"Nouveau mal du siècle: Dépression et manque d'empathie" -The iconic phrase used by Chateaubriand to describe feelings of melancholy, boredom, and disillusion now applies to a modern form: a depression epidemic. This week, the former vocalist of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, was found dead at his home, where he committed suicide. In previous interviews, Chester talked about childhood problems, drug abuse and the struggle with his mental health. The singer is yet another example of how serious depression can be. And, unfortunately, he is not an isolated case: According to WHO, suicide causes one death every 40 seconds worldwide.

And the numbers continue to rise – until by 2020 depression will be the most prevalent incapacitating disease on the planet, leading to prejudice of health quality, human relations, and the economy.

Depression is a silent killer

Depression is defined as “a state of permanent sadness accompanied by loss of interest in usual pleasant activates and incapacity to perform daily tasks, for a period of two weeks or more”. In spite of that, it is different in every individual – begins with the little things, with another bad day and grows to symptoms like profound sadness, emptiness, insomnia, low self-esteem, lack of motivation - and turns into a vicious circle. And although with many symptoms, it’s a silent disease – time and social skills have taught people how to disguise emotions and put on a social mask with a smiley face, covering an empty chest.

Additionally, most people are scared to admit they need help, because of the social stigma mental illness still represents: they’re afraid the ones they love and need the most will tell them to be more positive, to see the good side, to think of those who starve and suffer from endless wars.

Where depression leads

So, if the problem is put aside, it slowly grows into days without going out of the house and a huge gap between relations, that eventually became unsustainable, and that's when people attempt suicide.

Nowadays, there is a great potential of helping people and preventing bad outcomes by changing the social opinion about depressives – they are just as sick as someone with a broken arm, you just don’t see it. The Linkin' Park Lead Singer's death is just one example. Although an investigation is still going on as police look for other possible leads towards his death, it still remains that the singer probably committed suicide due to depression.