Passive Suicidal Ideation

The big S-word in bipolar circles and amongst our families.  Don’t talk about it because that means your thinking about it and that’s some sort of sign that you need to be locked up to protect yourself from yourself.  Considering 15% of bipolar people having a risk of committing suicide, I think it’s something we should talk about, and be able to talk openly about.  Without your trained responses of “Do you have a plan”, ” Do you plan on acting on this plan”.  No you quack!  I have a great fear that I could fall to this beast, and it is healthy to talk about our fears, right?  I have a fear of talking about this fear to my therapist because I don’t want to be locked up, but I need to talk about these things.

I have been plagued by suicidal thoughts to a varying degree my whole life.  Now that I am functioning in a bit more of a shit-together healthy space, I can recognize them for what they are, what are they?  Not mine.  Not me.  They are the dragon’s thoughts and they are quick and not fully formed.  Intersections and bridges are danger areas for these thoughts.  What is called passive suicidal ideation.  It is in the back of your mind, but not something you dwell upon. Definitions are vague online, I couldn’t actually find one worth copy and pasting, no great article to enlighten us.  Apparently ‘Fleeting” is the keyword. When I get them sometimes it’s like another person’s internal monologue intruding on my own.  That’s why I dissociate it to a dragon.  An uncontrollable raging beast who finds his treasure and sleeps in a cave in the back of the mind.   The dangerous part for m has been when I was unable to recognize them for what they were.  I spent years as a teenager plagued by these thoughts to such a degree I thought I should die, drinking and drugs ensued with actions considered to be ‘passive suicidal actions’.  Ambiguous actions which tend to be self-destructive, but not actively, and is, at time, considered to depict suicidal intent. Instances of these actions include failing to feed oneself or to participate in basic self-care.

Psychology Dictionary: What is PASSIVE SUICIDE? definition of PASSIVE SUICIDE (Psychology Dictionary)  Link For You My Friends

I could see how drinking oneself to sleep every night and waking up to drink in the middle of the night could be construedDSC_1014 as a passive attempt at death and definitely there was self-punishment involved.  I’ve been mostly sober for ten years now, from booze.  Totally clean from all else since May of 2004.  I know the day, not because I’m in AA, but because that is when I found out I was pregnant with my beautiful ten year old daughter.  Nothing changes your life like becoming a mother.

The thoughts and urges for all those things are still there, but I have a lot of motivation to fight it now.  It also helps to recognize them for what they are and to know that they don’t rule me and I can fight them back.

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6 thoughts on “Passive Suicidal Ideation

  1. I never knew there was a term for this. I have said “passively suicidal” to my closest friends when I was partying way too hard, getting behind the wheel when I was far off from sober (something I am now ashamed of), snorting god knows what, and even more “benign” things like neglecting a seatbelt and being a not-so-watchful pedestrian. I had demons in my mind, and I didn’t want to kill myself, but I didn’t give a damn if I died. Upping my chances significantly seemed like a no-brainer. No I’m a health nut, sober, and all of this seems so in the past. I do still have suicidal ideation at times. It is just part of being bipolar, I think, for some of us. But I know that it’s not me, like you said. Thanks for this post.

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  2. I’ve only recently realized that I’m passively suicidal. I never even considered this possibility until a therapist used the words, I did some research, and found my words in someone else’s post. “I would never be so selfish as to commit suicide,” “I think my kids and wife need and depends on me (they do),” “I continue to struggle because to do otherwise is to commit the only unforgivable sin.” How could I have been so blind? I eat like hell, smoke, drink to excess, do drugs (after the kids and wife are in bed or at times they’re not around) and generally think he life would be better if I weren’t such a burden on them. Hell, they’d get a huge life insurance payout that would be cancelled if I did it actively! On top of that, why would I want to continue to try to live longer when every moment is torment? Yes, even the moments I’m with them. Only those moments are SLIGHTLY more tolerable because I love them so much. Ugh. I’ve got to disk to my therapist again..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling. Every day that is a struggle for me and I just don’t think I will make it through, and I catch myself doing something like not putting on my seatbelt, I think of my kids and how much they need me. That pulls me through the tough times, to get to the good times. The psych ache you feel that keeps it so hard to keep going can pass and a new life can open up for you. It takes time though, and time moves so slow when you feel so bad. Seeking treatment is the best thing you can be doing for yourself and your family. Its a long road and by no means easy but you can do this. I recall when I was initially diagnosed, I was near hysterical with the reality of it all, and how close I had come to being lost. But I made it through and I continue to fight. You have to fight too.

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