00151 Self-mutilation

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00151 Self-mutilation

Definition of the NANDA label

Deliberately self-injurious behavior that, to relieve stress, causes tissue damage in an attempt to cause a non-fatal injury.

Deliberate self-injurious behavior causing tissue damage with the intent of causing nonfatal injury to attain relief of tension.

Defining characteristics

• Cuts or scratches on the body.
• Picking wounds.
• Self-caused burns (abrasions, cigarettes).
• Ingestion or inhalation of harmful substances or objects.
• Biting.
• Scrape.
• Cut yourself.
• Inserting one or more objects into the body orifice / s.
• Hitting yourself.
• Constrain a part of the body.

Related factors

• Psychotic state (hallucinations of orders).
• Inability to verbalize tension.
• Sexual abuse in childhood.
• Violence between parental figures.
• Divorce of parents.
• Family alcoholism.
• Family history of self-destructive behaviors.
• Adolescence.
• Self-mutilation of their peers.
• Isolation from peers.
• Perfectionism.
• Substance abuse.
• Eating Disorders.
• Crisis of sexual identity.
• Low or unstable self-esteem.
• Poor or unstable body image.
• Labile behavior (mood swings).
• History of inability to find solutions or see long-term consequences.
• Use of manipulation to establish meaningful relationships with others).
• Chaotic or disturbed interpersonal relationships.
• Emotional disorders; abused child.
• Feeling of threat at the actual or potential loss of significant relationships (eg, loss of a parent, of parental relationships).
• Experiences of dissociation or depersonalization.
• Accumulation of tension that is intolerable.
• Impulsiveness.
• Inadequate coping.
• Irresistible urge to cut or injure yourself.
• Need for rapid stress reduction.
• Illness or surgery in childhood.
• Cared for by a stranger, a group, or an institution.
• Imprisonment.
• Character disorders.
• Borderline personality disorders.
• Developmental disorders or autism.
• History of self-injurious behaviors.
• Feelings of depression, rejection, self-hatred, separation anxiety, guilt, depersonalization.
• Bad communication between the parents and the adolescent.
• Lack of family trust.

At risk population

• Adolescence
• Battered child
• Childhood surgery
• Developmental delay
• Childhood illness – Family divorce
• Family history of self-destructive behavior – Family substance misuse
• History of childhood abuse
• History of self-directed violence
• Incarceration
• Living in nontraditional setting
• Peers who self-mutilate
• Sexual identity crisis
• Violence between parental figures

Associated condition

• Autism
• Borderline personality disorder
• Character disorder
• Depersonalization
• Psychotic disorder


• Control of anxiety.
• Control of violence.
• Impulse control.


• Advice.
• Active listening.
• Support systems.
• Promotion of family involvement.
• Increased coping.
• Relaxation techniques.

This diagnosis will retire from the NANDA-I Taxonomy in the 2021-2023 edition unless additional work is completed to bring it up to a level of evidence 2.1 or higher.

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