“I’m showing this so that you know that depression doesn’t have a face or a mood.”
Chester Bennington’s widow Talinda has shared the last video ever filmed of him, which shows the Linkin Park lead singer spending time laughing with his family just a few days before his suicide.
Before sharing the video on Twitter, Talinda wrote: “My next tweet is the most personal tweet I have ever done. I’m showing this so that you know that depression doesn’t have a face or a mood.”
— Talinda Bennington (@TalindaB) September 16, 2017
Chester and his children had been trying out mystery jelly bean flavours. Talinda also shared another photo of him smiling taken days before his death.
“This was days b4 my husband took his own life,” she wrote in the accompanying caption. “Suicidal thoughts were there,but you’d. Never kmow. #fuckdepression”
— Talinda Bennington (@TalindaB) September 7, 2017
Depression doesn’t have a face or mood, because you can’t judge it by appearances. While a person may appear to be laughing and happy on the outside, that’s no indication of how they may feel on the inside a few days later.
At the same time, “suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision,” says Dr Suarn Singh, Head of Psychiatry at the Ministry of Health Malaysia. There are often signs to look out for such as changes in mood or behaviour, verbally expressing suicidal tendencies, behaving recklessly, and more. The better you know someone and how depression works, the more likely it’ll be for you to seek help in time.
“Being aware and intervening at the right time by offering a gentle word of support and listening in a non-judgmental way can make all the difference,” says Victor Tan, Deputy Chairman of Malaysian suicide prevention hotline The Befrienders. “Studies have repeatedly shown that social connectedness is an important protective factor against suicide. So being there, even for a moment, for someone who is isolated and struggling with suicidal thoughts can be a life-saving act.”
Which is why Talinda is championing the serious fight to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, which will both raise awareness about depression and make it easier for sufferers or their loved ones to talk about it.