Chris Cornell Suicide Case

Chris Cornell Suicide Case

Student’s Name


Chris Cornell Suicide Case

Suicide is a traumatizing and devastating incidence that lives the beloved ones of the deceased suffering from stress and other alarming questions about the act. The family and friends among other related individuals are left confused, frustrated and to an extent angry wondering what might be the cause of the suicide, why they did not see it happen and whether they had the capability of preventing it from happening. Mental illness, substance abuse and suicide history in the family are among the major known causes of suicide in the world. It is very disgusting that suicide has taken not only hearts of the people with low living standards but also the wealthy and famous people in the universe. Being rich does not mean that someone’s live run smoothly without any distractors and stressors. Regardless of being famous and having wealth, people suffer mental illness and abuse of substance among many other factors that lead to suicide. In this discussion, Chris Cornell, a famous musician suicide case is the point of interest, and it will be elaborated into an in-depth extent regarding the cause of the action and the related history.

Christopher John Boyle commonly known as Chris Cornell was the son of Ed Boyle and Karen Cornell and was born in Seattle, Washington in the United States in 1964. Chris Cornell was popularly known for his famous music productions and his act of giving back to the community through helping the needy and orphan children. He was the frontman and founder of the Soundgarden band and a vocalist for the Audioslave. Chris Cornell’s demise is believed to have been caused by suicide in his hotel room MGM Grand in Detroit after a performance with Soundgarden Fox Theatre (Berglund, 2017). He died on May 18, 2017, where he left behind his wife Vicky Karayiannis and three children Lillian Jean, Toni and Christopher Nicholas.

Chris Cornell has a history of mental illness diagnoses before committing suicide as he suffered from depression. It was in an interview where the famous rock musician revealed that he suffered depression which made him have the urge of being isolated leading to the divorce with Susan Silver at the age of early forties. Chris Cornell explained that the psychological illness is dangerous as it made him be in his world thinking that other people are the cause of stress and trouble in his life. After a while, he got into a relationship with his wife Vicky Karayiannis, and they decided to settle down and start a family. Chris Cornell struggled with the mental illness for a long time as he put extra effort into his music career which positively impacted the society and charity work which touched souls of many needy people.

The famous singer’s mental illness appear to be related to the suicidal action. Depression creates the mentality of separation from other people where one feels loathed as well as lack of belonging in the community and to a greater extent if not taken control of may result to physical harm such as suicide. The case was not different from Chris Cornell as he explained that the depression has reached to a point where he gets isolated from all his close people divorced and even changed his lively hood location to a new place (Pescara & Raleigh 2017). However, he later recovered got in a relationship, continued with music, stopped drinking and abuse of the substance. He started seeking medication to cope up with depression which was different there before when he used drugs and substance abuse to deal with the mental illness.

Before suicide, he talked to his wife Vicky after the show and told her that he might have taken an overdose of the Ativan which were prescribed to ease depression by his physician. Ativan can be referred to as a type of drug lorazepam that is applied in the treatment of seizures and anxiety. The medicine works by boosting the natural chemical in the human body hence leads to mental calmness. The insignificant and unusual side effects that Ativan cause includes slurred speech and thoughts of committing suicide, hallucination, memory problem, difficulties in walking and vision changes. The severe side effects are dangerous to human health as they result to an increment in the user’s alcohol consumption and use of painkillers for users of other drugs apart from the prescribed ones.

As a reformed drug abuser, the extra taken Ativan might have caused the severe effects on his body leading to the mentality of committing suicide. Vicky stated that his husband did not show any sign of committing suicide and she could not believe that such a thing could ever linger in Chris Cornell’s mind. Therefore, the famous musician did not portray any classic signs that he could commit suicide during and after his presentation with the Soundgarden band in the show. The most sensible question that lingers in everybody’s mind including his family and relatives is why he decided to take away his precious life. There are not family or career issues associated with the act, and the conclusion from many is that Chris Cornell did not commit the suicide under his will. On the other hand, it is somehow considering the lines of some dark songs he produced which to an extent reveals that he had an idea towards his death. For instance, the one that says that do not carry over his death, but what he wants is to take him home (Strähle & Jahne-Warrior 2018).

The act of taking an overdose of the prescribed Ativan drugs is believed to be the primary cause of Chris Cornell’s suicide even though there is no evidence whether he had used other substance on top. Drugs are fundamental to peoples’ health as well as sensitive when it comes to following the simple rules of the prescriber. Ignorance can cost a lot as many people tend to console their souls that taking an overdose will assist in relieving the pain faster which is not always the case. The death of Chris Cornell was disgusting and left many souls mourning as he was such a productive and active member of the community loved by many. No one knows how the side effects of the extra Ativan which Chris Cornell took as it might have caused depression result in the thoughts of committing suicide as suggested by the autopsy.

The major life stressors that may have contributed to the suicide of Chris Cornell are depression and abuse of the substance. Depression is a threat to the well-being of many people in the world as the victims all the time see the negativity in their lives and the most probably action after this are harmful to human health. Many tend to relieve the depression through the use of drugs either prescribed by qualified professionals or through the abuse of substances such as alcohol and cannabis among many others. The case of Chris Cornell is contradictory as the investigators have not revealed a confirmatory that he committed suicide and whether he was under the influence of Ativan or had abuse any other substance. The stress event in his life such as divorce by his first wife Susan Silver and the instance when he felt a sense of not belonging in the community may also, on the other hand, played a part in developing the mental illness that lastly resulted to his death (Drum, 2017).

The family of Chris Cornell does not believe to have the history of suicide or mental illness. Therefore, there is the urgency of explicitly determining the factors the led to suicide one cannot just conclude that it is a family based matter. Can he be the one to pass the devastating action to the future generation? It is an alarming question even though such beliefs are custom and may not apply in the real-life situations. The demise of Cornell cannot be judged whether it is from family issues or not without the precise results of the toxicology test to determine whether abuse of substance caused his death. Even though he was found on the bathroom floor with a band on his neck, there was no clear evidence of what caused the decease.

According to the discussion above, it is clear that suicide hurt many and causes psychological effects to the community regarding the case of Chris Cornell demise. Therefore, it is the role of very civilian to take part in fighting mental illness such as depression and substance abuse as well as other factors are known to contribute to causing suicide. The loss of legends and productive people in the community does affect not only the family and friends but also the society at large.


Berglund, J. (2017). Imaging Depression: New Biological Markers May Mean More Targeted Treatments are Just over the Horizon. IEEE pulse, 8(6), 19-22.

Drum, D. J., Brownson, C., Hess, E. A., Burton Denmark, A., & Talley, A. E. (2017). College students’ sense of coherence and connectedness as predictors of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Archives of suicide research, 21(1), 169-184.

Pescara-Kovach, L., & Raleigh, M. J. (2017). The Contagion Effect as it Relates to Public Mass Shootings and Suicides. The Journal of Campus Behavioral Intervention, 35.

Strähle, J., & Jahne-Warrior, N. (2018). Case study: grunge music and grunge style. In Fashion & Music (pp. 51-69). Springer, Singapore.

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