Towards a new perspective on deliberate self-harm in an area of multiple deprivation

Sociol Health Illn. 2003 May;25(4):348-73. doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.00350.


Based on 50 qualitative interviews with people who have repeatedly taken overdoses, this paper presents a new perspective for understanding deliberate self-harm. The perspective is new in the sense that it (1) avoids over-reliance on risk factors and (2) places agency at the centre of the analysis to document how the respondents' artfully constructed accounts of their lives minimise agency and constitute life in a perpetual present.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Drug Overdose / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Scotland