Woke up Thursday morning to the heartbreaking news of Sir Chester Bennington’s demise. One of the finest artists of our time succumbs to depression, and kills self. He will be dearly missed, and it is, indeed, a big loss for us. I have grown up listening to Linkin Park. Their songs were very touching, the lyrics so relatable. Little did I know that it was Chester expressing his true emotions and struggle with depression, and perhaps, a cry for help, through his works. Now my heart feels HEAVY.
As George Shrouder mentioned in his tweet “Depression is hard to understand. But if it can kill Robin Williams, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington I’d say it’s pretty damn real”. Legends like Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Kurt Cobain (his was a case of manic depression) and many others gave hope and added meaning to the lives of millions through their music and enriching words. However, the same have fallen prey to depression and could not inspire themselves the way they inspired their fans. Then it must be true that “Words may inspire everybody but the person saying them.“
Depression can hit anyone, including powerful personalities and people with seemingly ‘perfect’ lives. On finding out about my mental health, the first thing people ask me is “Why? How? When?” I am often met with questions regarding what causes led me to this or why it had to happen to me, a young girl, of all the people. Many a times, I have found myself pondering about the same. Well, it can happen to anyone. I cannot think of any possible causes or any traumatizing incident, or a tragic loss of someone dear, or anything of that sort, that might have resulted in my present condition. It was perhaps, a combination of various, relatively trivial, yet detrimental factors that led me into the treacherous hands of depression.
A few weeks back, a random lady, with probably little knowledge about mental health and disorders, upon being informed about my medical history, asked me how could I had fallen prey to depression at such a young age and further added that it is “All in my head and not real.” She refused to accept that depression exists, and kept insisting that it is just about how I feel. She believes that if I tell myself that it is nothing and that I am okay, then I shall be okay! If only it was that simple…Well, as a matter of fact, I do tell myself that I am going to be okay and that I will make it. But one cannot live in a state of denial.
Depression is real, very real. A proper disorder that can be treated; and it is not a joke. It is as grave a matter as any physical disability or ailment. If a person breaks a bone or gets severely wounded, he/she is given immediate medical attention, then why not treat someone, who is wounded inside, with as much love and sensitivity? Just because their wounds are not visible, does not mean it hurts less. In the words of Laurell K. Hamilton, “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
When someone dies of cancer or a heart attack, for instance, it is called a tragic death, and the deceased is showered with words of praise and kindness. Then why is someone who dies because of internal strife or mental agony, looked down upon by some members of the society? Some usually take the plunge because the pain becomes unbearable, with the sorrow slowly killing them inside. Someone who commits suicide is NOT a “Coward” or a “Loser” or “Stupid”, and definitely does not deserve any criticism or mockery on his/her departure. Such people might not have heard many kind words during their lifetime, they at least should not be belittled after they are gone with insults from people judging them for not being able to fight it. They were brave – they lived battling their inner demons and died fighting, while the world continued to judge them. Just because someone lost their life to a mental disorder, that does not make them a loser.
We often forget that not everyone is lucky enough to have a loving family and friends to support them, and nor does everybody get proper medical help in time. Hence, always be kind and reach out to those battling their inner demons, with utmost love and care. And if you are someone who has been diagnosed with a disorder, fear not – accept it, and you will gradually learn to cope with it. In time, you will realize that you can live with it just fine. It takes time to fight a disorder, and while it might feel like a burden sometimes, give yourself a pep talk and do not let this bump in the way hold you back from living your life to the fullest.
Let us take a moment to honour the warriors who lost their internal battle against a mental disorder, which is neither their fault, nor anyone else’s.
 Accessed at https://twitter.com/GshroudOCTW/status/888106151954468864 (last visited on July 23, 2017).
 Mistral’s Kiss by Laurell K. Hamilton.
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