Self-injury is the act of deliberately destroying body tissue, at times to change a way of feeling. Self-injury is seen differently by groups and cultures within society. This appears to have become more popular lately, especially in adolescents. The causes and severity of self-injury can vary. Some forms may include:
Some adolescents may self-mutilate to take risks, rebel, reject their parents' values, state their individuality or merely be accepted. Others, however, may injure themselves out of desperation or anger to seek attention, to show their hopelessness and worthlessness, or because they have suicidal thoughts. These children may suffer from serious psychiatric problems such as depression, psychosis, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Bipolar Disorder. Additionally, some adolescents who engage in self-injury may develop Borderline Personality Disorder as adults. Some young children may resort to self-injurious acts from time to time but often grow out of it. Children with mental retardation and/or autism may also show these behaviors which may persist into adulthood. Children who have been abused or abandoned may self-mutilate.
Why do adolescents self-injure?
What can parents and teenagers do about self-injury?
Evaluation by a mental health professional may assist in identifying and treating the underlying causes of self-injury. Feelings of wanting to die or kill themselves are reasons for adolescents to seek professional care emergently. A child and adolescent psychiatrist can also diagnose and treat the serious psychiatric disorders that may accompany self-injurious behavior.
Daycare.com would like to thank American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for this information in striving to make daycare and childcare a more productive and efficient service. You can contact them at: 3615 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016-3007 voice: 202-966-7300 fax: 202-966-2891.