Picture © Irina Santos

World Suicide Prevention Day is celebrated on 10 September. Suicide can be prevented. We are told this. But beyond prevention, there is suicidal ideation. Those ideas that come to you and settle in your conscience to make your life impossible. I interpret suicidal ideas as torture of the mind. As if you flogged yourself or as a way to punish your existence.

To exist is something difficult to define.

Who am I? What am I doing here? Who loves me? Who hates me? How important is my existence? What can I contribute to the world? What’s happening to me? What shall I do? What is the reason to exist?

These are not easy questions to answer and they contain a lot of philosophy. The reasons for living are mysterious. However, sometimes the reasons for living are not very easy to assume either by one or the other. I think, to a great extent, we owe our existence to our parents who conceived us. But often, even that is not enough reason to explain what are we doing on this planet. I read an interview with a neuropsychologist who said that “the meaning of life is unknown.” But what I am saying is that I do not know which is my mission on earth.

In any case, when I have had ideas about committing suicide, which I had very often and even now they come back to me sometimes… when I have had suicidal thoughts I have stuck to my parents and their reasons to bring me into the world. I believe that I have a mission in this life. But there are other people that even do not believe they have it. It is very hard to analyze yourself and to conclude that your existence has no reason to be and that in this life you have no escape but disappear forever.

The stars say it: you are the ones who are fleeting,” says a phrase that runs through social networks. Of course, stars live millions of years, while we last for a century, at most.

Suicidal ideas occur in both high and low social classes. In my opinion, it is more difficult to survive for the ones who come from lower classes than for those who come from high social classes which will always receive more support.

Not everybody has suicidal thoughts. There is a mental disorder after more than 90% of suicides. What does this tell us? Thought, ideas and emotions get sick, so a person who tries to commit suicide, succeeding or not, is a person who suffers. Mainly he has very recurrent ideas regarding his disappearance from the face of the earth. Recurrent, obsessive and repetitive ideas, in a such a way that a person who attempts suicide is a prisoner of his mind and his environment does not understand him, nor pay enough attention to him. He is a victim of mental disorder and suicidal thoughts or ideas.

As far as I know, people who have tried to commit suicide are people who have suffered a lot in life, young or old, and they deserve more attention than they get. I know about a person who had a brain tumor, who suffered very strong headaches and committed suicide. We all know the case of Robin Williams, who had a disease that was hardly curable and committed suicide.

Some have fulfilled their mission, others see no escape from suffering, excessive suffering or pain, others do it because their sick mind sends messages about putting an end to their lives. If prevention can be done, I would say that people with mental disorders have better prospects for prevention. If only they would spread to the world that the brain can become ill and, as a consequence, thoughts and emotions can produce ideas of suicide (that we should not believe) and these ideas can lead us to try to commit suicide, maybe those people who try it would be saved on time and would get attention and be treated appropriately. Eckhart Tolle says: “You are not your thought, you are much more than that”.

I hope and I wish that if suicide has genetic roots, as some people claim, the treatment that can stop it is found. In the meantime, I dream of a society that stigmatizes less people who have tried it, and who understands and empathizes with those who have suicidal thoughts. Salvation comes from talking openly, and it is a subject of public debate.

Dani Ferrer