Understanding self-injurious Behavior & Evaluations

Self-injurious behavior is known as behavior that includes harm toward oneself such as cutting, burning, hard scratching, or banging one’s head against an object. Self-injurious behavior, when it is constant, is a serious problem requiring psychiatric attention. This type of behavior is not considered suicidal behavior because the object of the behavior is not death or dying. The purpose for the behavior can vary but it often entails:

  1. Attention-seeking
  2. Cry for help

Self-injurious behaviors are often found in individuals who are emotionally unstable, have experienced trauma, or is suffering from borderline personality disorder. Most women who self-injure are also emotionally unstable and engage in multiple behaviors that places herself at risk:

  • Multiple sex partners
  • substance abuse
  • raging behavior
  • frustration intolerance
  • crying spells
  • emotional clinginess
  • desiring love, yet desiring personal space (pushing others away, yet needing others to be near)
  • Confusing emotional behavior (liking someone one moment and disliking them for no apparent reason the next moment)
  • Mood swings (up and down moods)

This video is a wonderful example of a woman experiencing self-injurious behaviors, emotional ups and downs, and negative relationships:


If you or someone you know exhibit similar symptoms, I encourage you to contact your nearest hospital emergency room or mental health clinic for suggestions on how to help or receive a mental health assessment.

All the best