This article was written exclusively for The European Sting by Dr. Muhsin Öznaneci, an IFMSA alumnus, who has worked nationally and internationally at IFMSA and is a recent medical graduate as of December 2021. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Associations. of Medical Students. (IFMSA), friendly partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the IFMSA’s point of view on the subject, nor that of The European Sting.
It’s going to be hard to start like this, but it was exactly exactly a year ago. The day I was taken to the ER for suicidal ideation. It wasn’t the first time in my life, but it was the closest. I had thoughts of suicide from time to time, even as a doctor. Hello, I am Dr. Muhsin and I committed suicide and I am a survivor.
This phrase is something I thought I would never say in public. Not because of the shame that the public makes me feel, but because of the internal shame that I feel that comes from the public shame. We have always been led to believe that suicidal people are mentally insane. We always thought they were dangerous to themselves and to the community. Most of the time, however, this is not the case. It is mainly seen as the last resort of escape. As a patient, I thought about this, but also as a doctor, working as a general practitioner, I stepped in and also had to be the first responder and most patients’ first fear is “I’m going to be labeled.” This is the first place we have to initiate change.
I consider myself and my generation still young. We have more resources and medicine knows better how to handle suicidal patients, but we still have our internalized stigmas. Our community also has this. We need public campaigns, school conferences, awareness events, and maybe volunteer talks with suicide survivors. Most suicide survivors in the healthcare industry are eager to talk about their journeys, I know I’m not the only one. We are the ones who are seen as immune to this, but surprise, we are not. We just survived and continue to overcome. A small confession: I still struggle with suicidal ideas, but I managed to navigate. However, I was not alone, my family, friends, and colleagues nurtured and supported me, for which I will be grateful.
I’m going to keep it short because I know this is just a journal article not a medical journal to publish my research and discuss it but we’ve been there I’ve been there and I know I could continue to be there so if you have the passion to prevent suicide, first please destigmatize it. This could be the way our generation can finally start to prevent suicides. We also have to go to the root of the 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 alumnus, worked nationally and internationally at IFMSA and is a newly graduated medical doctor in December 2021. He also worked as a pediatric surgery resident for a short time but had to resign due to reasons of Health. He currently works as a private consultant for pharmaceutical and nutrition companies and is trying to learn German.