Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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CME
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 288-297

Self-injurious behavior: A clinical appraisal


Department of Psychiatry, JJM Medical College, Davangere, Karnataka - 577 004, India

Correspondence Address:
K Nagaraja Rao
Department of Psychiatry, JJM Medical College, Davangere - 577 004, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.44754

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A case series of self-injurious behavior (SIB) encountered in a General Hospital setting has been described. Limitations of current definition of SIB are explained. SIB is not a single clinical entity and it occurs in various psychiatric syndromes with wide range of psychopathology. Based on clinical criteria, a classification of SIB into three groups has been proposed viz 1) Mild and isolated form, 2) Moderately severe and repetitive form, and 3) Very severe and isolated form. Psychodynamic, cognitive and neurochemical explanations of SIB have been reviewed. Frustration, aggression and impulsivity appearing in helpless situation appear to be a common script across most of these models of explanations. Severity of injury seems to be determined by severity of psychopathology. Site of injury appear to have symbolic significance for a particular patient. Understanding some of these clinicopsychopathological issues helps in management of these cases.



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