Self Harm Essay

Self Harm Essay

Length: 1111 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

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Table of Contents
1 Introduction 3
2 Types of Self Injury 3
3 Risk Factors 3
3.1 Childhood Risk Factors 3
3.2 Adult Risk Factors 3
3.3 Co-existing Medical Conditions 3
4 Complications 4
4.1 Medical Complications 4
4.2 Emotional Complications 4
4.3 Practical Complications 4
5 Presentation and Diagnosis 4
6 Prevention and Management 5
6.1 Medical Management 5
6.2 Therapeutical Management 5
6.3 Psychiatric Management 5
7 Conclusion 5
8 References 6
9 Help and Support 6



1. Introduction
Self-injury is a term which describes a variety of behaviours in which there are two critical elements: the damage is acute and the damage is intentional. Self injury is generally an unhealthy effort to cope with overwhelming emotions, such as intense anger, rage, terror or shame. There is often a distinction made by psychiatrists between attempted suicide and self-injury as these acts are most often done without suicidal intent. The damage caused is generally severe enough to leave a bruise, scar or other mark, or cause health issues.

2. Types of self injury
Self injury includes, but is not limited to, cutting, burning, branding, overdosing, bone breaking, interfering with wound healing, scratching, biting, hair pulling (Trichotillomania) and puncturing the skin. It may also include eating disorders, excessive drinking and drug use, although these are disputed by some physicians.

3. Risk factors
3.1 Childhood risk factors
 Sexual abuse
 Neglect
 Emotional abuse
 Physical abuse
 Loss or separation
 Parental mental health issues
 Parental substance abuse
3.2 Adult risk factors
 Rape or sexual abuse
 Psychiatric diagnoses
 Substance misuse
 Absence of emotional support
 Intense and distressing emotions
3.3 Co-existing m...


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 http://www.tuneinnotout.com/topics/mental-health/self-harm/?gclid=COaD47_H87sCFc3KtAodHwoA1w [accessed: 07/02/2014]
 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8476703.stm [accessed: 07/02/2014]
 http://www.sane.org.uk/how_you_can_help/self_harm [accessed: 07/02/2014]
 Hawton, K et al: Self-harm in adolescents: self-report survey in schools in Scotland, The British Journal of Psychiatry (2009)
 Royal College of Psychiatrists College Report CR 158: Self-harm, suicide and risk: helping people who self-harm (2010)
 Suicide and deliberate self-harm in young people (2005). Hawton, K. & James, A., BMJ, 330, p.891-894
 In what way are adolescents who engage in self-harm, or experience thoughts of self-harm, different in terms of help-seeking, communications and coping strategies? (2005). Evans, E., Hawton, K. & Rodham, K., Journal of Adolescence, 28, p.573-587

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