Nonsuicidal self-injury is hurting yourself on purpose, without trying to kill yourself. For example, if you cut your skin to hurt but not to kill yourself, that is called a nonsuicidal self-injury—it is not attempted suicide. The most common examples of nonsuicidal self-injury are:
Nonsuicidal self-injuries should be taken seriously. People who injure themselves on purpose are likely to do it again, and may be more likely to attempt or commit suicide.
Doctors will ask about your injuries and what happened. They’ll take your actions seriously and try to figure out if you might try to kill yourself.
Doctors treat nonsuicidal self-injury with psychotherapy (a treatment that involves working with a mental health care practitioner). Two types of psychotherapy used to treat non-suicidal self-injury are:
Medicines can help some people. If you have mental health disorders besides non-suicidal self-injury, doctors will treat those.
It is important to have follow-up doctors’ appointments to make sure the self-injury has stopped.