I just read in the news that a young German ex-soccer player committed suicide, at the age of 33. Of all the articles I might read, those about suicides are the ones that impact me the most. I can only begin to understand them in the case of terminal illnesses that cause severe physical pain. I think that it should be possible for those people who suffer incredible pain, and have no hope of improvement to commit euthanasia. However we have to keep in mind that miracles certainly exist.

What matters especially to me are those suicides that are causes by emotional pain, psychological torture, a suffering mind. Isn’t there anything we can do in all this? Isn’t there an alternative?

Let’s go step by step, starting with some questions:

  1. Will there be a day in which psychotherapy will understand that in these complicated situations it is necessary to act with certain radicalness? Making it obligatory to move yourself from your chair and get into real action?
  2. Will psychiatry understand that there is a limit to medication and that, however much you keep on raising the doses or however long you keep on prescribing it, there is a moment that it stops having an effect on the patient?
  3. Will there be a day in which we understand that once thought seizes the psyche and starts to tyrannize it, when the most profound desperation invades a person, or when there is no possibility of escaping hell, you have to bring this patient back to life?
  4. This patient has fallen into the depths of the abyss, an obscure and gloomy abyss in which he can’t find his way out. Should we keep on talking to him while we administer them medication? Is that the way to drag them out of hell?
  5. The patient or his family needs to look for someone that they feel will be able to help them, and they have to ask this person, be it a doctor, psychologist or therapist, not only if he thinks he’s able to get this person to stop suffering emotional pain, but also the most important question of all: Does this specific person, move you sufficiently to go further than the strictly professional, and will you go as far as necessary to help him? Because if this person doesn’t move you internally, for whichever reason, if the countertransference of the therapist isn’t sufficiently energetic he won’t be able to help him. And it’s true, we’re all human. And that’s why in these cases of extreme pain, the person in front of us needs to reach us on a more profound level, because otherwise we’ll just work in a professional way applying techniques and general knowledge. And this is usually not enough in severe cases.  That’s why you have to bring a tormented patient back to life, you have to free him of thought and the corresponding emotion, and you have to direct them towards a personal rebirth. That is the patient needs to let the part that tormented him “die” in order to be reborn into a new person.

And how can all this be done?

In the same way a group of monkeys would do this when one of its clan members becomes depressed.  With the advantage that we, humans, have way more resources we can use. Resources which unfortunately are used sporadically, due to a septic and Victorian vision of psychotherapy.

And if you are this person that is going through a bad time, if you’re the one who’s suffering, I recommend you only two things, if not we would enter the territory of advice on the radio: awaken your spirituality and activate your body connecting it to nature.

Damián Ruiz
Psychologist (COPC)
Jungian Analyst (IAAP)
Barcelona