Rock Star Suicides: Let’s Stop Talking About “Demons” and Start Talking About Illness

From the Huffington Post….

My latest article in the Huffington Post talks about Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Here is the opening:

***

As a society, we can recognize the symptoms of artists who are depressed and get them into treatment instead of raising up their tortured art and then wondering why they die.

Rock star suicides are nothing new. I’m reminded of Ian Curtis, Micheal Hutchence, and Curt Cobain. I recently wrote an article about the death of Chris Cornell, and sadly, I now write about the death of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

Once again, the world has lost a vibrant, young, and seemingly “have it all” kind of man. I want to first share my sadness at the loss of yet another person who simply didn’t need to die, but this time my heart is not breaking. This time I’m getting mad. The frustration is rising and I feel a call to action is in order.

Chester Bennington’s “Demons”

Chester’s bandmates said they understood his “demons” were always a part of him and something that made the group more “human.” I know they are trying to make sense of losing a vibrant, intelligent, talented and very, very successful man. Unfortunately, this way of talking is a major part of the problem. The way we talk about someone who dies from suicide perpetuates the myth that it’s something specific to their identity that killed the person—instead of a well-documented result of an illness called depression.

When a rock star dies from suicide, we are shocked. And the typical, loving but ignorant words come out full force. He battled his demons, and they were eventually too strong for him is something I’ve read more times that I can count.

These demons sure are busy.

Click here to read

by Julie A. Fast, coauthor of Loving Someone With Bipolar

As a society, we can recognize the symptoms of artists who are depressed and get them into treatment instead of raising up their tortured art and then wondering why they die.

Rock star suicides are nothing new. I’m reminded of Ian Curtis, Micheal Hutchence, and Curt Cobain. I recently wrote an article about the death of Chris Cornell, and sadly, I now write about the death of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

Once again, the world has lost a vibrant, young, and seemingly “have it all” kind of man. I want to first share my sadness at the loss of yet another person who simply didn’t need to die, but this time my heart is not breaking. This time I’m getting mad. The frustration is rising and I feel a call to action is in order.

Chester Bennington’s “Demons”

Chester’s bandmates said they understood his “demons” were always a part of him and something that made the group more “human.” I know they are trying to make sense of losing a vibrant, intelligent, talented and very, very successful man. Unfortunately, this way of talking is a major part of the problem. The way we talk about someone who dies from suicide perpetuates the myth that it’s something specific to their identity that killed the person—instead of a well-documented result of an illness called depression.

When a rock star dies from suicide, we are shocked. And the typical, loving but ignorant words come out full force. He battled his demons, and they were eventually too strong for him is something I’ve read more times that I can count.

These demons sure are busy.

 Click here to read Rock Star Suicides: Let’s Stop Talking About “Demons” and Start Talking About Illness.

Julie

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