The lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington was found dead due to suicide. It is unfortunate to see depression rob yet another life.
Depression is a very real problem. However, sometimes people get depressed due to they are unable to find the answers or the closure that they desperately need. Chester Bennington had suffered from sexual abuse as a child which lead on to his problem with alcoholism and drugs, which eventually lead to his death.
I love the song by Linkin Park called “What I’ve Done” in which the music clip have sent such a valuable message about the many issues faced by the world today- climate change, pollution, obesity due to overeating and world hunger. Through the compelling visuals of this video clip, I become more environmentally conscious, gotten serious about recycling items (instead of throwing them to the dustbin which ended up in the landfills) and saw the atrocities that war could cause. This maintains until today.
Just a 3.27 video clip worked so well in sending emotionally compelling message that motivated behavior change (sorry but it is more effective that watching the reports from CNN or Aljezeera).
Sadly, like many others who have entertained and inspired change in others, they could not help themselves. Two of my favourite Hong Kong singers- Danny Chan and Leslie Cheung had also passed away through depression which eventually led to suicide.
Through observation and also from personal experience, many people may get depressed due to there is an unresolved conflict between what is going on around them and their internal values which they could not understand. They seek to understand life and their very existence, and when very traumatic things happen to them that they able to comprehend, they become unhappy. If they continue to dwell and dwell into the issue and not able to find a way out, it will eventually lead to depression. Depression can manifest into uncontrolled temperament and emotions.
Depression is not something that started overnight.
It is not something that can be helped by substance abuse (it will only numb it and later make the depression worse), nor can it be relieved by material wealth.
In my humble opinion, some people who have depression actually have great potential and emotional intelligence. They could see a huge conflict and discrepancies between the actual and their inner worlds. However, they could not find an answer or a way to co-exist in harmony.
Recently, a lady complained to me because her daughter, who is a fully qualified chartered accountant became a nun. Actually I never knew her daughter was a chartered accountant because when I first knew her, she was doing odd jobs in Australia (and I had been puzzled how she was able to earn a PR status in Australia and own a property/car when she was just doing odd jobs).
I explained to her that her daughter is already having depression. Exactly what triggered the depression, I had no idea as it was not shared to me. However, the depression cannot be cured by simply taking a job paycut because even if the person work under low paying job, the person would still get stressed from being bullied and having to constantly worry about money.
Having said that, there is still a huge stress level difference between highly demanding corporate job and lower paying jobs like working in McDonalds, as a waitress or doing simple administrative jobs.
Therefore, I explained to the lady that what her daughter needed was not odd jobs because that only hide her symptoms below the surface but does not solve the problem. To solve the problem, she has to heal inside under the guidance of a competent teacher. I know this highly competent and compassionate teacher heals people’s hearts through teaching them to understand and let go. She does it using very unconventional methods, not by sitting on a meditation cushion but cultivating compassion and understanding. Through her, you would meet many people whom she had helped who are probably 10 times more unfortunate than you.
After sometime, hopefully the stressed girl would be able to harmonize between both her internal and outer worlds. She would then be able to come back out and live among society.
I told the mother that in fact her daughter has improved tremendously since the 1 year that I knew her. She is now more cheerful and friendly (from the inside). If she really love her daughter and wanted her daughter to be truly happy, she need to give her daughter time to heal. The mother then admitted to me that yes, she had seen improvement in her daughter compared to last year.
From my interaction with her daughter, I could see that this girl is highly intelligent and possessed untapped wisdom. One day, she would be able to come out and help many people once she has healed herself. She has great potential because only one that had go through similar experience would understand what when someone else goes through the same problem.
If a person who is depressed does not seek away to harmonise the internal conflicts and instead suppress them, it will definitely get worse until one day they are unable to control their emotions.
When I was in Thailand, I have met many Westerners who came to Thailand to travel and eventually staying back to help others including staying among the very poor to teach them English or help in temple construction projects or go into meditation retreats. Many were ladies who came to Thailand alone (because seldom one can find anyone among’s one social group that share the same sentiment). Eventually after they find the answers, they would go back as a changed and happier person….and from there would be able to function as a fully complete person.
This goes against the usual stream of the world. But I have discovered that in order to find answers in life, often you need to walk the road less traveled.
I hope that those who are facing serious dilemmas would be able to find the answers and peace.