«I want to commit suicide»

Suicide мethods. Suicide without rose-colored spectacles

Pathoanatomists could not accept the fact that human being is a unit.

(Valentine Domil)


Some people think that suicide is heroic and nice act in own way. TV misrepresents death on the screen and by doing it trains us to inadequate attitude towards this action. The painted image of death is far from reality. Person imagines that people who knows him or her, would still have respect after suicide and keep in memories only good deeds and grieve: ‘Why has person gone? What is our fault?’ In dreams person sees young and nice dead body in the coffin, body without signs of old age…

But in real life it happens rare. It occurs differently more often. The following is happening to people depending on this or that suicide method.


Suicide methods: Poisoning

In 1944 famous Hollywood actress Lupe Veles, who was 36 years old at that time, decided to suicide. Being a person of a creative profession, she made a nice scenario in order to die in the prime of her beauty and fame. She put flowers around her bed, took a shower, got on lovely blue négligé. A whole lot of medicine was drunk by expensive cognac and she lay down on luxurious couch. But everything went wrongly and not in accordance with planned scenario.

In few minutes the normal reaction of the organism took place: unchecked vomiting started. Her nice dress and everything around were in the contents of the stomach. The room was full of smell of vomiting. Overturning flowers on her way, she run to the bathroom. There she slipped at the contents of her stomach and struck her head against a toilet sink made of onyx. She fainted and in a result was strangled by own vomit masses. After this it was decided in Hollywood that poisoning as suicide method is too unaesthetic.

This story contains the very typical picture for poisoning. Vomiting reflex is almost unavoidable in spite of all measures to prevent it and nobody could control it.

Even medical specialists are not able to estimate all nuances of a specific poison type’s influence on a unique organism of a concrete person in order to reach the set goal. Even thoroughly estimated dose could give unpredictable result. Probably, you, as that actress, would be strangled by own vomiting; or probably you will throw up, will not die but become invalid for the entire life.

In case of your admission to the hospital, you would be fixed by the towels, preliminary stripped to the skin. Such view reminds picture from the department for violent lunatic of psychiatric hospital. The picture is added by tubes, sticking up from mouth (after intubation of trachea and probe entered into bowels) and neck (after made tracheostomy).

Person could die during long and suffering days. The washing-out is made, but poison still continues to be assimilated by the organism and to reflect on it. During it person suffers a lot. Vomiting reflex still continues, but person lies on a dirty bed, being tied.

If self-murderer has not waited till the rescue team arrival, the relatives would see the dead body with throw-up in hair, in diarrhea, in livores mortis, with specific stinking odor and signs of breakdown…

So the summary is that is unusual beauty. Self-murderer expects the dramatic effect, which would be definitely slurred over. It is very naive to think that person, who finds it, calls ambulance, helps to carry the dead body and packs into packets, would still to have good memories about you.


Suicide methods: Hanging

Firstly the continuous agony takes place. During it there are convulsions, while it hanged man strikes against all nearest things and therefore dead body has ‘black and blue’, scratches, fractures and bruises. Further sphincter muscle of anus and urethra open. All contents of bowels and urinary bladder flow out and person, sensu stricto, becomes all in shit. There is a pool under the dead body. Dead body has livores mortis, especially on the legs, where blood flows down from, and disgusting constriction mark on neck. In addition haemorrhage of subcutaneous fat, crura of pectoral and neck muscles are noticed. Neck becomes deformed because of the fracture of spinal column; there is grimace at the face of a dead body.

There are strong hematomas (bruises and livores mortis) all over the body. During agony blood created the high blood pressure in head, later blood blows down from head and as a result often eyes fall out orbits. It is not possible to say such exophthalmus of a dead body as nice.

And, of course, the most specific detail of this suicide method is blue tongue, stuck up on one side, which would be cut in addition to all organs of neck and later ‘pushed’ into stomach. Nobody will take care of the tongue. What for? Dead bodies could not speak. In addition, if to look into the mouth, it is possible to see terrible color of mucous membrane in oral cavity.


Suicide methods: Fall (jump) from a height

Person often becomes a stuffing. The contents of bowels and urinary bladder flow out on the asphalt. Bones, broken because of the strike, come out for pubic inspection. Internals and its contents fall out to dust and mud. Tooth could break and fly to bits on the ground or even stay on the balcony because self-murderer stroke on it during fly. By the way, in case of step-by-step fall (i.e. body met obstacles during fall); it is possible to leave on the balcony even parts of the body in addition to tooth and clothing. Upon landing toothless mouth full of blood does not look nicely. After strike by head it is not possible to see where nose, eyes and ears are. Flattening of skull does not have the nice view, but the head is even worse, because it became formless and looks like inflated football. Blood clots at hair and clothing. Flies are at the pools of blood and organs.

