Jonny Dorey's parents urge people to talk about feelings

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The parents of a missing VCU British exchange student are moving forward not knowing exactly what happened to their son.

Debbie and Alan Dorey planted a tree in Jonny's memory Friday at VCU. They believe their son killed himself because he was depressed and they want to make sure no one else goes through this kind of pain.

The Doreys say Jonny wasn't one to talk about his emotions. Richmond psychologist, Dr. Alan Entin, says that's quite common in young men. The Doreys urged people to find a way to open up.

The Doreys say their son Jonny had no trouble holding deep conversations on most topics. But when it came to his own feelings, he wasn't comfortable speaking to anyone, even family.

"He couldn't open up to his parents, he couldn't open up to his friends; kept it inside for so long," said Debbie Dorey, Jonny's mother. 

"Jonny seemed okay in the weeks before he disappeared. He was stressed about the work, but never said he was worried about anything else," said AlanDorey, Jonny's father.

But after looking at his Facebook postings and his diary, his parents believe a mental breakdown led Jonny to take his own life when he disappeared in Richmond back in March.

"They probably won't have closure not knowing what their son was depressed about what he was thinking feeling," said Dr. Alan Entin.

Dr. Entin says young men in particular have a hard time putting their feelings into words and instead act out.

"Often impulsive behavior - drinking and drugs and speeding in cars," said Dr. Entin.

Key signs like withdrawal may save a life.

"Take them seriously. Get them some help," said Dr. Entin.

The Doreys urge parents and young people to open up---in person. 

"Get off Facebook and talk to each other. Everyone's on the internet but let's find the old ways of conversation," said Debbie Dorey.

A challenge in this world of instant communication with Twitter and Facebook.

"I just think that all of those ways of communicating are so impersonal, so distant - you really lose that connection to people," said Dr. Entin.

Jonny Dorey's body still hasn't been found. Although, VCU police did recover his backpack on the dock near Rocketts Landing. Police say this is still an open missing persons case. 

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