Not everyone has the same definition of what self harm is.
Selfharmerproblems uses the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) definition of self harm. It is the most recent and accurate definition created by experts in the field.
Self harm, or non-suicidal self-injury, is the deliberate, self-inflicted damage of body tissue without suicidal intent and for purposes not socially or culturally sanctioned.1
What does this mean?
- The harm caused is intentional. An accidental injury or a harmful behavior but where the damage is not the main goal is not considered self harm.
- Self harm causes an immediate physical injury. This means behaviors that causes harm in the long run, like eating disorders or using drugs, are not considered self harm.
- Self harm can be other things than cutting yourself: it could be punching, scratching or burning yourself.
- Self harm is not a suicide attempt. People who self harm may also be suicidal, but a suicide attempt is not the same as self harm.
- Activities like tattoos, piercings, surgery or body modifications that are part of cultural or religious rituals like circumcision are not considered self harm.
Sources for this article:
- International Society for the Study of Self-injury. (2018, May). What is self-injury? Retrieved from https://itriples.org/about-self-injury/what-is-self-injury
- The Cornell Research Program on Self-injury and Recovery. What is self-injury? Retrieved from http://www.selfinjury.bctr.cornell.edu/about-self-injury.html
- Royal College of Psychiatrists. Self harm: What is self-harm? Retrieved from https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/problems-disorders/self-harm
- National Alliance on Mental Illness. What is Self-harm? Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Common-with-Mental-Illness/Self-harm
1https://itriples.org/category/about-self-injury/#what-is-self-injury International Society for the Study of Self Injury