Chester Bennington, Kurt Cobain, Chris, Robin Williams, Jiah Khan, Parveen Bobby. Apart from being highly accomplished artists in their respective fields, they have another thing in common- suicide.
On July 20, the world lost Linkin Park’s frontman, Chester Bennington to his long battle with depression. In an interview with Noisecreep.com in 2009, he had revealed about his addiction to alcohol and drugs, and how it had paid off in terms of his musical abilities.
He had advocated the idea of venting out all negative and depressing energies into his music to create better works.
Amy Winehouse, who died at age 27, avoided taking psychiatric help fearing its effect on her creativity. She was reportedly suffering from Bulimia a few months before her death due to alcohol intoxication.
It’s unfortunate that artists feel that sadness is a creative outlet. Should any artist, for any matter, suffer to create their art?
Reasons Behind A Few Celebrity Suicides
Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, committed suicide in the year 1994. The combination of Cobain’s mental health problems as well as drug abuse led him to take his own life. In hindsight, depression was often apparent in his lyrics and interviews.
He joined a long list of celebrities who either took their own life or died an accidental death at the age of 27(infamously called the 27 club).
Chris Cornell, singer in legendary grunge rock group, Soundgarden, was found dead in his apartment this year. The cause was suicide by hanging. Over-dosage of prescription anti-anxiety drug Ativan led him to take the drastic step.
Closer home, we had Jiah Khan and Pratyusha Banerjee, two reputable T.V, and film stars, commit suicide due to personal reasons. Their deaths, unfortunately, were reduced to lowly affairs after intensive media coverage spoiled the narrative.
How Are Celebrities Depressed, Anyway?
Suicide and depression do not discriminate. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your achievements are or how popular you are.
Celebrities lead a hectic life. Along with zero privacy and the omnipresent pressure to always deliver their best performances, they are vulnerable to emotional loneliness. Long tours and jam-packed schedules have aggravated stress in their lifestyle.
It’s important for celebrities to communicate with their bandmates/co-stars and get external guidance if need prevails.
It is largely believed that if a celebrity is suffering from a mental illness, it attributes to easy access to drugs or invasion of privacy. More often than not, it is not true.
Celebrities often hide their grief behind the facade of fame to avoid the media glare. Robin Williams, a seemingly joyful and down-to-earth person, had committed suicide in the year 2014, after struggling with a rare brain disease called Lewy body dementia.
It’s imperative that stars acknowledge their illnesses before the depression sets in deep into their lives. It’s a never-ending pit of darkness, and each moment of self-doubt drags you further into it.
We, as the audience, should create a culture of giving mental illnesses the same importance as other illnesses. If we keep losing creative gems at early stages, it reflects us as a society that affirms it.
Image Credits: Google Images