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Wade Belak’s mother says he suffered from depression

Sep 2, 2011, 11:15 PM EDT

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Wade Belak AP

Wade Belak’s tragic death has created debate and discussion throughout the hockey world.

From seeing other former players come out and put pressure on the NHL and NHLPA to do things to better assist players to the league and the union saying they’ll team up to start improving things, it’s been a terrible summer for the league and for those who care for its players.

As for what ailed Wade Belak, who’s believed to have committed suicide, his mother says that he suffered silently with the same issue that addled Rick Rypien: Depression.

James Mirtle from The Globe & Mail shares the story.

 Speaking from Nashville, where Belak’s funeral will be held Sunday afternoon, Lorraine Belak told the CBC on Friday that the family believed he was in “control” of the problem.

“I think he was taking control of that,” she said. “We didn’t talk about it all the time, or a lot.

“It’s extremely difficult to wrap our heads around this. But we are trying to cope the best we can.”

Two players dead over the course of a month and both dealt with depression problems. Depression is a difficult problem because many who suffer from it do so privately never wanting to put on a public face that shows pain. Others don’t want to their family and friends to worry about them.

In Belak’s case, given what others have said about him after his death, many never seemed to know that he was struggling with depression. With his mother saying she knew as well as TSN host Michael Landsberg also confirming Belak’s personal ordeal, it shows how an illness like this can go unnoticed and unknown by even those that work with him daily.

It’s so sad to see these things come to a head in such terrible ways. Seeing someone get to a point where they feel their only escape is to end their own life is the most tragic and terrible situation and one that affects everyone around them after the fact. Getting players and people the help they need when they feel hopeless is something that hockey fans are getting to know all too much about now.

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