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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Doctors call embedding a severe type of self-harm

From a May 10, 2011 Reuters Health News article by Kerry Grens

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In a new study this week, doctors describe a form of self-injury among teenagers called self-embedding, which involves inserting objects into the skin or muscle.

The researchers say embedding is on the spectrum of self-harming behaviors, but a much more severe form that appears to be linked to thoughts of suicide and major psychiatric disorders.

“There’s clearly a more severe intent to hurt themselves than cutting,” said Dr. William Shiels, a radiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and one of the authors of the study.

“Inserting a 16 cm paperclip – not just to do that on one arm, but both arms – the intent that’s required to cause that much self harm is significant,” he said.

Self-injury, which is often in the form or cutting or burning, is a fairly common behavior, with estimates ranging between 4 and 30 percent of youth who have hurt themselves in some way.

The pain involved in self-harm is thought to provide a sense of psychological relief, and is generally not considered part of a suicide attempt.

Click here to read the rest of the article

  • Cutting (Teen Health/Nemours Foundation)
    Article written for teens with information and advice
  • Self-harm videos a worrying trend (
  • Cutting: Deliberate Self-Harm Syndrome (Medpedia)
  • A new study on self-injury behavior encourages quick and targeted intervention (
  • How can we tackle the rise in self-harm? (Irish Times, May 2011)

    “The solution, she says, is a multiple-intervention approach similar to the very successful German model, which has reduced self-harm and suicide in Nuremberg by 24 per cent over two years and has now been rolled out across that country.

    The Nuremberg Alliance Against Depression was a two year pilot intervention programme performed at four levels: training of family doctors and support through different methods; a public relations depression awareness campaign; cooperation with community facilitators (teachers, priests, local media, etc.); and support for self-help activities as well as for high-risk groups. The programme has been extended throughout Germany and in other European countries through the European Alliance Against Depression.”

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment


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