Linkin Park Member’s Wife Emotionally Reveals ‘Only Thing To Blame’ For Chester Bennington’s Death


Linkin Park guitarist and singer Mike Shinoda’s wife Anna has posted a new blog about why mental illness is to blame for Chester Bennington’s death, not Chester himself or any of the survivors, and how she herself can relate to his struggles.

I haven’t talked publicly that much about my own mental health. I think in interviews when Learning Not to Drown came out, I may have touched briefly on being in therapy, but I’ve never gone into detail. I am very open with friends about it, but was always afraid of being judged publicly for having my brain. I applauded Chester (especially in the past few months before his death) for being so open in interviews. I was proud of him for being brave. I knew that by describing the way his brain worked, Chester would help others get beyond the stigma of mental health and addiction.

I guess now it’s my turn to be open.

As someone who personally deals with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, I know how important it is to recognize the way my brain works and the things that help me. Personally, therapy has been the best thing for my brain – specifically EMDR and cognitive therapy. I have had the same psychologist for 14 years. There are times that I have needed her five days a week, and times that I see her once every few months.

For some people, medication will be what works best. For one year of my life, I was on medication to help lower my anxiety to a point that I could actually get through the therapy sessions and allow my brain to start making new, healthy connections. Some people may need medication for a short time, some may need it for life. It depends on the individual brain and how it works.

For some people, alternative therapies might work best.

For some people, books are helpful.

For some people, group settings and support is what works best (I highly recommend Al-Anon or AA/NA for people dealing with addiction – it is free, provides therapy in a group setting and a community of support).

For most people, it will take trying different options and maybe even mixing several of them.

My initial healing took several YEARS – some of it was incredibly painful, but I am so glad that I stuck with it. The Anna that I am on a daily basis now feels true to me. I don’t miss the deep depressive dives, or the bursts of anger that could take over my whole day. I don’t miss being afraid of emotions. I don’t miss feeling out of control. I know now that the way my brain stays healthy involves exercise, vitamin D, creative outlets of writing and drawing, talking to trusted friends, sometimes acupuncture, seeing my therapist if I start to slip and checking in with her monthly so we can recognize early signs when I might need a little more help.

Here is what gets tricky: taking care of mental health can feel embarrassing (we need to change this – and this is something that everyone can contribute to), it can be expensive (another thing we need to change – this might take laws being passed) and it can take more than one try to find the right therapist/psychologist or psychiatrist or group for you. It takes work, and a sick brain may not want you to do the work. A sick brain might not want to deal with insurance or finding free resources. A sick brain may tell you that nothing will work for you.

If you need help, please absolutely seek it out, and try again and try often if the first attempt toward mental health doesn’t seem to work.

Chester worked hard. He worked hard to be sober. He worked hard for happiness. I am eternally grateful for the years that were given to us because of the work he put in. We will never know what was happening in his final moments, but we do know that the only thing to blame is disease: addiction and mental illness.

As a person who is in incredible pain at the loss of one of my best friends because of mental illness, I can assure you that you are important and needed in this world. And you deserve mental health.

Find a way that works for your brain.  Dedicate yourself to working towards mental health.  Most likely, it will not be a destination, but an on-going journey. This is okay. The important thing is that you are on the journey and putting in the work, one moment at a time. Slips can happen. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Admit it and get back on the path. Accept help. Be compassionate with yourself.

One thing we can all do to help stop the stigma around mental illness and suicide is to look at our words. Words matter. When we say “died by suicide” instead of “committed suicide” we focus on the illness rather than blaming the survivors or the deceased.

The answer to “why did someone die by suicide?” is always “mental illness.” That is the reason. And if we can start there, we can move forward, not only to prevent more suicides but to help more people find mental health.


