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Chester Bennington Had a Troubled History With Depression and Substance Abuse

Stephen Andrew

07/20/2017

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Following the tragic news that Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington committed suicide, a new report explores the difficult time he had with depression and substance abuse issues.

Up Next: Linkin Park Lead Singer Chester Bennington Has Reportedly Died by Suicide at 41

Through a scan of interviews that Bennington gave over the years, it's clear that his mental health and predilection to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol were of serious concern, as first reported by PEOPLE.

In a 2015 interview with Rock Sound, Bennington spoke about his dark times, saying, "I literally hated life and I was like, 'I don’t want to have feelings. I want to be a sociopath. I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to care what other people feel like. I want to feel nothing.'"

A few years prior, he talked to Kerrang and revealed that he'd been molested as a child. "If I think back to when I was really young, to when I was being molested, to when all these horrible things were going on around me, I shudder," the singer said.

Noisecreep interviewed him in 2009 and he opened up about some of the band's earlier songs. He revealed that the smash-hit "Crawling" was about "feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol."

He also acknowledged the irony of writing songs about his personal demons and receiving accolades for it. he said, "That feeling, being able to write about it, sing about it — those words sold millions of records, I won a Grammy, I made a lot of money."

More: Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda Reacts to Bandmate Chester Bennington's Death

In that same interview, Bennington went on to discuss his sobriety and said, "It’s not cool to be an alcoholic. It’s not cool to go drink and be a dumbass. It’s cool to be a part of recovery. This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I’ve been going through in one way or another."

Finally, he spoke about the band's new music, and explained that the song "Heavy" was about releasing depressing or negative feelings, stating, "That’s where the line, 'If I just let go, I’d be set free' comes from — that’s what 'Heavy' is about. When I’m opening that song saying, 'I don’t like my mind right now', that’s f—ing real."

He ended by saying, "It is not a safe place for me to be unless I’m doing what I need to do: taking care of myself, being real, being open, getting it out, taking all the steps to make myself whole. Then it’s a pretty safe neighborhood, but it goes bad real fast. It’s great to get that s--- out."

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