addiction and/or mental illness that there are more resources than ever to help you or your loved ones heal. You don’t have to wage this war alone, nor should you. We would also like to reiterate our deep sadness at Bennington’s passing and to wish his wife, children, bandmates and loved ones the strength to get through this unthinkable tragedy. Nobody should ever have to lose a loved one to addiction or mental illness.