People are gathering in order to discuss and, of course, to blame. No one will admire. Children are on the playground. The view of blood pools, lymph, contents of stomach, rectum, and urinary bladder is not for forming of child’s mentality. In addition brain flies far away. By the way, brain as most fitted by water (90%) part of the body firstly flies away and later spreads, that does not make the good view for the landscape.

It is very difficult to give the correct shape of the dead body in morgue. The doctor should try very hard. The reconstruction of the human body in order to give the more or less good-looking shape and not to cause shock and horror of the people around is very and very expensive. In case of funds absence, proper medical staff or the desire of this staff, it is more preferable to simply put the dead body into package, then into closed coffin in order not to injure the people of the funeral. There are cases when cellophane, used for the coffin, is leak and as a result coffin spills in drops.

One who sees it would not have sympathy for the dead body.



Understanding that it is not easy to read the description of various suicides’ consequences, we would like you to have a break.

Now you understand how dilettantish idea on suicides’ consequences is far from reality. Often death for self-murderers is like fiancée in white dress and beautiful deliverer from painful sufferings. Person thinks that able to solve the very important problem with the help of death; that all people who brought person for this action would regret on it; that all problems would be solved by this simple way. This person considers that makes a brave act and overcome fear, which could give a dare for traditions, moral values and even God, who is unfair or even does not exist from this person point of view. The person imagines that people around nice coffin, friends, relatives, enemies would tear their hair because they have not saved and protected this person; the body smells and only glam trickle of blood leaks from lips around nice and pale face.

I feel sorry for such people. Indeed, they know not what they do. Surprisingly but person being in such condition does not understand that he or she aggravate the problem instead of its solution, that he or she shows cowardice instead of courage, that there is absence of mind instead of absence of fear, that there is death as the Grim Reaper instead of fiancée in white dress, that there is slavery with angels of darkness instead of freedom, these angels of darkness would meet the person after death and would laugh at him or her and prolong sufferings.   

Probably it is enough to be said?

If not, let us continue…


Suicide methods: Veins cut

Before fainting, it is agony. Person gets a cramp in face and blood flows down. Sniffles and slobber do not make the picture nicer. In addition sphincter muscles of anus relax. Absolutely white dead body swims in own shit and blood if it is in the bathroom. Heaps of flies are sitting on it, if it is the summer time and flies have access for the premises. In case the dead body spends lots of time in the water, there are all that changes related to the drown men (gigantism of body, maceration etc.).

This picture is so shocking for people who find the dead body, that makes other Suicide methods to grow dark in comparison with this one! Pale abomination, stink, red water with swimming clots of blood and excrements.

That’s good that it is not that easy to self-murder by this method.


Suicide methods: Drowning

In a while dead body comes to the surface. This is because of the decomposition processes and release of gases, for example, hydrogen sulfide. The dead body will never look like as you did in life. The body will be bigger by volume (giant dead body). The dead body is also not attractive: it has livores mortis of dark-violet color, white or light-pink small bubbling foam is around mouth and nose, respiratory tracks have parts of slit and water-plants, venous system is overloaded by liquid blood with dark-red clots; normally stomach and bowels are full of liquid.

While drowning bloodstream gets big amount of plankton (plankton is protozoan, some Coelenterata, mollusks, crustacean, eggs and larvae of fishes, larvae of various invertebrates), penetrating into almost all tissues and organs. Later it is possible to find it even in kidneys and bone marrows. The types of found unicellular, shrimps and other representatives of rich aquatic fauna, and also its relative content could confirm not only the fact of drowning, but also provide the information about concrete water, where it has taken place.

Unpleasant surprising thing that occurs with drowned men is maceration, i.e. swelling, wrinkling and other rejection of skin by the body (‘bathing skin’, ‘skin of laundress’, ‘glove of death’, ‘sleek hand’). Date of appearance and development of maceration depend on the water temperature. For example, under the temperature of 14-16 °С it starts in 8 hours. It means that parts of skin start to peel off and separate from the body. After 10-20 days hair starts to come out.

