Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Self-Harm and Suicide in Adolescents

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Self-Harm and Suicide in Adolescents

Article excerpt

Deliberate self-harm (DSH) is a common though often hidden condition in children and adolescents that may result in suicide. Deliberate self-harm (DSH) refers to an act of purposefully harming oneself physically that may or may not reflect a real suicidal intent. This lecture considers the prevalence, etiology, and management of self-harm in adolescents. The most common methods of DSH in youth are overdosing, self-cutting, and self-poisoning. Children typically utilize such methods as self-scratching or self-biting. DSH in those with intellectual disability involves head banging, skin-picking, eye gouging, and other self-mutilation behavior. Also considered is the relationship of deliberate self-harm in adolescents to body dissatisfaction and suicide. Risks of specific suicide in youth increase considerably in those expressing a strong intent of death, using a highly lethal method (such as a firearm), taking clandestine means to prevent detection, and/or having underlying, untreated psychiatric disorders. Even though most cases of DSH do not end in overt suicide, DSH reflects that potential underlying psychological pathophysiology, and likelihood of eventual death from self-murder cannot always be predicted or prevented. …

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