Differences between suicide and non-suicidal self-harm behaviours: a literary review.
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Instytut Psychiatrii
Joanna Halicka   

Instytut Psychiatrii, ul. Piaskowa 3, 13-200 Działdowo, Poland
Submission date: 2015-07-05
Acceptance date: 2015-07-28
Publication date: 2015-10-19
Arch Psych Psych 2015;17(3):59–63
According to the current information of WHO, suicide is one of the 20 most common causes of death in the whole population. Suicides constitute one of the most common causes of death amongst teenagers. Apart from suicide, another significant, however much less known phenomenon is the non-suicidal self-injury. Despite the fact that we know much less about self-harm than about suicide, the results of research during the last years indicate that self-harm occurs more frequently in the population of adolescents – suicides constitute 10% in the population of teenagers, and 7-14% of adolesncets report to have performed a self-harm act at least once in their live. The last transnational research shows that the frequency of self-destructive behaviours in adolescents is at the level of 24% of the whole population, which might indicate an intensification of this phenomenon. In some cases self-injury takes place with a clear intention of committing suicide, or a self-destructive act, which often precedes a suicidal attempt long before the final decision to carry it out. Nevertheless, In the majority of cases self-injury is not performed with the intention of death. Therefore a question might be posed: do self-harm acts constitute a separate category of behaviours, or do they inevitably lead to a suicidal death? When answering this question, we ought to take a closer look at both phenomena to have a better knowledge about their etiology, risk factors, and to understand when they co-occur, and when they belong to different categories of self-aggressive behaviours.