While being in water, the dead body becomes covered with water-plants.  This process is cyclic: water-plants on the body renew each 3-4 weeks. It is important to note that even after drowning; the body of drowned men could be additionally damaged. There are various reasons, which cause postmortem damages in the water, such as: stroke by ground, details of water constructions and accidental things, stroke by revolting screws, hydrofoils and other elements of boats, damages by hooks and various improvised means used during search and extract of dead body out of the eater. By most damages could be caused by representatives of aquatic fauna: fishes, crawfishes, water insects, leeches etc.

If I say that dead body of a drowned man looks not good, it is to say nothing. It is the huge body with changed proportions of face and torso, often swollen because of gases, supporting the decomposition, eaten by leeches, fishes, crawfishes, covered by water-plants – this view is terrible. It is not convenient to move such dead body and moreover to put it on the stretcher. The dead body simply does not fit in it.

Only curious gapers (necrophiliacs) could like and even satisfy the extract and appearance of such body; they could even provide their comments mixed with blame.  Normal people would not like to contemplate such dead body and moreover to bury it.


Suicide methods: Self-inflicted wound

Incoming opening is small, outgoing is big. Brains spread over some wall as well as parts of skull, fat and other tissues. Tooth could be absent. Gunshot wound of head causes almost full disfiguration of face, mostly ocular region because of the action of gunpowder gases, which almost tear head inside to pieces. Generally, there is lack of aesthetics as well. If the skull has been split, and sometimes half of skull is taken to another side, it would be necessary to pay the proper amount to pathoanatomist in order him to put this piece of skull back to place. But even after this the dead body in the coffin does not look charming.

Sometimes domestic animals (dogs, cats etc.) do not recognize the owner in such damaged body and start to taste it. One of the authors of the article saw the cat that ate the contents of a brainpan of owner, who self-murdered himself by self-inflicted wound. Dirty by blood mouth of cat after tasting of owner’s brains is not a sight for nervous. Of course, insects (cockroaches) and rodents (rats and mice) would not refuse to taste such gift as well.

As you understood, after the self-inflicted wound of head, it is rarely possible to bury a body and not to shock people participating at the ceremony.

Self-inflicted person creates lots of problems to others, because in any case the serious investigation would take place on where the weapon has came from. In addition, it is not nice to collect part of the head and put it into cellophane package, later to clean and wash off the blood and lymph.

But there is one more specific. First of all, people do not know where to shoot; second of all – skull is a very strong part and bullet could change its direction. Simply saying, person could stay a moron after it. But, probably, this person has been a moron before, if he or she made such a decision.


‘Decorations’ of all self-murderers regardless of the suicide method  


Livores mortis

After blood circulation stops, blood starts to passively move vessels to lower parts of the body because of the gravity. In 1,5-2 hours such amount of blood is kept in that areas, that skin becomes blue-violet color. This phenomenon is called as livores mortis. Blue-violet color is because of stoppage of oxygen arrival into blood and restoration of oxyhemoglobin (pink tone) into hemoglobin.

In case of body’s position on the back, livores mortis locate at back and posterolateral surfaces of neck, chest, waist and extremities. If dead body lies on stomach, livores mortis could appear on the face, front face of chest and stomach. In case of vertical position of a dead body (for example, in case of hanging), livores mortis appear at extremities (forearms and hands, feet and shins), lower part of waist and stomach.  Parts of dead body skin, appressed by heaviness of body, closely fitting clothing (collar of shirt, bra, panties), vice versa, become grey-white color, because vessels of that areas are squeezed, blood is absent there and there are no conditions for livores mortis creation.


Decay (decomposition)

I think, you will not be surprised by the fact that all dead bodies of self-murderers are subject to decay (decomposition). Self-murderer who reached the goal would not be able to avoid such process. Especially it is relevant for those who decided to say ‘bye’ to life in not crowded locations or whose body would not be found by this or that reason.

Decay processes of dead body appear soon after the coming of death. Decay normally starts from large intestine and is supported by putrid gases creation. Hydrogen sulfide, which is contained in putrid gases, penetrates via intestinal wall, gets connected to hemoglobin of blood of abdominal wall vessels and colors front abdominal wall by dirty green color.

