How do you hide your sadness from more than 110,000 people?

I may never trust a Twitter feed again.

As some of you may know, Trey Pennington took his own life earlier today. But where were the signs?

One tweet from yesterday said, “@alexanderlund Thank you. Are you in the UK? I’ll be there Thursday.”

Another said, “@jacoutofthebox Thanks Jackie. Things are great. Speaking schedule picks up big time this week through the end of the year. Yea!”

Here’s one that could have come from any of us: “@JamesAkersJr¬† Shoot. Sent that last tweet from the wrong account! Rushing to delete!”

And here is his final message via Twitter:

How could someone who seemed to be so social be hiding it so well in plain view of so many? How could he be so connected, so popular yet he couldn’t reach out to any of us in his greatest time of need? I never met Trey, but I followed him and he followed little old me back. It makes me think maybe we aren’t following each other closely enough.

My thoughts are with Trey, his family and the social media community. His close friend Jay Handler kept people informed on his Facebook page.

This is from his Trey’s Twitter Bio and I will leave you with this: Be the HERO! Conquer marketing clutter with story. Be heard. Be shared. I’ll help you discover, develop & deliver your amazing story.


I will not be taking comments on this post that do not provide insight or information on suicide prevention or related resources. The number for the 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK. Their website is

8 thoughts on “How do you hide your sadness from more than 110,000 people?

  1. Mike, I participated in the #mhsm chat last night. It happened to be about suicide since — rather ironically — it’s Suicide Prevention Week. Follow along on Twitter #suicidepreventionweek to see all kinds of conversations.

    One of the resources I learned about was, which tries to help prevent suicide internationally. Just wanted to share.

    The honesty of some people in the chat was amazing even though it was such a difficult subject for some. There were survivors there — both people who had lost loved ones or people who had survived their own attempts. The irony deepens here that social media is being used a resource for mental health but someone involved in social media perhaps didn’t have access to that resource.

  2. I couldn’t agree with Jessica more…it’s an odd (and sad) dichotomy. Well written, Mike…both you and Natascha have very poignant points and thoughts in your posts in the wake of this tragedy.

  3. Mike, a friend was debating with me on Twitter on what is the point of writing about of a famous “social media” person committing suicide when there are so many suicides and each one, of course, is tragic.

    But I beg to differ — we can learn so much from this and help survivors. Also, mental health issues, when discussed openly, can make a world of difference to anyone who suffers from depression or related disorders.

    Just today on Twitter, I discovered two hashtags, which people can follow and find huge support. The first one is #ppdchat, which is for women with post partum depression. The second one is #mhsm, which is mental health.

    I have never been suicidal but I openly discuss my past issues with anxiety and agoraphobia as well as my recovery. I try to be as transparent as possible about this in the hopes of helping others who are still stuck in that awful rut.

    There is that fine line in social media where you want to be real but also classy and not air out your dirty laundry. Every human being, I think, needs a space where he/she can feel private and protected. But Mr. Pennington’s passing and the last eerie tweet he left begs so many questions.

  4. It is beyond tragic. Clinical depression and other mood disorders are very misunderstood. They can’t be “gotten over” and they are lifelong diseases. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a great resource page on depression

    There are also support groups in most cities. Here’s the calendar for support groups in Atlanta.

    Let’s get educated so we can learn to recognize the symptoms that might lie just below the surface. It could save a life.

  5. I think the more connected you are, often the more alone you feel. And the more you think of yourself as branded/an authority/ an expert, the harder it is to tweet(etc) a call for help. I’m sure many struggle with the same issues. Very sad.

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