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Depression, The Pistons' Matt Dobek, And Why We Should Pay Attention

You probably haven't heard the name Matt Dobek. I hadn't until about a week ago, when news broke that he'd taken his own life. He worked in the Detroit Pistons PR department, as a liaison between players and media. He was let go a few months ago as part of a larger purge by ownership. That's when things began to deteriorate.

In today's Detroit Free-Press, Michael Rosenberg remembers Dobek's last days:

...when I talked to Matt shortly after he was fired, he seemed lost, and not just in ways you might expect. It wasn't just that he needed a job. He sounded like he didn't know what to do with himself. He had worked for the Pistons for 29 of his 51 years and suddenly he must have felt that it meant a lot more to him than it did to them.

His funeral took place Saturday.

It's all a chilling reminder of depression's potential to paralyze, engulfing lives in an instant, and leaving the rest of us shaking our heads in the aftermath. It's a serious problem that all too often goes undiagnosed; moments like these remind us of the inherent gravity of it all.

So, if you have a second, enjoy Rosenberg's eulogy today.

Not just because remembering Dobek reminds us of all the random players in life that brighten our days with an easy smile or a favor, but because remembering Dobek reminds us to pay attention to warning signs, lest we lose those easy smiles, and allow one of life's good guys to drown in a self-made cascade of doom.

We can all do better than that. If not for Matt Dobek, then for someone in the future.