Suicide ideation or suicidal thoughts refers to thinking about or planning suicide. It is when one is preoccupied with the idea of suicide and regularly thinks about how they will take their life or how life would be once they are gone.
People experience suicidal ideation during times of stress or when dealing with physical or mental health challenges. For some, suicide ideation may be passive like wishing they would die or were dead but not have plans to end their lives.
For others, suicide ideation may be active where they are not just thinking about taking their own life, but are planning how to execute it. A 2017 survey by SAMHSA showed that 4.3% of US adults 18+ had suicide ideation.