Adolescent self-mutilation diagnosis & treatment

Community Mental Health Department, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002, USA.
Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services (Impact Factor: 0.72). 01/2008; 45(12):19-23.
Source: PubMed


Self-mutilation is complicated and difficult to diagnose. Its incidence among adolescents has increased during the past 10 years. Most mental health professionals discover that the behavior has been part of patients' lives long before their initial visit and that patients have become very good at hiding their behavior. The literature on self-mutilation is increasing, but newer statistics, specifically about cutting and picking behaviors, need to be assessed. The disorder often co-exists with another disorder that requires psychotropic medications, the administration of which should be managed by psychiatric clinicians who specialize in children and adolescents. A multidisciplinary team is necessary to achieve the best outcomes.

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    • "Self-mutilation can be a way to avoid committing suicide (Favazza, 1996; Rissanen et al., 2008b; Solomon & Farrand, 1996; Sueymoto, 1998; Williams & Bydalek, 2007), but it also offers a possibility to carry it out (Machoian, 2001; Rissanen et al., 2008a, 2008b; Scoliers et al., 2009). However, selfmutilation and attempted suicide should not be considered as synonyms, because they mean different things (Cerdorian, 2005), and there are significant differences in attitudes towards life among adolescents who have attempted suicide and those who have self-injured. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this review article is to present current knowledge of self-mutilation among adolescents as a phenomenon and to define what kind of knowledge is lacking based on existing literature. The literature searches were executed in the CINAHL and Medline databases in 2010. The analysed data consisted of 126 articles and inductive content analysis was carried out. Existing knowledge of self-mutilation was categorized into the following two classes: (1) self-mutilation as a phenomenon and (2) caring for persons who self-mutilate or self-harm.
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