Self-injurious behavior is deliberate, repetitive, impulsive, non-lethal harming of one’s body by carving, cutting, biting, bruising, burning, head banging, hitting, hair pulling, scratching, infecting oneself, inserting objects in body openings or similar actions.
The diagnosis of self-injurious behavior should be determined by a mental health professional. Self harm can be a symptom of several psychiatric illnesses, including personality disorders, bipolar disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders, and psychoses, such as schizophrenia.
Treatment often includes a combination of medication and inpatient or outpatient mental health therapy.
Web Based Resources
For referrals to mental health agencies call 2-1-1; for referrals to therapists call the Mental Health Association of Connecticut (800-842-1501, ext. 10) or call 2-1-1.
SOURCES: Mental Health America website, “Self-Injury”; SAFE Alternatives website
PREPARED BY: 211/jm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: January2023