Suicide. Personal impressions after a seminar on suicide in the Schön clinic of psychiatry in Hamburg.

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Suicide. Personal impressions after a seminar on suicide.

Nervous, sad, confused and a little shocked was I this afternoon after this suicide seminar. Of course, it is well known, people with severe depressions are so tired of life, so full of inside pain and hopelessness, they can hardly stand that anymore. A deadly sickness that is. In Germany 10.000 people commit suicide each year. Most of them had psychiatric disorders from anorexia, addictions, depression and schizophrenia. And: Did you know? The older people are concerned even more.  

But today the doctor of psychotherapy explained the case of a 32-years old patient who was on his way up, he had an academic education, friends, sport, medical treatment, therapy, physical health ... and took his life away still.

It is the unsaid, that works us sometimes.

And a therapist can do a lot, but never completely look inside a human soul. The 25 therapists listening today were touched and also the case had an ugly face in the form of a father who instead of grieving now fights against the therapist without any factual basis as no "mistake" was made in the treatment, it just did not save this soul. And that is the felt "Supergau", the worst case, that many students are afraid of and one of the reasons why psychiatry is not the most favourite subject under medicine students.

What, if you do all you can and still a patient wants to leave this world? Something that is perhaps one of the hardest things to face: You can help the most, but not all patients. Horrifying for young doctors. Is that something to live with? Have to. This risk should not keep me away from becoming a doctor of psychotherapy.

One of the reasons why I have this fascination for psychiatry is definitely my own family history. When I was a child, I was brought up with my psychotic aunt "Ingeborg" like a weird sister, who then later killed herself. A lot of uncles and aunts did so in lots of ways – I did not even get to know them before they commited suicide. I developed that longing to understand and somehow to safe lifes from that deadly emotional stream of sadness and dispair. Not only that. From my own former crisis I kept the gift of sympathy. I know some deapth, lots of shades of black and I am grateful to have experienced a lot of healing in my personal life, too. The love in the spoken word, the listening and in the attention, the skilled look of a good therapist really can save lifes. I see it each day how people come, and most of them, when they leave the clinic, are a lot better, more stable and can go on with their ambulant therapy and go on working on their strength from home.

It is the unsaid that often works us, leads us.

Shocking to get to know people who do hardly appear as sick as they are. There is a man carrying a bullet in his lung from the attemps to shoot himself when he was young, do not believe you would see any of his desease. I heard of nightmares of patients, traumta that are sometimes worse than the horror films out there. Let me close this for today. Right now I feel I could write the whole night through with all my input from my internship in medicine. For today let me say:

Please do not leave your shadow unlooked at, please shine some light on the abyss of your pain and make it heal. In words, spoken, written or in music or arts. Healing and happiness is your birth right.

You are ment to be happy.

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