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Indirect Self Harm

Date: July 12 2020

Summary: Indirect self harm definition and associated examples

Keywords: ##zettel #self #harm #indirect #archive


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Table of Contents

  1. How To Cite
  2. References
  3. Discussion:

Indirect self-harm (ISH) are non-suicidal actions that individuals take to physically mistreat or abuse themselves. It does not immediately lead to direct bodily damage [1]. Examples of ISH are eating disorders, remaining in physically abusive relationships, extended abuse of substances, and flippant behavior [1].

Indirect self-harm (ISH) is conceptually different from direct self-harm (DSH). Generally, ISH is an expression of centering oneself. It is a way to control one's feelings or to exact punishment. [2] As such, ISH can be a coping mechanism to handle emotional anguish, rage and frustration. [1] Some use it as a means to lower tension [3].

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. [4] For women aged 15-24, mortality rates related to Anorexia are 12 times greater than other mortality rates. [5] As such, the eating disorder community is generally the most prolific indirect self-harm community. A majority of the literature about indirect self-harm literature is centered around it [6]–[9]

How To Cite

Zelko, Jacob. Indirect Self Harm. July 12 2020.


[1] S. A. S. Germain and J. M. Hooley, “Direct and indirect forms of non-suicidal self-injury: Evidence for a distinction,” Psychiatry Res., vol. 197, no. 1–2, pp. 78–84, 2012.

[2] D. Owens, J. Horrocks, and A. House, “Fatal and non-fatal repetition of self-harm: Systematic review,” Br. J. Psychiatry, vol. 181, no. 3, pp. 193–199, 2002.

[3] K. L. Gratz, “Measurement of deliberate self-harm: Preliminary data on the Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory,” J. Psychopathol. Behav. Assess., vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 253–263, 2001.

[4] P. F. Sullivan et al., “Mortality in anorexia nervosa,” Am. J. Psychiatry, vol. 152, no. 7, pp. 1073–1074, 1995.

[5] F. R. Smink, D. Van Hoeken, and H. W. Hoek, “Epidemiology of eating disorders: Incidence, prevalence and mortality rates,” Curr. Psychiatry Rep., vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 406–414, 2012.

[6] P. A. Adler and P. Adler, “Self-injurers as loners: The social organization of solitary deviance,” Deviant Behav., vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 345–378, 2005.

[7] S. R. Brotsky and D. Giles, “Inside the ‘pro-ana’ community: A covert online participant observation,” Eat. Disord., vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 93–109, 2007.

[8] R. A. Fleming-May and L. E. Miller, “‘I’m scared to look. But I’m dying to know’: Information seeking and sharing on Pro-Ana weblogs,” Proc. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol., vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 1–9, 2010.

[9] L. R. Shade, “Weborexics: The ethical issues surrounding pro-ana websites,” Acm Sigcas Comput. Soc., vol. 33, no. 4, p. 2, 2003.


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