00139 Risk for self-mutilation

00139 Risk for self-mutilation

Definition of the NANDA label

Situation in which there is a danger that the individual will engage in deliberately self-injurious behavior that, in order to relieve tension, may cause tissue damage in an attempt to cause a non-lethal injury.

Susceptible to deliberate self-injurious behavior causing tissue damage with the intent of causing nonfatal injury to attain relief of tension.

Risk factors

• Psychotic state (hallucinations of orders).
• Inability to verbally express tension.
• Sexual abuse in childhood.
• Violence between parental figures.
• Divorce of parents.
• Family alcoholism.
• Family history of self-destructive behaviors.
• Adolescence.
• Self-mutilation of their peers.
• Isolation from peers.
• Perfectionism.
• Substance abuse.
• Eating Disorders.
• Crisis of sexual identity.
• Low or unstable self-esteem.
• Poor or unstable body image.
• History of inability to find solutions or see long-term consequences.
• Use of manipulation to establish meaningful relationships with others.
• Chaotic or disturbed interpersonal relationships.
• Emotional disorders; abused child.
• Feelings of threat in the face of the actual or potential loss of significant relationships.
• Experiences of dissociation or depersonalization.
• Accumulation of tension that is intolerable.
• Impulsiveness.
• Inadequate coping.
• Irresistible urge to cut or injure yourself.
• Need for rapid stress reduction.
• Illness or surgery in childhood.
• Care for an adoptive parent figure, group, or institution.
• Imprisonment.
• Character disorders.
• Borderline personality disorders.
• Loss of control in situations that require troubleshooting.
• Developmental disorders or autism.
• History of self-injurious behaviors.
• Feelings of depression, rejection, self-hatred, separation anxiety, guilt, and depersonalization.

At risk population

• Adolescence
• Battered child
• Childhood illness
• Childhood surgery
• Developmental delay
• Family divorce
• Family history of self-destructive behavior
• Family substance misuse
• History of childhood abuse
• History of self-directed violence
• Incarceration
• Living in nontraditional setting
• Loss of significant relationship
• Peers who self-mutilate
• Sexual identity crisis
• Violence between parental figures

Associated condition

• Autism
• Borderline personality disorder
• Character disorder
• Depersonalization
• Psychotic disorder


• Control of aggression.
• Impulse control.
• Control of self-mutilation.


• Help to control anger.
• Training to control impulses.
• Environmental management: prevention of violence.
• Behavior management: self-injury.
• Environmental management: safety.

This diagnosis will retire from the NANDA-I Taxonomy in the 2021-2023 edition unless additional work is completed to bring it up to a level of evidence 2.1 or higher.