Self-harm.Self-harm (SH) or deliberate self-harm (DSH) includes self-injury (SI) and self-poisoning and is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue without suicidal intent. These terms are used in the more recent literature in an attempt to reach a more neutral terminology.It is refers to self-mutilation. The term is synonymous with “self-injury.” The most common form of self-harm is skin cutting but self-harm also covers a wide range of behaviours including, but not limited to, burning, scratching, banging or hitting body parts, interfering with wound healing, hair pulling (trichotillomania) and the ingestion of toxic substances or objects. Behaviours associated with substance abuse and eating disorders are usually not considered self-harm because the resulting tissue damage is ordinarily an unintentional side effect.
The cause of Self-Harm
- Personality disorders
- Abnormal grief
- Attention seeking
- Eating disorders
- Mental illness
- Self-mutilation due to mental impairment
- Overachieving personality
- Suicidal thoughts (see Suicidal symptoms)
- Wanting to die
- Sexual abuse
Schizophrenia causes alterations in the brain and the way it perceives reality resulting in the hallmark symptoms of hallucinations and delusions. Schizophrenia can seriously affect a person’s personality and behavior and interfere with the ability to function effectively in everyday life.
The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown but there is a genetic component and it does tend to run in families. People who have a family member with schizophrenia are more likely to develop the disorder than the general population. It is also believed by some researchers that schizophrenia may also be due to over activity the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical in the brain that is vital to normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. Schizophrenia may also be linked to damage to the brain done during fetal development and early childhood due to head injury, birth complications, malnutrition, viral infections, or encephalitis, an infection of the brain.
Schizophrenia is characterized by hallucinations, alterations in sensory perceptions, and delusions, which are false beliefs. Symptoms tend to occur in episodes and can begin with inappropriate or disconnected patterns of speech, social detachment and blank stares. Schizophrenia can also seriously affect emotion and movement. Complications of schizophrenia include self-harm, self-destructive behaviors, and serious difficulties in work, personal relationships, and self-care. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of schizophrenia.
There is no specific test that can diagnose schizophrenia. Making a diagnosis of schizophrenia begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms, and completing a complete physical examination and mental health exam. Assessment and tests are also performed to ensure that symptoms are not due to other treatable medical conditions, such as a brain tumor, migraine, and hypoglycemia. Symptoms may also be due to the side effect of prescribed medications or the effect of recreational drugs, such as LSD or methamphetamine.
A referral to a psychiatrist or other licensed mental health provider is made to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. Hospitalization and observation is often needed during an acute episode of suspected schizophrenia in order to ensure safety and complete a diagnosis.
It is possible that a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be missed or delayed because a person with the disorder may not seek care because of the stigma associated with mental illness. In addition, symptoms of schizophrenia can be vague or associated with other conditions. For more information on misdiagnosis and conditions and diseases that can mimic schizophrenia, refer to misdiagnosis of schizophrenia.
There is no specific cure for schizophrenia, but it can be successfully treated and controlled in many cases. Treatment generally includes a combination of medications and psychotherapy.