Chester, Panic Attacks and Suicides

This week has been a shock to the rock music industry as Chester Bennington, of the American legendary band, Linkin Park, was found dead in his home in Los Angeles, California.

I was not really a huge fan of the band but I could say that I grew up to their songs, as their music videos topped and occupied most of the spots in the then MTV Asia Hitlist. I, myself, also was surprised about my reaction towards the incident. I didn’t only weep, but I also got triggered into a minor panic attack.

One of the reasons could have been the band’s recent interaction with my savior band, ONE OK ROCK. The other reason could have been because of Chester’s cause of death.

“I’m hanging off the edge.”

Nobody Can Save Me, Linkin Park

This is a line from a song from their latest album, One More Light.

One of the major reasons why I finally decided to seek professional help, a few years ago, was because of those demons inside my head.

Tons of things had already happened after my first meeting with Doc, and as the years pass by, I find my own memory messing up with me. Nonetheless, on our first meeting, I remembered myself telling Doc that I contacted her because there had been a lot of things going around my head lately and I was actually scared of what might happen because of those thoughts. I recalled her asking, “What are those thoughts that you are afraid of?” I answered, “I don’t know. All I know is that I am scared of them, afraid of what they may cause me to do.

And she then changed the topic. And the term “suicide” actually never crossed any of our sessions, but the scary thoughts did. She probably also never mentioned the term so I wouldn’t have any idea that those scary thoughts could actually be suicidal ideas. Instead, we had dwelt on the root causes of things, which are also the reasons why I highly recommend seeking professional help when you think something had been happening wrongly.

Scary Thoughts

Chester Bennington interview by 102.7 KIIS FM.

“When I’m inside myself, when I’m inside my head… this skull inside my head between my ears, this is a bad neighborhood. I should not be in there alone,” said Chester in an interview by a radio station, as posted here on Facebook by a Linkin Park Fan page.

It is, however, ironic, that I only realized those scary thoughts to be suicidal thoughts a few months after I quit seeing Doc. To be honest, my panic attacks (which I will discuss in detail in future posts) lately can be considered worse than those I had when I was still seeing her.

Nonetheless, not seeing her and talking to her while or after I had the attacks thought me one thing. The panic attacks lately are far more intense than merely weeping. The attacks lately are becoming more physical that I suddenly find me already hitting myself.

When you are having attacks, all the bad memories of the past just come rushing into your head. The worst part of it is that you cannot control them at all. It is like the floodgate has been opened and your head is now drowned with all the negative thoughts.

Moreover, you don’t know how to close the floodgate again. You start hitting your head because it is almost hurting from drowning. You inflict pain on your physical body hoping that those can ease the pain on your head. But no, they cannot.

Finally, this is the time when the scary thoughts will come in. These thoughts make the physical hitting more intense, to the point that you think that maybe if I will just die, this will all end.

And this is probably the reason why people say that suicide is a selfish act.

“Do I… give in to sad thoughts that are maddening?”

By Myself, Linkin Park.

“Do I hide my pride from these bad dreams? And give in to sad thoughts that are maddening? … I put on my daily façade but then I just end up getting hurt again, by myself.”

After surviving one of those recent panic attacks, when all those scary thoughts were almost telling me to maybe just die, a special person in my life scolded me.

During that time, I posted a status on a messaging app about dying. This special person asked me if I was ok. I told him that I was able to snap out of it and would probably be ok. He actually flooded me with messages after that, but I ignored him until the next day, when I finally removed the dying status.

He got angry with me and told me that I was selfish. He told me that I should have removed the status when I told him that I was already ok. It was only after another good friend of mine explained that maybe, the reason why he flooded me messages and got angry after, was that he was afraid that I got carried away by those scary thoughts and those self-inflicted physical pain.

“Who cares if one more light goes out?” – One More Light, Linkin Park.

And that was when I realized the selfishness revolving around the concept of suicide. The victims, at the time of committing it, may not be able to comprehend this because of all those scary thoughts. When you kill yourself, you only end your own suffering. But that incident can forever cause suffering to the people around you.

Most of the people suffering from emotional distress think that no one ever loves and understands them. And the people around them will only realize that they haven’t given enough love and understanding to their loved ones when they are already gone.

Maybe it happened to Chester to remind all of us to not take anything, whether it is a person or time, for granted. Show the people you love how important they are to you NOW as long as you can. These scary thoughts are things that are out of anyone’s way.

One of the bad things about humans is that whenever there is something wrong with our health (whether physical, mental, emotional or whatever) that is still not fatal, we just ignore them. Should you think that things happening inside your head aren’t the usual thoughts you are having, I am begging you to please seek for professional help. For people in the Philippines, I can recommend someone.

Finally, Chester, may you have already found peace in there. The music scene will forever love you.

“The sun will set for you.”

 


 

Banner photo by Gansb. Licensed under Creative Commons. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

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