Working On Us – Week 16 – Passive Suicidal Ideation

illustration of a brain encircled by the words mental health matters

It’s now week 16 of the Working On Us series over at Beckie’s Mental Mess.  Please visit Beckie’s post to see the guidelines for participation.

This week’s topic is passive suicidal ideation.  For anyone, the difference between passive and suicidal ideation is essentially I wish I was dead (passive) vs. I want to kill myself (active).


Prompt #1

Write a narrative about yourself and/or someone you know that is believed to think… “Passive Suicidal Ideation”

I’ve had passive suicidal ideation as part of my depression.  For me it would typically start with passive and then build up to active, then eventually drop back down to passive before dying down entirely.  I don’t think I’ve ever had passive SI that that carried on on its own without becoming active.

I also have no particular attachment to life, although I wouldn’t consider that passive SI.  It’s not that I think I would be better off dead; it’s just that if I knew for whatever reason I was going to die tomorrow I’d be fine with that.  For me, I frame that in a very different way vs. thinking oh, wouldn’t it be nice if I happened to get run over the next time I cross the street (which I’d consider passive SI).


Prompt #2 

Can You Relate To The Following Song by Kyle Spratt “Suicide Notes” If so, please explain?

It’s interesting to note that this video was posted in 2010 and it’s had 6.45 million views.  You actually have to go to the Youtube site to watch it, and first you have to acknowledge a warning that it’s been flagged as inappropriate/offensive.

The written lyrics can be found here:

Before the song takes a turn at the very end, it’s got a strong fuck you world, fuck you other people feel to it.  When I’ve been suicidal it’s never had that kind of teen angsty element to it.

I think there’s a danger in singing about suicide, even more so than writing about it.  The artist seems to be going for an Eminem style, and the song has a catchiness to it.  I think there’s a danger with that kind of thing that it will reinforce suicidal ideation in people who are already experiencing it.  I know that when I’m suicidal I play anti-suicide songs on repeat but interpret them as pro-suicide.



There a list of crisis resources here.

Safety plan for suicide prevention from Mental Health @ Home


This safety plan for suicide prevention is available as a free download from the MH@H Store.

30 thoughts on “Working On Us – Week 16 – Passive Suicidal Ideation”

  1. Ashley, as alway, I thank you again for participating on “Working on Us”, Week #16, obviously being are sensitive subject matter. Personally, I had been nothing but on active mode for nearly a year before I was hospitalized in 2015. Since then, I have definitely had moments where I have thought about suicide… I don’t think that feeling goes away or turns off like a switch. I count my blessings that I don’t concentrate on it day in and out, plotting and planning my demise anymore.
    As far as the song prompt, I was actually stunned how many songs actually refer to suicide. I was actually disgusted when I listened to this particular song, because it does have a “Fuck this shit” attitude.
    When suicidal, I never once thought, “Fuck this shit”, I simply felt dead already, numb, a void, blank. No anger, no more emotion.
    But, it’s song like this, that younger kids listen to and think it’s so cool. When all it’s doing is telling young people it’s all good to kill themselves when the tough get going.
    Thank you again for participating, Ashley.
    I sincerely hope that you’re alright… I read Meg’s comment, and I have to agree… You haven’t sounded happy about anything in a really long time.

    1. I agree about that song. Sending the message to young people that suicide is the thing to do is a major problem.

      As for me, I guess that’s just the reality of treatment-resistant depression. It’s there, and it is what it is.

  2. I learn so much here. There is actually a name for what I am thinking / feeling for a long time? So I’m not the only one, I mean if there even is a word …. my world opens a lot. Thank you.

  3. I also experience suicidal ideation, active and passive. Lately I haven’t experienced it much, but I still struggle to find a reason to want to live that isn’t really to stop other people being upset. Now I’ve started writing fiction again I do feel that that’s something I really want to focus on and could do, but that’s only happened in the last couple of months and I’m worried that if I get hit badly with writer’s block, the old feeling will come back.

    I wasn’t aware of that song. It reminded me a bit of Can’t Stand Losing You by The Police which ends with the singer saying he’s going to kill himself to guilt-trip his ex. I think the BBC refused to play that song (which, pre-download, was a big blow to a song’s chance of charting in this country), although according to Wikipedia the problem was the cover, which showed the Police drummer apparently hanging himself. I like The Police, but I don’t really listen to that song, it’s just too much.

    1. Wow, if the song wasn’t enough on its own, the cover sounds really offensive.

      The idea of living for the sake of other people is hard to keep going on when there isn’t a more intrinsic motivator.

  4. I think you are remarkable! Reading your insights into mental and emotional health is very thought provoking and it always makes me think of those I have known who may not have expressed their thoughts and feelings, but were clearly struggling. My mind is always busy after reading your incredibly enlightening posts.

  5. I agree that songs about suicide can be dangerous. There a song about I heard on the radio that is about committing suicide. Even though it focuses on regretting doing it, it still makes me think about wanting to hurt myself when I hear it

  6. I also think it’s not a good idea to have songs which are about suicide. I would bring people on ideas and feel bad. I feel the same with 13 reasons why or any other form

  7. Thank you for your works on suicide Ashley, something I really struggle with. Daily ideations and fantasies as well as attempts as illustrated in Not Once Have I Died on my blog. A terrible stigma is still attached and it’s plain wrong in today’s society. Take care, S x

Leave a Reply