Friday, December 05, 2008

Self-Embedding Disorder

********** Trigger Alert **********

I have written before about the psychological aspects of Cutting and Self Injury. This psychological phenomenon has been on the rise in recent years, and now the Radiological Society of North America is highlighting a unique trend called Self-Embedding Disorder.

Self-Embedding is different than Cutting and other Self-Injurious behaviors in that patients identified with Self-Embedding Disorder often have suicidal ideation (Most who cut are usually non-suicidal. With cutting, the goal is to inflict physical harm on one's body to relieve emotional distress. Not end life).

Individuals who Self-Embed take the behavior of cutting a step further by introducing an object or objects inside the wound or into deeper soft tissue. Only when the pain becomes excruciating, do such patients find their way to hospital settings or doctor offices. In the reported cases from the RSNA study, 90% of the patients they saw with such injuries were adolescent girls. The photo above, from the RSNA conference, shows three staples in the lower part of the hand of a teenage girl.

If you are self-harming or know someone who is, please consider seeking professional medical and psychological help to aid you in understanding this behavioral disorder. Often, self-harm is a way to express what feels unbearable. Or is unspeakable. A mental health specialist will help you learn ways to find the words, ease the pain and find a sense of well being.