It’s 3:47pm Pacific Time on Sunday, September 4, 2011. Eight hours ago, Trey Pennington sent this Tweet.
Soon after, he committed suicide.
I do not know how. Nor is that really the point. What compelled me to write this is the grim reminder that the disease of depression is a cruel beast. It does not discriminate. It takes no prisoners.
Expressions of grief and shock cascaded across the Internet on blog posts on Twitter or, most hauntingly, on the wall of Trey’s Facebook profile. Many people had no idea that Trey suffered from any sort of mental anguish or perhaps diagnosed condition that would lead to such a tragedy. Sadly that’s how depression works. It is insidious in its approach and vicious in its impact.
Part of the issue I believe is that people toss around the statement that they are “depressed” when what they really mean is that they are temporarily down in the dumps about a situation or experience. This differs greatly from someone who genuinely suffers from the clinically diagnosable condition of depression. Those who do usually are masters of disguise, maintaining a perfect facade to those around them … and sadly a part of the condition is that one feels as though they have no one who cares.
Depression can be detected, diagnosed and, more importantly, it can be treated. There are myriad studies and research groups exploring this disease as well, seeking even more knowledge to expand the options for those who suffer.
If there is one good thing that can come from Trey’s death perhaps it is that someone out there who currently suffers can get help they need. If you have someone in your life who you think may be in trouble, don’t wait until it’s too late.
To those of you who knew Trey, my deepest condolences and prayers that you get through this difficult time.