|Self-mutilation is often associated with psychiatric disorders that may be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.|
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- Childhood sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
- Violence or other abusive relationships in a child's home
- Being in prison
- Intellectual disability
- Psychiatric disorders, such as:
- Certain metabolic disorders
- Substance abuse, such as alcoholism or drug abuse
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
- Cutting of skin with a sharp object
- Skin carving or burning
- Self-punching or scratching
- Needle sticking
- Head banging
- Eye pressing
- Finger, lips, or arm biting
- Pulling out one's hair
- Picking at one's skin
- Wearing long sleeves or pants, even in hot weather
- Claiming to have frequent accidents
- Relationship difficulties
- Behavioral and emotional difficulties
- Broken bones
- Eye damage
- Excess thinking about physically harming oneself
- Inability to resist harming oneself, resulting in tissue damage
- Increased tension before and a sense of relief after self-injury
- Having no suicidal intent in the self-mutilation
- Mood regulators
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org
Mental Health America http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net
Canadian Mental Health Center http://www.cmha.ca
Canadian Psychological Association http://www.cpa.ca
Self-harm: the short-term physical and psychological management and secondary prevention of self-harm in primary and secondary care. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence website. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/CG016NICEguideline.pdf. Updated July 2004. Accessed November 11, 2014.
Self-injury in adolescents. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website. Available at: http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families%5Fand%5FYouth/Facts%5Ffor%5FFamilies/Facts%5Ffor%5FFamilies%5FPages/Self%5FInjury%5FIn%5FAdolescents%5F73.aspx. Updated July 2013. Accessed November 11, 2014.
Slee N, Garnefski N, et al. Cognitive-behavioral intervention for self-harm: randomized controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry. 2008;192:202-211.
Taiminin T, Kallio-Soukainen K, et al. Contagion of deliberate self-harm among adolescent inpatients. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1998;37:211.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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