Deliberate self-injury can be defined as the deliberate damage or destruction of bodily tissues without suicidal intent. Self-injury is most commonly co-occurring with other problems such as major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and substance use.

Possible Signs of Deliberate Self-Injury

Physical Symptoms:

  • Visible cuts to skin on arms, thighs, ankles or other body parts
  • Burning of skin
  • Picking skin
  • Self-hitting or head banging
  • Punching walls or objects
  • Poisoning/overdosing

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Feelings of anger, anxiousness, sadness, tension or even boredom can be emotions associated with self-injury
  • Difficulty regulating emotions can be associated with self-injury
  • They often say that they’re “accident-prone” or have many accidents
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Types of Mental Health Problems

Disorder Disclaimer

The following are mental health problems (as defined by Reardon and Factor, 2010; Gardner and Moore, 2006; Mental Health Commission of Canada – Mental Health First Aid Canada, 2011).

Supporting ‘red flag’ examples are also provided to initiate the awareness and early detection of mental health problems. Please note this is not an exhaustive list, but a breakdown of some common mental health problems and the corresponding physical and psychological symptoms to look out for.