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Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: Diagnostic Challenges And Current Perspectives

Authors Hooley JM, Fox KR, Boccagno C

Received 20 July 2019

Accepted for publication 15 October 2019

Published 10 January 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 101—112

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S198806

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Jill M Hooley, 1 Kathryn R Fox, 2 Chelsea Boccagno 1

1Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA; 2Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80210, USA

Correspondence: Jill M Hooley
Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Tel +1617 495-9508
Email jmh@wjh.harvard.edu

Abstract: Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) involves deliberate and intentional injury to body tissue that occurs in the absence of suicidal intent. Typical examples here might include self-cutting, burning, or self-hitting. Behavior of this kind is fundamentally unsettling as well as perplexing. It is also the case that self-harming behavior of any kind runs counter to a fundamental survival instinct. In the past, behaviors such as these were viewed as self-mutilation and considered to be a form of attenuated suicide. Much has changed over time, culminating in the entry of NSSI Disorder into DSM-5 as a condition in need of further study. In this review we describe the evolution of the NSSI construct and consider current issues in its diagnosis and assessment.

Keywords: nonsuicidal self-injury; NSSI, NSSI disorder, self-harm, suicide, DSM-5, diagnosis

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