SELF-INJURY IN ADULTS
An investigation into the prevalence, common causes and support for adults that self-injure
By Katerina O’Connor
Date: 16 June 2008
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Self-harm: What is it?
II. Precursors to Self-injury
III. Self-injury: Myths and Stereotypes explored
IV. Adult self-harm: Facts and Figures
V. Self-injury: A look at why adults self-injure
VI. An evaluation of the organizations supporting adults that self-injure
6) Appendix I
According to National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines (2004), self-harm can be defined as an expression of personal distress, usually made in private, by an individual who hurts him or herself. Self-harm covers a wide spectrum of behaviour such as drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders and risk taking behaviours, as well as self-injury. This report focuses predominantly on self-injury.
Self-injury has been largely seen as an adolescent issue, and noticeably much of the research on the subject of self-injury and related publications focus on self-injury amongst young people and very little attention has been given to self-injury in adults. Only one organisation, Outside the Box, was identified that specifically focused on the incidence of self-injury amongst adults in Scotland. Other research which had been conducted tended to include all age groups and findings relating to adult self-injury were incidental to the research. Thus, self-injury amongst adults is an area that greatly needs addressing.
A specialist group was formed within the Exeter College Diploma in Counselling course to undertake research on the subject of self-injury amongst adults in the United Kingdom and present the findings to fellow students on the course.
It was agreed that within the time limits and meeting constraints of the project, the purpose would be to give students a background to...