In case you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line, the free, nationwide, 24/7 text message service for people in crisis, is here to support. For support in the United States, text HELLO to 741741 or message at
For support outside the US, find resources at

  • thetruthsaves

    Only a total idiot will believe that a person who was so ill, that saw no other way and committed suicide, was healthy enough to work in extreme stress. People who are so affected by the disease are not able to function normally. Many times he was in a stronger depression and did not give up, something had to make this time different. People who put so much emphasis to prove that it was his fault only, know what really brought him to this bitter gloom.
    By the way, do I just the only one who sees a deliberate PR action to put all the responsibility for the tragic death on Chester’s shoulders. Nobody even tries to investigate the circumstances of his tragic end. Something is hidden beneath the surface of these PR treatments !!!

    • makingconnections

      What I find bewildering is that these talented people “died by suicide” so that should give us pause so to speak. Instead, in the era of social media it seems rather than grief or perhaps right alongside the grief, is this effort to make a show out of the action taken by these talented men. It’s only been a few months since Chris Cornell’s death and yet there have been so many different efforts made to portray him in a certain way and to give attention to certain family members. Chester Bennington’s passing seems bizarre, following so closely and fans are trying to make sense of it all.

      These are strange days indeed…..and the term “widow”, never a happy word, has taken on a whole new image…..well, at least we aren’t in the days of a year of wearing black and retreating from the world, but did we have to take it to this place?

    • eboe thrasher

      Sometimes when you have a goal or a task in front of you, you find strength and resolve to push through it. Maybe, once the album was done, the adrenaline push of finishing it wore off, and he was left realizing how he still felt empty inside, despite that hope that the album would make him feel better once it was done.

      And then once Chris lost his battle with his mental illness after years, it obviously effected Chester in such a way that he decided he was done fighting as well, and chose to succumb to his mental illness on Chris’ birthday. There is no investigation that needs to be done at this point. If one needed done, the police would have made that decision. If you were a fan, then let his family and friends live in peace.

      • thetruthsaves

        Do you think that talking about serious topics in the form of mostly disco songs was for Chester (as he described it) a valve? Most of the songs from the new album, you can play in the club. Do you think they gave him the ability to unload negative emotions? Do you think that Chester, as an intelligent and sensitive man, did not notice a dilemma here? Let us remember that this adequate to the content style of songs, we owe to Mike Shinoda, who himself reported in the interview, he disagreed with the original punk-rock versions and put this pop-disco sound to songs about suicide and struggling with addictions.

  • Randomname88

    As someone who suffers from mental illness myself via aspergers syndrome, it’s taken years to find my way through it all. I’m on meds (which I doubled dosage recently), I have a therapist who isnt afraid to cuss (it makes her more down to earth and easier to talk to I think), and most importantly, I have people around me to support me too, even if they dont always understand. When I became a mom 6 years ago, when I was alone with none of the above, in a bad place abuse and my depression and anxiety at its worst, I found a purpose to fight. Im glad to know that Chester never stopped fighting because its a constant battle I know the reality of every day. I know Chesters mind had to have gone to a dark place that night and I know where that dark place is. Its hard and sometimes impossible, even with help, to find your light again. I hope him and Chris Cornell are at peace now and their demons silenced. I know mine wont ever fully be silent until I die and the struggle is to prevent those demons from taking yoj into the dark.

    • thetruthsaves

      I do not question the importance of mental illness in suicide decisions. I’m a person who is struggling with bipolar disorder and on the basis of what Chester said, I think he was struggling with that disease too.
      I just want to point out that both the censorship at Chester’s funeral and the fact that all “friends” try to run the thesis, it was fault only of his illness, suggest that this is a conscious and purposeful PR campaign.

  • Tameka

    EMDR is an effective treatment for trauma. Most addicted people have trauma because substance abuse is a coping strategy for unprocessed trauma. In order for a person with unprocessed trauma to be able to remain sober, it is critical that an individual process past trauma. Because EMDR effectively treats trauma, it is not at all surprising that it helps treat addiction – the coping mechanism for the trauma. I’ve been doing research on EMDR treatments, how it helps and exactly what the pros and cons are.

    Should anyone else be interested to see how this would help others here’s the page I looked at

    Hopefully, this information can assist someone (friends and families) in choosing the best treatment for someone they love.