Borderline Personality Disorder and Known Risk Factors

Topics: Borderline personality disorder, Self-harm, Suicide Pages: 3 (975 words) Published: May 22, 2005
There are many different definitions for self-mutilations, also known as self-injury, self-harm, or self-inflicted violence. One definition of self-mutilation is that is any self-directed, repetitive behavior that causes physical injury. Another definition is that self-mutilation is self-inflicted physical harm severe enough to cause tissue damage done without suicidal intent. This is just one example of the blurriness of the boundaries of self-mutilation.

It is very hard to pin point exactly who or why people self-mutilate, however there are known risk factors. The known risk factors are: the female gender, of adolescence and college age, involved in substance abuse, having a personality disorder, and having a history of self-mutilation. This does not limit the occurrence of self-mutilation within other genders or other ages. For example it is not very common that elderly people will self-injure, but there are clinical reports of it occurring in this age group before. The occurrence of self-injury can not be defined to one particular group of people. People who self-mutilate can be survivors of abuse, people who have eating disorders, or people who suffer from substance abuse. It can also occur in homes where there is violence with an inhibition of verbally expressing their emotions, or in a home that loses a parent do to death or divorce. However you can not limit this illness to people who are more susceptible, it also occurs in teachers, medical professionals, lawyers, engineers, and high-achieving high-school students.

People most commonly use self-injury as a coping mechanism; to relieve the tension or distress. People say that self-mutilating lets them "forget" about any feelings that they want to free themselves from. If the person uses the cutting self-mutilation they may feel that seeing the blood gives them a sense of well-being and strength. This would give them a feeling of empowerment, and they feel in control by enduring the...
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