Psychiatric and psychological factors
  • Mental illness, such as depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder

  • Alcohol or drug misuse

  • Previous NSSI or suicide attempts

  • Lack of optimism

  • Low self-esteem

  • Ineffective coping or problem solving skills

  • Reduced ability to tolerate distress

  • A heightened sense of perfectionism

What are the risk factors for NSSI?

 

While it can be difficult to know why people self-injure, and although there is no one single cause of self-injury, there are some important risk factors that may increase someone’s risk of engaging in self-injury.

 

While NSSI is more common among people with mental health issues, it is important to recognise that people who self-injure can appear to be functioning well both academically and socially, and may not have a mental illness.

 

 

 Sociodemographic and educational factors
  • Age (generally adolescents and young adults)

  • Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender sexual orientation or identity

  • Poor academic achievement

  • Poor school attendance

 

 

 

 Sociodemographic factors
  • Age (generally adolescents and young adults)

  • Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender sexual orientation or identity

  • Low academic achievement

  • Poor school attendance

  • Low socio-economic status

 Negative life events and family adversity
  • Parental separation or divorce

  • Childhood trauma, maltreatment, or neglect

  • Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood

  • Unstable or dysfunctional family background

  • Family or friend self-injury or suicide attempt

  • Bullying

  • Relationship problems with family or peers