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People who self-harm more likely to be violent than others, study finds

We know that some people have a higher tendency to be violent than others. Some may naturally be aggressive while others may develop the trait over time. However, a new study has found one other cause of being violent. Now it was revealed that self-harm may induce violence among people.

Self-Harm & Violence

The research was conducted by a group of neuropsychiatrists who wanted to find the link between self-harm and violence. Their findings were documented in The American Journal of Psychiatry. The scientists observed the behavioural pattern of a number of young people who had been self-harming for over a year.

The results may appear startling yet call for a cause of concern.

It was revealed that adolescents who self-harm have a higher tendency to be violent than any other group. In fact, the study concluded that this tendency multiplies by almost three times. Harming yourself was linked with behavioural actions like inflicting harm on other people etc. Commonly, such youth would engage in acts like homicides, mugging/robberies and break-ins. Interestingly enough, the scientists also found that people who self-harm are more likely to involve themselves in driving under influence (DUI) incidents.

There were several other additional information studies provided. Basically, the neuropsychiatrists associated with the study wanted to examine the risk factors involved. They wanted to investigate why people would start to self-harm in the first place. In their initial observation, they thought chronic depression had a considerable role to play. While that may hold true for certain individual, there are other risk factors to consider.

The findings revealed that self-harmers, although may suffer from depressive disorders, had other prevailing mental conditions as well. They were more likely to be paranoid about themselves and others. Above that, most of the victims had a history of substance abuse that potentially led to psychosis in numerous cases.

Above all that, people who self-harm had occupied a childhood trauma in the past. Scientists feel that this is one important concern to account for that was never really properly dealt with.

Important Takeaways

The study conducted tells a lot about self-harming and violence. Suffice to say there exists a substantial relationship between the two. Injuring yourself through any means regardless of the reason may induce violent traits within the individual.

That discussion on one side, there are other important takeaways that you should keep in mind. Firstly, if you know anyone who self-harms, you should be dealing with the situation in a very holistic way.

There are a number of stereotypical approaches that people would normally adopt. The act of self-harm is often seen as a way to garner attention. That is not actually the case. Harming yourself, supported by research, can regulate emotions. In a wider sense, it is a cathartic process for the patient that a normal person may not be able to perceive properly.

While acknowledging the aforementioned point, there are few things you can do for that person. It is pertinent to refer him/her to a psychotherapist so the situation is dealt in a meaningful way. On the second level, parents should keep a check on their children who might have had a history of self-harm. That is to say, preventing the child before he/she exhibits his/her violent traits.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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