Differences between suicide and non-suicidal self-harm behaviours: a literary review

Joanna Halicka
2015 Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy  
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that suicide is one of the 20 most common causes of death -almost 1 million people across the globe die by suicide every year (data from 21 July 2014) [1] . Suicide is one of the most common causes of death among teenagers [2, 3] . Another significant but much less known phenomenon is non-suicidal self-injury (self-harm). Despite the fact that we know much less about self-harm than about suicide, research during the past 10 years has indicated that
more » ... -harm occurs more frequently in the population of adolescents -whereas suicides affect 10% of teenagers, 7-14% of young people report to have performed a self-harming act at least once in their lives [4] . The most recent international research shows that the frequency of self-destructive behaviours in adolescents is at the level of 24% of the whole population, which might indicate an intensification of this phenomenon [5] . In some cases self-injury takes place with a clear intention of committing an act of suicide, or it can be a self-destructive act which often precedes a suicidal attempt, sometimes long before the final decision to carry it out. Nevertheless, in the majority of cases self-injuary is not performed with the intention of death. Therefore, the following question might be posed: do self-harm acts constitute a separate category of behaviours, or do they inevitably lead to suicidal death? When answering, we ought to take a closer look at both phenomena to have a better understanding of their aetiology, risk factors and frequency, and to understand when they co-occur and when they belong to different categories of self-aggressive behaviours. suicide / non-suicidal self-injury / auto-aggression
doi:10.12740/app/58953 fatcat:ezxcdnq5hndx7dpvbfbkg2zc2q