Major self-mutilation occurs most often with psychotic or highly intoxicated individuals and occasionally with institutionalized mentally retarded individuals.
Parents and caregivers should consult a psychiatrist or psychotherapist with professional expertise in self-mutilation as soon as the behavior is discovered.
Usually the behavior does not escalate to suicide and major self-mutilation (including such things as castration, amputation of limbs, enucleation of eyes).
Some society-wide factors that influence self-mutilation, such as the sexual abuse of children and media portrayals of cutting, are difficult to change.
Mixed in with pages about pop music and horror movies, there are MySpace areas dedicated to endorsing drug use, eating disorders, and self-mutilation.
Self-mutilation, also called self-harm, self-injury or cutting, is the intentional destruction of tissue or alteration of the body done without the conscious wish to commit suicide, usually in an attempt to relieve tension.
Self-mutilation is usually diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychotherapist upon referral from a family member, physician, nurse, or social worker who has noticed scars, bruises, or other physical evidence of self-injury.
Although there are no medications specifically for self-mutilation, antidepressants are often given, particularly if the patient meets the diagnostic criteria for a depressive disorder.
The most common form of self-mutilation, and the one usually seen in adolescents, is impulsive self-mutilation consisting of superficial skin cutting and burning.
Self-mutilation or injuries to their faces or mouths due to chewing gates or constantly rubbing against the kennel are all clues that a dog is severely stressed.