Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Who Self-Injures?

The typical self-injurer is female and is in her mid-twenties to her early thirties. Self-injurers typically begin hurting themselves in adolescence, but some individuals begin harming themselves before or after this period in their lives as well. Self-harmers are generally intelligent, middle to upper-middle class, well-educated, and has suffered from sexual and/or physical abuse. Many self-harmers also have at least one alcoholic parent.

Certain personality characteristics are also typical of self-harmers such as an inability to accept rejection, tend not to plan for the future, tend to hate and invalidate themselves, tend to have poor emotional regulation, are usually angry at themselves, may be suicidal or self-destructive, suffer from depression and anxiety, do not feel as if they have much control, and tend to be avoidant. These individuals also tend to lack healthy coping skills.

Self-injurers may engage in other unhealthy coping mechanisms such as eating disordered behavior, substance abuse, reckless driving, unnecessary risk taking, and/or shoplifting.

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