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Self-Injury, Psychological Disorders of Self-Pain

Self-injury is intentionally hurting and self-injuring behavior. This is a form of behavioral disorder associated with a number of psychiatric illnesses. Learn more about the symptoms, causes, and handling in the following review.

Self-injury can be an act of injuring the body with sharp objects or blunt objects, such as cutting or burning the skin, hitting the wall, banging the head, and removing hair. Self-injury sufferers can also intentionally swallow something dangerous, such as detergent or insect repellent, and even inject poison into the body.

Various Reasons for Someone to Harm Themselves

Self-injury is done to vent or overcome excess emotions that are being faced, such as stress, anger, anxiety, self-hatred, sadness, loneliness, despair, numbness, or guilt. It can also be a way to distract from disturbing thoughts.

These emotions can arise as a result of:

1. Social problem

The behavior of self-injury is vulnerable to people who are experiencing life difficulties and social problems, for example being a bully victim at school or being pressured by demands from parents and teachers.

It could also be because of a conflict with family, spouse, and friends, or experience an identity crisis involving sexual orientation.

2. Psychological trauma

Losing someone who is loved and a victim of emotional, physical, or sexual violence can make a person feel empty, numb, and inferior. They consider hurting themselves to remind themselves that they are still alive and feel something like other people.

3. Mental disorders

This self-injury can also appear as a symptom of several mental illnesses, such as mood disorders, depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), adjustment disorders, or threshold personality disorders.

Read Also : 3 types of mental disorders are vulnerable to women

4. Characteristics of Self-Injury Actors

People who have a tendency to hurt themselves often do not show typical symptoms. The behavior of self-injury is usually done when they are alone, and not in public places.

However, some of the following characteristics might indicate that someone has a tendency to hurt themselves:

  • It has a number of wounds on its body, such as cuts on the wrist, burns on the arms, thighs, and body, or bruises in the knuckles. Generally, they will hide the wound and will avoid if asked what the cause is.
  • Showing symptoms of depression, such as a bad mood, often feeling sad, crying, and lacking motivation in life.
  • Difficult to socialize, both in the home, school, and workplace. They prefer to be alone and are reluctant to talk to other people.
  • Tend not to be confident or blame yourself for any problems that occur.
  • Often wear clothes that cover the entire body, to hide wounds.

Self-injury behavior risks creating fatal physical injuries and increases the risk of suicide. Because of his reckless actions, not infrequently the perpetrators of self-injury must be hospitalized or even end up with permanent disability to death.

Types of Self Injury

Actually, self-injury is a disorder that occurs due to depression and prolonged stress. Here are some types of self-injury:

1. Mild self-injury

This type of self-injury is a disorder of self-harm but is still at a reasonable level. Actually, we unwittingly also often carry out self-injury in our daily lives. One example of mild self-injury is a diet. Diet is actually good for body health. But if it's excessive the effect will be dangerous. In addition, minor self-injury hazards can include squeezing zits and scraping wounds that will dry out.

2. Moderate self-injury

This type of self-injury has begun to be unnatural but can still be tolerated. One of the moderate self-injury hazards is squeezing hands, slapping cheeks if upset, pulling hair if stressed, to pinch yourself. Another danger of self-injury is bumping your head against the wall. But you should avoid the risk of self-injury because it will be bad for the sufferer.

3. Severe self-injury

This is a very heavy psychological trauma. This type of self-injury is usually caused by very severe depression. Severe self-injury includes worrying, the danger of self-injury to sufferers and even extreme actions such as slashing yourself, injuring your arms, burning yourself, drinking poison from insects, and crashing into a car until suicide.

If you are depressed, you should learn to calm down and get things done with a cold head. Do not do things that are harmful and detrimental to yourself and others because this will cause very dangerous things.

Handling Self-Injury

Self-injury practitioners need special care from psychiatrists, both psychologists, and psychiatrists. A psychologist or psychiatrist will conduct an examination to diagnose self-injury behavior and determine the cause. Handling will be given according to the cause of this behavior.

In general, several steps to deal with patients with self-injury include:

1. Medical treatment

Self-injury sufferers who have injuries or other health problems need immediate medical attention, either in the form of outpatient care or hospitalization.

2. Therapy and counseling

Therapy and counseling with a psychiatrist or psychologist aim to find out the causes of self-injury actions while finding the best way to prevent patients from taking this action again. Types of therapy that can be done include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.

In addition to undergoing therapy and treatment above, people who have a tendency to hurt themselves are also advised to:

  • Not alone. Look for social and psychological support from friends, family, or close relatives.
  • Get rid of sharp objects, chemicals, or drugs that can be used to hurt yourself.
  • Join positive activities, such as sports clubs or photography.
  • Explore hobbies, such as playing music or painting, to help express emotions in a positive way.
  • Avoid the consumption of liquor and drugs.
  • Divert attention when there is a desire to do self-injury.
  • Routinely exercising, getting enough sleep and rest, and eating nutritiously balanced foods.

Self-injury is a form of behavioral disorder that needs special attention. The behavior of self-injury requires the handling of a psychologist or psychiatrist, especially if this condition is associated with certain mental disorders.



1. Brown, R.C. & Plener, P.L. (2017). Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Adolescence. Current Psychiatry Reports.

2. Tull, M. Verywell Mind (2018). Forms of Self-Harm Common in People With PTSD.

3. National Health Service UK (2018). Health A to Z. Self-Harm – Overview.

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