Unfortunately, there are several ways that adults try to commit suicide. Hanging is one of them. Why do people choose it? It's a form of strangulation that usually involves a noose or length of rope or fabric. The noose compresses the airway, which stops the oxygen from flowing into the lungs, and it also compresses the carotid arteries, which prevent blood from flowing into the brain. The result is asphyxia. Though hanging in children is usually an accident – such as getting tangled up in clothes or a harness – hanging in adults is often suicide. But why do some people hang themselves? Here are some of the reasons why they might choose to do this.
Why Do People Hang Themselves?
They Think It Will Be Easy
Many people who choose to hang themselves see it as a sure and fast way to die, without them ever being conscious of the fact that they are dying. They believe it will be relatively painless and will lead to a completed suicide. For many, however, this is not the case.
They Think It Is Simple to Do
The things it takes to hang themselves are easy to find, as the most common household items and clothing can be used for hanging. When the materials aren't hard to find, those who are suicidal might go the route that is easiest, rather than looking for methods that are going to delay their decision.
It Is Considered "Clean" by Some
Unlike death by gunshot or the like, hanging is considered to be a cleaner method with no blood or obvious damage to the body. This is usually chosen by those who don't want to leave a trauma for others to experience or don't want to alter the appearance of their bodies. However, sometimes this does not work out as they had planned.
It Happens in Pursuit of Sexual Pleasure
When looking at why people choose to hang themselves, researchers have found that many hanging "suicides" are actually accidents that happened during sexual play. Autoerotic asphyxiation, or cutting off their oxygen while masturbating to enhance sexual pleasure, can often lead to passing out. Then the victim cannot loosen the noose, and they die of suffocation.
What Happens When Someone Hangs Himself?
When someone chooses to hang themselves, they usually die from the fact that the carotid arteries are compressed, which means they aren't getting any blood to the brain. Many people do not die immediately, but linger for a while before their brain stops working – which can be a very slow and painful way to go. When someone is hanged, their body has certain marks that make it clear what happened. There is furrowing around the neck, where the fabric or noose dug in tightly. The longer than hanging, the deeper the furrow will be. There is also significant bruising around the neck.
How Long Does It Take to Die from Hanging?
Usually within 20 seconds or up to one minute, consciousness is lost due to the lack of oxygen to the lungs, true death – where the heart stops beating and the brain dies – might take anywhere from five to twenty minutes. Someone who is found quickly might be able to survive their suicide attempt, but they might have brain damage that affects them for the rest of their lives. However, those who do not die from the pressure on the carotid arteries might face a much more painful struggle as their breath is cut off. Some might suffer injuries to the spinal cord or neck as well.
How to Prevent Suicide from Hanging
Suicide prevention begins with noticing that person and asking questions. How is their life going? Are they thinking of ending it? Have they tried it before? Do they have a plan? Do they have the means to carry out their plan? Asking these questions will not make someone suicidal nor will it push them to do it – rather it will give them an opportunity to open up and talk about what is hurting them so much.
Warning signs include a person talking about suicide, feeling worthless, getting the means to commit suicide, serious mood swings, getting their affairs in order, doing risky things, giving away treasured belongings, looking into their life insurance policy rules, saying goodbye to those they love, seeming to suddenly be happy after a long period of depression, or going through personality changes. Any of these signs warrants serious consideration and watchfulness of friends and family.
You can call suicide prevention lifeline 1-800-273-8255 which is available 24 hours every day to seek help from professional and trained staff.