CREED singer Scott Stapp, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015 and has since become an advocate of mental health awareness, spoke to MusicLifeMagazine.net about the recent deaths of Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell.
"Those deaths were tragic, first and foremost," he said. "And it's also a very in-your-face reminder to me of how close I was to reaching the same end that the three of them did. And it's only by the grace of God that I didn't. So it's really just raised the awareness in me of the seriousness of addiction and alcoholism and the seriousness of mental illness and how so many people suffer in silence. It's an issue that we need to have more compassion about and knowledge about and understanding of.
"There are millions of people out there suffering and I know because I have been there," Stapp continued. "I have walked the walk and my suffering, many times, ended up very public and was very misunderstood and so those deaths affected me in two big ways: one being that it's reminded me of places that I never want to go to again. And if I ever get close to going again, to make sure that I immediately get the help that I need.
"And secondly, it's put me in a position to want to speak out on these issues and raise awareness and use my platform in a positive way to continue the conversation and help bring education and awareness — to spread the message of compassion and non-judgement and for people to understand," he added. "And I also want, for those that are suffering, to encourage them to reach out for help and get help before it's too late, because help is there. And I really want for people who know family or friends that are suffering from mental illness or addiction to be an angel in that person's life and step in and help someone in need, because those that are around them can save a life. This whole subject is something that is very near and dear to my heart and something I am very passionate about because, by no means have I arrived. I am still doing this one day at a time so I know what it's like because I have lived it do I can speak truth from that perspective."
Stapp went through a highly publicized, drug-inflamed meltdown in 2014, after which he entered into an intensive rehab program. Stapp also lost custody of his three children during this period, while also missing a court hearing and allegedly threatening to kill President Obama.
Stapp is now sober and in intensive therapy. He takes medication for bipolar disorder — a condition that causes unexpected shifts in mood, energy and activity levels — works through a twelve-step program, and meets with a sponsor, saying, "Nothing is more important than my sobriety."