After 3-4 days dirty green venous network starts to appear through skin. At the end of first week, swelling of dead body is developed, which is because of putrid gases development. First signs of dead body swelling are appeared in the area of face, lips, mammary glands, scrotum and stomach. Further this development becomes general. Putrid gases impregnate hypodermic fatty tissue and swell it, forming cadaveric emphysema. Most swelled areas are: face, lips, mammary glands, scrotum and extremities. Dead body gains strangely big sizes. Gases, accumulated in cellulose of neck and throat ring, push tongue out of oral cavity and it sticks out of tooth. Pressure of gases of abdominal cavity sometimes could reach 2 атм. Due to the influence of gases, the contents of stomach could move into oral cavity via gullet – so-called postmortem vomiting appears. To that moment, all skin of dead body becomes dirty green. Bladders of sulfur-blood contents appear on the skin. Forming during decay dirty-blood liquid impregnates tissues and organs of dead body and leaks from its natural openings. Brain becomes flabby, dirty-green color and spreads by thumb pressure. Lungs of dirty-green color are slightly compacted because of decay imbibitions but later soften. Heart has grey-red color, flabby and sort of spread on the table.

On 10-12 day all skin of the body becomes dirty-green, cuticle swells, skin surface becomes pitted and easily explosive putrid bladders forms. In few months all internal organs have view of dirty-brown or dirty-grey masses with poor distinct structure.

I would like to add that decay is supported by creation of poison substances – ptomains. It is so-called ptomaine. It is not so nice as well for those who would take care of the body, which belonged to a person without desire to live.



If your dead body lies or hangs for a long period of time in dry, warm and well ventilated location (balks, large-grained and sandy soil), weight and volume of mummify body sharply decrease. While mummification dead body looses all liquid, its weight contains 1/10 from the based one. Skin of the dead body has the view of thick dark-brown parchment. Internal organs are also subject to full drying and are of dry, formless, hepatic and unattractive color masses.

Your body will look like ugly brown mummy, far from splendour of Pharaoh’s mummies in pyramids.


Grave wax

If you are not lucky and your body gets into conditions of high humidity with absence or lack of air access. The dead body of such appearance is called grave wax. The ideal environment for grave wax forming is water and humid clay soil. Being in such conditions causes swelling of the dead body skin, which provides terms for penetration of water into tissues and organs. Starting decay pauses because of the air absence, tissues and organs transforms into grave wax.

Dead body is like in soap, covered by slippery and wet cover, which reminds was coverage. Remains of body have tallow glitter and smell of rancid cheese.

It should be noted that such terms happen not so often and mostly for those who decided to drown.



It is important to admit that carrion flesh of people, who have not the desire to live, does not have the smell of roses and expensive perfume. Smell of decaying body of self-murderer, especially at late period of decay, is better to call by stink or stench. This smell cased by discharge of masses of extremely odor nuisance (for example, hydrogen sulfide), could be noticed far from the body, eats into woolen clothing and gives incomparable smell for the premises, where the dead body of self-murderer decays. By the way, very often it is necessary to throw away the smelled up clothing. It happens when decaying body was in the closed areas, where there were these things, furniture and others. Sometimes even at the open air dead body could stink for dozens of meters. Nobody has a desire to come closer to the dead body. It is only done because of the necessity. Sweet smell of dead body could only attract omnipresent fauna, about which we will talk more in details…  


Putrid (dead body) fauna

Appearance of dead body in the environment is the biological signal for destruction by numerous representatives of fauna. The leading role belongs to insects. Under the circumstances, giving maximum activity, larvae of flies could leave only the skeleton from the dead body of adult during a month. After few hours after death flies oviposit under eyelids, nasal and oral cavity, folds of skin and on the wet surfaces of wounds. To the end of first days, white small larvae of flies (puparium) forms from eggs and start immediately to destruct soft tissues. It is white, not good looking worms with dark head. During first week larvae are small, long and its length does not exceed 6-7 mm. During second week the progressive growth of larvae starts, it becomes thicker up to 3-4 mm and often is more than 1,5 cm in length. To the end of second week larvae creep away to dark places (under dead body and clothing), loose activity and pupate. Pupae firstly have yellow-grey color, which step-by-step becomes dark-brown. The surface of pupa is covering by thick coverage; during two weeks inside of it adult individual develops. Fully formed insect gnaws through one of the end of the coverage and creeps out. During 1-2 hours wet fly gets dry, starts to have opportunity to fly and in a day could oviposit.

Besides flies ants and bugs are participating in the process of biological termination of dead bodies: big and small black burying beetles, dermestid beetles, hister beetles and etc. Thick tissues (cartilages, ligaments) are terminated by some types of ticks.

