A pilot study examining hemomania behaviors in psychiatry outpatients engaged with nonsuicidal self-injury

Brain Behav. 2024 Apr;14(4):e3475. doi: 10.1002/brb3.3475.


Background: This study aims to conduct the first-ever evaluation of our previously proposed behaviors of "hemomania" in individuals engaged with nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI).

Methods: The study encompassed 130 outpatients engaged with NSSI who applied at the psychiatry outpatient clinic. NSSI behaviors were assessed using the Inventory of Statements About Self-Injury, while psychiatric diagnoses were evaluated using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Disorders-Clinician Version. Subsequently, participants completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 and Short Form of Barratt Impulsiveness Scale.

Results: The prevalence of at least one hemomania behavior including seeing blood, tasting blood, bloodletting, and blood-drinking was observed to be 43.1% in individuals with NSSI. When participants were divided into two groups, individuals with hemomania exhibited: (1) a higher incidence of psychiatric comorbidities, increased suicide attempts, and more severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and impulsivity, (2) higher comorbidity rates of borderline personality disorder, body-focused repetitive behaviors, and dissociative disorders, and (3) elevated frequencies of certain NSSI behaviors, including cutting, biting, needle-ticking, and carving, compared to those without.

Conclusion: Hemomania could be considered a specific impulse control disorder, characterized by heightened impulsivity and a persistent urge to obtain one's own blood. However, further studies are needed to validate this hypothesis.

Keywords: hemomania; impulsivity; nonsuicidal self‐injury; suicidality.

MeSH terms

  • Borderline Personality Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Outpatients
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self-Injurious Behavior* / epidemiology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior* / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted