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Personality Disorder and Self-wounding

  • Digby Tantam (a1) and Jane Whittaker (a2)


At least 1 in 600 adults wound themselves sufficiently to need hospital treatment. More men than women do it, although more women receive psychological treatment. Many have a history of sexual or physical abuse. Self-wounding differs from other self-harm in being aimed neither at mutilation nor at death. Self-wounding coerces others and relieves personal distress. Repeated self-wounding is one criterion of borderline personality disorder but we prefer to consider it an ‘addictive’ behaviour rather than an expression of a wider disorder. Psychological management may need to be augmented by drug or social treatment. Carers, including professional carers, usually need help to contain the turbulence that self-wounding produces.



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  • Digby Tantam (a1) and Jane Whittaker (a2)


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Personality Disorder and Self-wounding

  • Digby Tantam (a1) and Jane Whittaker (a2)
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