If dead body was in the apartment, bugs, mice, rats and domestic animals could join to its termination, being attracted by carrion.

On the city streets and basements the dead bodies of self-murderers are normally damaged by small rodents (mice and rats) and stray animals. It is interesting to note that rats start their activity from soft tissues of tips of nose and ears. Rodents mostly ‘locate’ in chest and abdominal cavity and eat the dead body inside. Often while this process only one whole is made on the skin (enter to the burrow), unless rodents did not decide to use the natural openings: mouse, anus and vagina. Rodents could come under the skin, terminating soft tissues and internal organs, and damaging cartilages and ligaments a little bit. Heads of cartilages of cylindrical bones have double scratches by paired upper cutters of rodents.

If dead body has been in the forest, field or out of the city, besides rats and mice big animals (wolfs, jackals, foxes, pigs and birds of prey) could be interested in dead body. Mostly they are active in winter period, when animals have lack of quantity and variety of food. Big animals normally take away dead body by parts. In addition, in the city and village some birds could show interest to the dead body (ravens, forties, kites etc.), which also do not provide more beauty to the picture.

In water bodies, dead bodies could be damaged by predatory fishes, leeches, crustacea and etc.


Reaction of people around

Now let us talk on people’s reaction to such beauty. Besides curious fans of looking at dead bodies, other people do not have nice feelings after looking at dead body of self-murderer. Vice versa, it causes disgust, horror and loathing. Most people could get injury of their state of mind. It happens that children could get injury of their state of mind after they saw this view accidentally. Of course, there is not sympathy for self-murderer. But there are lot of gossips of neighbors, blame and moralizing. Especially it is noticed when representatives of police document the accident. There are lots of gossips while it!

Therefore you should remember that after such a silly death you would not have good attitude from people, if even being alive you had unfair attitude and you had not been accepted by people. They, most probable, would find the confirmation of their attitude.

Mostly it is not nice for people, who have to clean after consequences of suicide. It could be yard cleaner or relative. They have to clean vomiting, urine and excrements, to collect parts of body and to wash off blood and mucus. There are not so many volunteers to clean the damaged clothing and make repair.

The documentation of accident does not look like in cinema. In order to check the remoteness of death and temperature directly at the location, thermometer is put into rectum of dead body. This procedure is not fast, because it is necessary to check the temperature 2-3 times with interval in 1 hour. During it, the dead body will lay open for public inspection without underwear and thermometer in bottom. Other parts of the body are also naked in order to describe its damages. Most gapers enjoy this process, but not witnesses, other normal people and especially relatives of self-murderer.

I should say separately about stretchers for dead-body. It is not sterile and has such a view like it have never been clean. Dry blood of canvas and dirty stains supplement this sad view.

Often it happens that even experienced policemen do not want to soil their hands by taking care of damaged and not-fresh dead body. In order to get onto stretchers and take dead body away, policemen look for guest workers, who does not have official registration, or local alkies, who are always guilty for this or that. This dirty work is often given to them. It should be said, that they do not like such job. Moreover, they meet various mishaps due to the absence of proper qualification. One of the authors of this article few times saw natural physiological reactions of such ‘willy-nilly volunteers’ being very close to the dead body.

But even professional aid-men would not care and drive carefully and with sorrow face something left from the organism of a human being, who refused to live. They will not cry, but will have attitude to the body like to material, that has been a human being before, material that gave them extra work.

You should agree that it is fair. If you treated your own body containing soul with such scorn, why people, whom you gave such uneasy work, should have more respect to the body, than you had?

( 12 voices: 2.75 of 5 )

Michael Khasminski, crisis psychologist, Peter Rozymni, expert in forensic medicine

Michael Khasminski, crisis psychologist, Peter Rozymni, expert in forensic medicine

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See also
Suicide methods: or How to come off (Peter Rozumni, expert in forensic medicine)
I just died. The story of suicide (Natasha M., 28 years old)
How to die unprettily, or last hi to dears (Michael Khasminski, crisis psychologist)
Low self esteem leads to pathological dependence on other people (Psychologist Irene Rakhimova)
Don’t dream to have life full of happiness only (Andrey Lorgus, priest )
Who is self-murderer? (Michael Khasminski, crisis psychologist)
Suicide thought comes from angels of darkness (Serge Nickolaev, archpriest )
Planned suicide (Evelyn, 20 y.o.)
Is man piece of shit? (Helen)
Right for suicide (Dmitri Semenik)

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