Passive suicidal ideation is when someone thinks about or wishes for death without actually planning to end their life. Passive suicidal ideation is distinctly different from active suicidal ideation. Active suicidal ideation is when you think about specific ways in which to end your own life. Put simply, active suicidal ideation involves a plan to harm yourself, whereas passive suicidal ideation does not come with any plan for suicide.
Passive suicidal ideation is often a result of feelings of depression or anxiety. Many people who live with chronic mood disorders may become passively suicidal several times throughout their lives. For some, passively suicidal thoughts are so common that they may not recognize it as an issue.
While having passively suicidal thoughts doesn’t put you at immediate risk of ending your own life, it still presents a dangerous situation. Passively suicidal individuals are more likely to engage in reckless behaviors without regard for their own health or safety. They’re also at risk of progressing to more active suicidal ideations.
Examples of Passive Suicidal Ideations
Everyone who has passive suicidal thoughts experiences them differently. Some might daydream about dying in an accident or passing away in their sleep. Others might have recurring thoughts that they wish they didn’t exist. Examples of passive suicidal ideations include:
- “I just don’t want to live anymore. It’s just too hard.”
- “I wish I was never born.”
- “I hope this plane crashes.”
- “My family would be better off if I wasn’t around anymore.”
- “I hope I die in my sleep.”
If you’ve had these thoughts or something similar, there are ways to get help and start feeling better. Start by discussing your thoughts and feelings with a close friend or loved one—someone you can trust. Expressing those feelings can help make them easier to manage. After that, make a plan to seek out professional help. Working with mental health professionals can create long-term, positive changes, letting you put this stressful chapter behind you forever.
If you’re concerned about a loved one experiencing suicidal thoughts, take time to learn about the different risk factors and warning signs. Every person is different, and the more you know, the better your chances of intervening before somebody gets hurt.
If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Call or text 988 to speak to someone who cares.