Q: What psychological factors influence self injury?

A: Past trauma, dissociation, boundary violation such as physical or sexual abuse, substance abuse, personality disorder, eating disorders.

Q: Why does my friend self injure?

A: Injury is generally not the problem for your friend; it is the feelings behind the injuries. Injury is often combined with feelings of loneliness, anger, feeling numb, failure, guilt, helplessness or rejection; often these feelings stem from past life events. Reasons can include:

  • self –punishment
  • attempting to feel something other than numbness
  • venting emotional feelings
  • feeling control over their body

Q: Is my friend just attention seeking?

A: No. While your friend needs attention and the injury may be a cry for help, that is not the motivation behind self injury as the behavior is done secretly.