Self-inflicted injury (automaltrato)


General or Other | Psychiatry | Self-inflicted injury (automaltrato) (Disease)


Description

Self-injury (self-harm, self-mutilation) can be defined as the attempt to deliberately cause harm to ones own body and the injury is usually severe enough to cause tissue damage. This is not a conscious attempt at suicide, though some people may see it that way.

Causes and Risk factors

It has been reported that many people who self-injure have a history of sexual or physical abuse, but that is not always the case. Some may come from broken homes, alcoholic homes, have emotionally absent parents, etc. There are many factors that could cause someone to self-injure as a way to cope.

There are three types of self-injury. The rarest and most extreme form is Major self-mutilation. This form usually results in permanent disfigurement, i. e. castration or limb amputation. Another form is Stereo typic self-mutilation which usually consists of head banging, eyeball pressing and biting. The third and most common form is Superficial self-mutilation which usually involves cutting, burning, hair-pulling, bone breaking, hitting, interference with wound healing and basically any method used to harm oneself.

Most people who self-injure tend to be perfectionists, are unable to handle intense feelings, are unable to express their emotions verbally, have dislike for themselves and their bodies, and can experience severe mood swings. They may turn to self-injury as a way to express their feelings and emotions, or as a way to punish themselves. You may be wondering why someone would intentionally harm themselves. Self-injury can help someone relieve intense feelings such as anger, sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt and emotional pain.

Many people who cut themselves, do this in an attempt to try and release all the emotions they are feeling internally. Others may feel so numb, that seeing their own blood when they cut themselves, helps them to feel alive because they usually feel so dead inside. Some people find that dealing with physical pain is easier than dealing with emotional pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If an individual shows signs of self-injury, a mental health professional with self-injury expertise should be consulted.

Treatment for self-injury may include: psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), post-traumatic stress therapies, group therapy, family therapy, hypnosis and other self-relaxation techniques, medications (antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication). ...