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15 Things People Say That Are Code for 'I'm Passively Suicidal'

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Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

When you’re feeling suicidal, often just the thought of telling a loved one, “I don’t want to live anymore,” is painful and feels impossible. For this reason, people struggling may use indirect “code words” to indicate they are suicidal without actually saying the words. This may be especially true for people feeling passively suicidal.

But what does it mean to be passively suicidal?

In her piece, “Let’s Talk About the Difference Between Passive and Active Suicidal Thoughts” Mighty contributor Arya Grace explained it this way:

Being passively suicidal means you wish to die. Actively suicidal is just that — you’ve got your plan and you’re planning on going through with the plan.

It’s important to remember that just because someone doesn’t have a plan to carry out suicide doesn’t mean they don’t need help. Sometimes, these are the people we need to reach out to most because they don’t appear to be in “immediate crisis.”

No matter what reason someone has for using “code words” to hint that they are feeling passively suicidal, it’s important we talk about what kinds of phrases to look out for. Talking about these phrases can help us identify loved ones who are really struggling and get them to the resources and support they need.

To find out what people said when they were struggling, we asked members of our Mighty community to share one thing they said that really meant, “I’m passively suicidal.” Below you can see what they had to say.

Right now, there are people contemplating suicide. If you can, please take a moment to share a word of support or encouragement to someone struggling by clicking the image below. Sometimes, one word can mean the world to someone feeling suicidal.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. “I’m just tired.”

People think I need to sleep, but I really mean my mind is tired, my body is tired, I’m tired of trying.” — Lacie H.

2. “I’m having a bad time.”

“Usually when I say this, I’m suicidal. I always feel like I’m guilting people into interacting with me if I just say, ‘I’m suicidal.’” — Isaac H.

3. “It’s been one of those days.”

“‘It’s been one of those days.’ Totally goes over their heads.” — Bea H.

4. “I don’t want to be here.”

“‘I don’t want to be here.’ But it is commonly mistaken for the current location and not life.” — Elizabeth T.

5. “I don’t care.”

“‘I don’t care.’ Sometimes I just really don’t care, about anything.” — Shayna K.

6. “Can this be over now?”

“‘Can this be over now?’ I say that often, referring to chronic illnesses — ‘I’m done’ when I’m frustrated and out of options — ‘I just want to be medicated and thrown away.’ I said this to my therapist after saying everything else.” — Veronica N.

7. “I want everything to stop.”

“Another thing I say is, ‘I want everything to stop.’ When I say this I am basically trying to tell those around me that I need help. Everything becomes too much for me and it’s not that I want to die, I just don’t know how to handle everything and I just want to stop existing for a while.” — Brittany W.

8. “I have a headache.”

“When I start canceling plans a lot saying, ‘I don’t feel well’ or ‘I have a headache.’” — Zach B.

9. “No one cares about me.”

“‘No one cares about me.’ ‘I’m just a heavy burden for my family and my boyfriend…’ It’s getting better with time. But there are also rough times I’m thinking so much of that.” — Alicia O.

10. “I can’t do this anymore.”

“’I can’t do this anymore.’ People don’t understand that I can’t tolerate or cope with the overwhelming emotions.” — Amy B.

11. “This isn’t worth it.”

“‘This isn’t worth it.’ This = life, but people assume you are talking about whatever the inconvenience of the moment is.” — Trinity A.

12. “I’m not having a good day.”

“‘I’m just not feeling good’ or ‘I’m not having a good day.’ I would rather not worry people if I don’t have to, so I just tell them this. I feel they just wouldn’t understand if I really told them.” — Jaime E.

13. “I don’t want to be alone.”

“‘I don’t want to be alone.’ I say that because I’m scared I might hurt myself and I don’t trust myself in that moment.” — Tash R.

14. “It doesn’t matter.”

“In any sort of situation, instead of complaining, I say things like, ‘In the big scheme of things, this doesn’t matter’ and I mean myself.” — Sherry L.

15. “Life is my trigger.”

“I recently told my psychologist the best metaphor I could come up with. ‘Life is my trigger.’ It wasn’t subtle, but it wasn’t harsh either. He and I always talk about my depressive and manic episodes, but it’s still really hard for me to open up about my suicidal tendencies, even to him. I feel like stating it like that helped me open up a bit.” — Yoeli C.

If you think someone you know might be thinking about suicide, ask them compassionately, but directly. It’s a myth that asking someone, “Are you thinking about suicide?” will “put the idea in their head.” Opening up the conversation in a nonjudgmental way can give them the opportunity to talk about it.

Getty Images photo via Grandfailure

Originally published: February 2, 2019
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