Self Harm, Self Abuse, Self Injury: What Is It?

Self-harm is known medically as intentionally injuring and inflicting damage on body tissue, done without suicidal intentions. The term self-harm means the same as self-injury or self-abuse.

The methods of self-harm are well documented and can include: skin cutting, skin burning, blunt force trauma and intentional medication overdose.

Although much is known, self-injury is a challenging issue to study and gathering information is often difficult because of societal stigma and repression.

Self-harm is a current medical and mental health concern as incident reports based on global hospitalization statistics show that it’s on the rise in most populations surveyed. However, it is considered most common in adolescence and young adulthood appearing between ages 12 and 25. The condition is rare but increasingly more common in childhood though it can occur at any stage in life including among elderly populations. Interestingly, it has been surveyed in animals including common pets as well as captive animals like birds, mice and monkeys.