About Danilo Marcello Terrida
09.28.1991 – 25.10.2011
Some people have a willingness for wanting to help others. An instinct to interfere when obvious injustices occur and courage to protect those weaker than yourself. Danilo was such a person. With his innate sense of justice as a compass and his father’s Italian temperament as a springboard, he did not tolerate that younger people were bullied by older people, that people were left out from a game, or others were treated badly. He was, in other words, someone who was always there for others, someone you could trust. Despite some tough first year in his school with bullying and subsequent change of school, Danilo grew up as a happy young man and his family particularly remembers two interests that engulfed him. One was a small blue budgerigar named Speedy, which Danilo had taken care of since he was eight. Speedy has followed Danilo throughout his childhood and was almost as great source of loving annoyance for the rest of the family, as Danilo’s second interest: The Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. Him, the rest of the family have to love just as high as Danilo, the volume could not be turned up high enough when the music was put on.
In the end of his teenage years, Danilo had a burning desire to spend his working life to help and be there for other people. Having first been thinking of becoming an ambulance driver – which, however, he was too young to do – Danilo chose at age 18 to become a sailor.
A sailor in the stomach
The decision came after an amazing trip with the Training ship Denmark, where he enjoyed his time very much. Following the trip, he pursued the dream of a life as sailor and started his training to become a ship’s assistant, where part of the training took place at the Maritime College in Frederikshavn. A time that had both good and bad moments. As he was originally from Sjælland, brought up in the outskirts of Copenhagen, Frederikshavn was far away from both family and friends, and the prospect of getting home was a big bright spot on the horizon. Time passed, however, slower than Danilo wanted, and he was restless and discouraged by the often tedious everyday life in North Jutland. That is how he explained it himself, when he was regularly in touch with his brothers and parents. Most people, who have tried to be far away from home, will probably recognize the natural longing for home.
No mental illness
As Danilo had no medical history with mental health problems – and had never been on antidepressants – his way of telling about the everyday life in Frederikshavn made no alarm bells ring in the family’s or friend’s head. Danilo was in the every sense an ordinary young man of 20 years who had never given any reason to fear that he would kill himself. It was never a thought. And this is precisely what the story of Danilo is about. Nothing in his history or in the adversity he had experienced in the past, pointed towards an act as extreme as suicide. The extreme act came Friday, October 14, 2011, when Danilo over the phone and without examination, was prescribed antidepressants – also known as “happy pills” – from the brand Sertraline.
After a few days, the medicine affected his brain in a way that is completely against his nature. The side effects affected him, and he could not find neither the justice in his condition, nor find the temper inside him to overcome the power of the “happy pills”. 11 days after he first took the medicine, he took his own life. This is an action, which in any way is unidentifiable with Danilo, who was known by family, friends and most importantly himself – as a loved person.