Friday, March 1, 2013

DiPietro's demons

Better late than never, Rick DiPietro took his demons out for a walk yesterday.
Nearly three weeks after Bell's "Let's Talk" day for mental health advocacy, the much-maligned and oft-ridiculed goaltender revealed in a television interview that he has entertained suicidal thoughts during his 13 year descent from number one overall NHL draft pick to New York Islanders castoff. DiPietro subsequently tried to downplay his comments, suggesting they were exaggerated to illustrate how important his wife's support has been to him. Still, it's difficult to not take a guy at his word when he muses about driving his car into a tree or off a bridge, especially just seconds after DiPietro calmly and deliberately said the Islanders "ripped my heart out, stabbed it, set it on fire and flushed it down the toilet" when they placed him in waivers and demoted him to the minor leagues.
Obviously, DiPietro would have been better served speaking privately to a mental health professional, and reserving any public comments for after he received the appropriate help and care, a la Clara Hughes, Michael Landsberg and other high profile celebrities who've openly discussed their battles against depression. DiPietro's belated attempt at damage control smacks of denial, but that he got his demons out there - no matter how awkwardly and on however dubious a platform - is the first step in the right direction.

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