[Non-suicidal self-injury and comorbid mental disorders: a review]

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2011 Jan;79(1):9-20. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1245772. Epub 2010 Nov 22.
[Article in German]


Background: Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is described as deliberate destruction of one's body without suicidal intent. It is a fact that the phenomenon is associated with several mental disorders. Even so, a systematic review is lacking. The aim of this article is to compile which psychiatric disorders occur most frequently with NSSI.

Methods: From a literature search, 21 of 1298 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria.

Results: Mood disorders, especially a recurrent major depression disorder, and personality disorders, particularly the borderline syndrome, are closely connected with NSSI in adolescence and adulthood. Self-injury is also present in anxiety and substance use disorders. In adolescence, externalising disorders are related to NSSI, too.

Conclusions: Depressive disorders and the borderline personality disorders are robustly associated with NSSI. It is still unknown whether or not the occurrence of NSSI with particular disorders can be explained by comorbidity with the borderline syndrome.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / complications
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / epidemiology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mood Disorders / complications
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mood Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / complications
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / complications
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / epidemiology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology*
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Young Adult