Content warning: This article deals with depression and suicide. If you or someone you know is suffering, reach out. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Most of us wish we could do more to understand what depression looks like.
The footage, filmed just hours before his death, shows him testing strange flavoured jellybeans with his son.
Talinda posted the 40-second video on Twitter, writing, “This is what depression looked like to us just 36 hours b4 his death. He loved us SO much & we loved him.”
Chester’s 15-year-old son, Draven Bennington, released three videos for National Suicide Prevention Week. In one he says, “I want to make a commitment that I will talk to someone before I hurt myself when I’m feeling depressed, sad or going through a hard week, month or year.” He adds, “I want to challenge you to do the same – to help yourself, not hurt yourself.”
Listen: Psychologist Kirsten Bouse talks to Holly Wainwright and Christie Hayes about what post-natal depression really looks like, and strategies for coping. (Post continues after audio.)
There are several strands here that are really important to anyone wanting to peek inside a depressed mind.
Crucially, what does depression look like? Anything. There is no checklist that ensures someone is safe.
At my absolute lowest I was my most successful. I often woke up with tears on my cheeks, having cried myself to sleep. I showered, put on layers of a makeup mask, chose a pretty dress, took a deep breath and walked into the office.
My smiles weren’t real.
I was filled with dread and wanted out of life. I couldn’t see a way forward.
I was playing a part.
It was no reflection of how much I love my friends and family. In fact, the guilt of wrestling with what they would be left to deal with is often part of the overwhelming building torment.
Depression can lurk underneath the most sunny, seemingly sparkly success stories in our lives. Just because on paper it looks like someone’s kicking goals, does not mean they’re not secretly struggling.
Self-loathing and self-harm, in many forms, often hides behind smiles.