What It’s Like to Live With Passive Suicidal Thoughts

Passive suicidal thoughts are not the same as active suicidal thoughts. Passive thoughts involve constantly thinking about death and even desiring death, but with no follow-through via actions; whereas active thoughts usually involve a plan or the ultimate tragedy. Each comes with their own stigmas and misinformation, so keep reading to learn what it’s actually like to live with passive suicidal thoughts.

Wanting to Die, Yet Never Following Through

Imagine waking up every day feeling like you’d rather be dead than have to face your day. Imagine a pervasive feeling of dread and an uncomfortable closeness to the idea of dying, yet never quite obtaining what you think will bring you peace. This is a day in the life of someone suffering from passive suicidal thoughts.

A passive suicidal ideation involves plenty of thoughts about death but usually doesn’t include any actions that could lead to that outcome. Passively suicidal people will often isolate themselves, becoming preoccupied with the idea of dying and even affecting the personal

relationships they share with those around them. This is mostly due to stigma and misunderstanding about passive suicidal ideations and mental health in general.

Stigma and Misunderstanding

Stigma and misunderstanding about mental health in general, but especially about depression and suicide, is widespread and dangerous. Stigma sets people suffering from mental health conditions apart from everyone else, and makes them feel like what they are going through isn’t valid enough to be recognized by the rest of the world as a problem.

Thought this article may be four years old, it’s message remains true today; too much stigma surrounds suicide and mental health and is proving to be a detriment in educating the public and providing options for those who are afflicted. Suicide is a real phenomenon, and wanting to die certainly is no laughing matter. In fact, suicide is said to claim around 800,000 people per year around the world. That’s just shy of one million.

If you’re living with passive (or active) suicidal thoughts, your condition is valid. If you know someone who is suffering from passive suicidal thoughts, it’s important to remember that what they’re feeling is real and has a profound impact on their life. Don’t be afraid to reach out, either to them or to a mental health professional on their behalf. Passive suicidal thoughts don’t always stay that way, unfortunately.

A Delicate Balance

A delicate balance exists between passive and active suicidal ideations. While active ideations usually involve self-harm in the form of deliberate actions or putting oneself in harm’s way, passive ideations are truly only a step away from this very damaging and dangerous idea.

Most passive ideations include the wish for an accident to occur that would result in a loss of life, and this can compound over time until it becomes an act rather than just a thought. Once the afflicted person passes the threshold from thought to act, you’re dealing with a very serious active suicidal ideation that should be addressed ASAP.

An active suicidal ideation should always be taken seriously, no matter how much you think you know about the person or their illness. There’s nothing more impactful than ignoring or discounting someone’s pleas or warning signs, only to learn they’ve followed through on the very act you doubted they would ever accomplish. This leads to much sorrow and regret and can be easily avoided by simply taking threats or talk seriously.

Constant Turmoil

When you’re living with constant passive suicidal thoughts, your mind is in constant turmoil. The survival instinct can be overrun by these rampant thoughts of death, causing the afflicted person(s) to lose energy, concentration, and even the will to get out of bed and go about their day.

With a mind in constant turmoil, there is no way to go about daily life. Simple tasks become monumental projects, and personal relationships fall to the wayside. This is where most people get offended and let personal pride get in the way of truly understanding the illness. Understand that those living with passive suicidal thoughts aren’t letting you fall by the wayside out of choice; they are a victim of their illness and aren’t in control of their behavior for the most part.

No Joy in Life

Imagine what it would be like to be unable to find joy in anything life has to offer. The beauty of nature, the specialness of human connection; these things fall by the wayside as suicidal ideations take over. The afflicted person no longer believes they have a place in the world, and it becomes impossible to see the beauty in anything but death as a way to end their suffering.

Would you be able to function if death was constantly on your mind? Would you be able to talk and go about your day as normal if you only wanted to die? The answer is probably no. The fact is, passive or active suicidal ideations should be taken seriously every time, or else we may have to suffer the terrible consequences of inaction.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re suffering from passive thoughts or know someone who is, it’s important to know the facts surrounding the condition and where to get help. Reach out to counselors and support groups for yourself or on behalf of someone you know that’s suffering from passive suicidal thoughts. Don’t make the mistake of not taking these thoughts seriously!

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