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Can Fam Physician. 1996 September; 42: 1756-8, 1761-4.
PMCID: PMC2146898

Self-inflicted injuries. Challenging knowledge, skill, and compassion.

Abstract

PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED: Self-inflicted injuries and other serious self-destructive behaviours are common and difficult to recognize, prevent, and manage. Although they have previously been understood as repeated, failed attempts at suicide, they are better understood as maladaptive coping strategies. OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: Women who present repeatedly with self-inflicted injuries need help to control this self-destructive behaviour and substitute more positive coping strategies. Physicians also need help in working with patients who respond to problems in this way. MAIN COMPONENTS OF PROGRAM: The program is made up of two broad sections. The first section involves understanding the problem and its origins in post-traumatic stress disorders. The second section offers a practical approach to helping patients presenting with injuries inflict upon themselves. CONCLUSIONS: A deeper understanding of the etiology and management of repeated self-inflicted injuries will enable physicians to help patients with this difficult problem while minimizing their own anxiety and frustration.

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Articles from Canadian Family Physician are provided here courtesy of College of Family Physicians of Canada