Depression and suicide threatening our society

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Dr. Muhsin Öznaneci, an IFMSA alumni, who worked in National and International Levels at IFMSA and he is a newly graduated MD in December 2021. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

It is gonna be hard to start like this but it was exactly a year ago exactly. The day I have been taken to ER for suicidal ideation. It wasn’t the first time in my life but it was the closest one. I had time to time ideations of suicide, even as a Medical Doctor. Hi, I am Dr. Muhsin and I committed suicide and I am a survivor.

This sentence is something I thought I would never say in public. Not because of the shame the public makes me feel, but because of the internal shame I feel that came from the public shame. We were always made to believe people who are suicidal is mentally insane. We always thought they were dangerous to themselves and to the community. Most of the time though ,this is not the case. It is mostly seen as the last resort of escape. As a patient,I thought of this but also as a MD, who worked as a General Practitioner, I intervened and also had to be the first responder and most of the patients first fear is “They will put a label on me.” This is the first place we have to start the change.

I do consider myself and my generation still young. We have more resources and medicine knows better to how to manage suicidal patients but we still have our internalized stigmas. Our community also has this too. We need public campaigns,school lectures,awareness events and maybe voluntarily talks with suicide survivors. Most of the suicide survivors in health sector are avid to talk about their journeys,I know I am not the only one. We are the ones seen as immune to this but surprise,we are not. We have just managed to survive and still overcoming. A little confession: I still struggle with suicidal ideations but I managed to navigate. I wasn’t alone though,I was nurtured and supported by my family,my friends and my colleagues which I will be grateful for.

I am going to cut short because I know this is just a article in a magazine,not a medical journal to publish my research and discuss it but we have been there,I have been there and I know I might continue to be there so if you have the passion for preventing suicide,first please destigmatize it. This might be the way our generation can finally start to prevent suicides. We also have to get into the roots of causes but we still have steps to take before them, first let’s destigmatize the last act of despair.

About the author

Dr. Muhsin Öznaneci is an IFMSA alumni, who worked in National and International Levels at IFMSA and he is a newly graduated MD in December 2021. He also worked as a pediatric surgery resident for a short time but had to quit due to health reasons. He currently works as a private consultant for drug and nutrition companies and is trying to learn German.

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