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Rick Rypien suffered from depression for at least a decade before his death, according to Winnipeg Jets assistant general manager Craig Heisinger.
The 27-year-old Jets forward was found dead in his Alberta home on Monday. And although Rypien’s battles with depression were somewhat known, nobody really realized the severity of it until now. While his mental health at the time of death is anybody’s guess at this point, several of Rypien’s close confidants insist that he was feeling, or at least acting upbeat in the days leading up to this untimely event.
“We texted on Saturday morning, and he was supposed to be on his way to Winnipeg the next day,” his agent Allain Roy said. “Everything seemed positive. He was excited to get the season going, excited to get to Winnipeg and get settled in. If there were some issues, he was doing a good job of hiding them.”
Even Rypien seemed to saying all of the right things in the months leading up to this tragic event. While speaking with reporters back in March of this year, he had this to say:
"I've got a clean mind and I'm healthy, I'm happier with myself than I've ever been. I think it's going to be how I behave and how I act over time, but I'm just taking it one day at a time, and I'm more excited about hockey than I've ever been in my whole life."
Nevertheless, Heisinger appears certain that the cause of this incident can be traced to one underlying problem – Rypien’s continuous battle with depression.
“There were no drug or alcohol issues,” Heisinger said. “Depression is the right word.”
Any time a death occurs involving someone as prominent as Rypien, it forces the general public to have a very uncomfortable conversation regarding mental health and mental stability. Depression is a very serious condition that can lead sufferers down the path of no return, and as a result, children and young adults should be adequately educated on the subject so that they know that help is available to them any time they may need it.
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