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 ...view middle of the document...
It is also possible that someone who has cut may need a tetanus shot if the instrument used is not clean or there is poor first aid.
4.2 Emotional complications
People who have self injured are more likely to develop further emotional issues which will lead to other episodes of self injury which can cause greater feelings of shame and/or guilt which may then lead to a routine of self injury to cope with these distressing emotions.
Those who self injure are also more likely to withdraw from family and friends which can cause intense feelings of loneliness which can trigger further episodes of self injury. This can also be true for people regarding relationships.
4.3 Practical complications
People who self injure face living with scars which may affect confidence and their ability to forge new friendships or even interact in social settings.
Long term damage from cutting or poisoning may cause health issues even after the person has recovered.
5. Presentation and diagnosis
Self injury can be discovered by friends or family members or during routine checkups with GPs although some people may ask someone for help before this. General signs of a person who suffers from self injury include withdrawal from friends and family, fresh cuts or bruises without explanation, frequent broken bones, wearing long sleeves even in hot weather, There is no specific diagnostic test for self injury, however, a mental and physical evaluation would normally be carried out with a mental health...