Keywords: Self harm, abuse, biological factors, psychoanalytical approach, behavioral approach.


In this study, it is aimed to examine this research from a wide perspective and to emphasize the importance of more specific studies on the subject.

In this research, national and international studies on self-harm behavior were compiled.

Self-injurious behavior is frequently encountered as an advanced behavioral problem. (Şipal, 2010) Self-injurious behavior is that a person can harm one's own tissues in such a way as to cause severe acts without the will to die consciously. Self-injurious behavior is associated with many psychiatric disorders. In addition, deliberate self-harm behavior should be separated from suicide attempts. Self-injurious behavior usually begins in adolescence. “In the community sample studies, it was found that self-injurious behavior was seen in 1/3 and 1/2 of adolescents (Lloyd-Richardson et al. 2007, Yates et al. 2008). self-injurious behavior typically begins in adolescence and often occurs impulsively; adolescents and young adulthood (Claassen et al. 2006) (Bildik, Somer, Basay, Basay, &Ozbaran, 2012). According to the results of the study, identity confusion and low self-esteem symptoms were found to be significantly more frequent in adolescents with self-injurious behavior (Akdemir, Zeki, Unal, Kara, & Cetin, 2013). It is observed that traumas experienced in the past are related to deliberate self-harm behavior. There are many reasons for self-harm behavior. One of them is abuse. If the trauma experienced is remembered, self-harm behavior arises in order to replace the high level of anxiety with physical pain. Miller and Favazza investigated the reasons for self-mutilation and listed the factors that caused self-mutilation as follows: To have a sense of relaxation; Suppressing emotional pain; Moving away from the feeling of emptiness to show their experiences.(Aksoy, Ögel, 2003). However, in individuals who frequently repeat the act of self-harm, feelings of embarrassment, guilt, regret, and desire for social isolation may also be exacerbated by the stimulation of other negative emotions. (Gratz, 2003) It has been suggested that there may be many biological factors under self-harm behavior. Some of them are opiate system disorder, hypersensitivity of dopamine receptors, decrease in the amount of serotonin. There are psychodynamic opinions about self-harm behavior. Emerson (1913) and Fenichel (1945) stated that self-harm behavior is a substitute for masturbation and is equivalent. Then, behaviorists related to self-harm behavior started to study. According to the behavioral approach, self-harm behavior was later learned and considered as a sense of self-protection against the difficulties of life.

 Intentional self-harm behavior is difficult to explain, but in recent years it has attracted attention by researchers (Chapman, Gratz, & Brown, 2006). In line with the literature review on the subject, it is seen that the studies on this subject need to be more detailed and more specialized case groups should be examined.


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