The authors do not guarantee for the completeness or correctness of the information on this page! This page is not meant to encourage suicide. Whatever you do, you do at your own risk!
A failed suicide attempt may result in serious permanent disability like in this case: Mum’s heartbreaking photos of son starved of oxygen after suicide attempt
Suicidal hanging is the act of fully or partially suspending one's body with the help of a ligature such that the body weight causes certain parts of the body to press against the ligature, resulting in death. This article discusses the most widely encountered variety of hanging in which parts of the neck are compressed.
Mechanisms of death
In hanging, several mechanisms of death are possible, in particular:
- closing the carotid and possibly the vertebral arteries, significantly reducing the flow of oxygenated blood into the head
- closing the jugular veins, preventing the outflow of deoxygenated blood from the head, leading to congestion in head blood vessels, which may involve the unpleasant sensation of an exploding head, popping out eyes or falling out teeth
- closing the windpipe, causing suffocation
- carotid sinus reflex death.
Usually, the first of the aforementioned is intended.
Whatever is used should have a sufficient specified breaking strain and be static, i.e. should not stretch. If a noose is used, on the one hand, the ligature should easily slide through it so it closes well, but on the other hand, it should not come undone easily when the force on the rope is reduced.
Forum members have suggested using a (static climbing) rope, (normal, bathrobe, martial arts) belt—but not a low quality one purchased at a discount store—, necktie (“soft and you can black out quickly with low pain”), scarf, dog leash and extension cord.
Support (anchor point)
It is very important to make sure the support is of sufficient strength.
Doorway pull-up bar; staircase; door knob (rope tied over the door to the other side), facing opposite of door; tree branch; resistance bands door anchor attachment; over the door hook (hook itself may be too weak though); bar in closet; door frame resistance holder; bedframe; wardrobe.
Ceiling fans and lighting fixtures may not provide sufficient support and should therefore not be used .
While a fixed loop can work too, a noose would generally appear to be safer. The slipknot is a frequently suggested knot. Friction can be reduced by using a metal ring  or a carabiner. Unless a long drop hanging is planned, the hangman's knot shouldn't be used, as it causes too much friction.
The rope can be attached to a round pole with a snuggle hitch.
Level of the neck
Forum members frequently recommend to place the noose high up the neck. However, some disagree.
- “High on the neckline above the trachea was causing me to cough and I couldn't breathe properly because anytime I went to swallow and my trachea had to raise, it was unable to due to being blocked by the cord.”
- “Placing it approx in the middle of the neck while tilting my head downwards solved everything for me, passing out within seconds.”
- recommends placing the noose at the base of the neck, causing mild build up of pressure while avoiding irritation of the throat, which is protected by muscles at that point.
Khokhlov (2001) calculated the weight of suspension with the following results:
- Standing > 65% of bodyweight
- Kneeling 64-74%
- Sitting 17-32%
- Recumbent < 18%.
- Everyone's body and every hanging are different. What works for one person might not work for another. Extensive experimentation may be required to find out what works best with limited pain. Carotid compression may be easier in a skinny neck than in a chubby one.
- Test setup by pulling up yourself on rope with hands
- Remove slack in rope after putting noose around neck and tightening to resting neck circumference
- Relax neck muscles
- Pretighten noose, compressing neck swiftly and strongly. Settle into noose hard and fast, relaxing all your weight into the noose all at once, instead of “pussyfooting around and easing my weight in” . estimates that the neck circumference needs to be compressed by at least 20%.
- Tilt head downwards
- To reduce rope burn pain, pad neck with piece of cloth, etc.
- To overcome survival instinct, pretend you are practicing, each time going a bit further; or combine with masturbation
- If still conscious after a minute, abort attempt
- “Waking up” from partial hanging “gasping for air, heart racing, not knowing what just happened”
- Found too early
- Ligature snaps or anchor point collapses under bodyweight
- The Question of Pain in Hanging, Popular Science Monthly, Volume 13, July 1878
- Nicolae S. Minovici, Étude sur la pendaison (Study on Hanging, French)
- Section of the neck
- Sauvageau et al., “Agonal Sequences in Eight Filmed Hangings: Analysis of Respiratory and Movement Responses to Asphyxia by Hanging”, J Forensic Sci, 2010
- Auto-Asphyxiation: HOW "SIPHON EFFECT" KILLS (Youtube)
- Swedish Man Commits Suicide and Broadcasts it Live on the Internet News articleabout his suicide
- How to hang yourself thread
- V. D. Khokhlov, “Calculation of tension exerted on a ligature in incomplete hanging”, Forensic Sci Int, 123:172-177, 2001
- "Steven"'s Suspension Hanging Reference
- Choosing a dignified ending. Thoughts, experiments, and notes on choosing suicide by hanging