Intended for healthcare professionals


Injury surveillance in Europe and the UK

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 08 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5337

How to understand self-harm

Self-harm is prolific and protean. Its self-deceptive, sadomasochistic manifestations include injuries, accidents, addiction, tattoos, body-piercing, promiscuity, infidelity, fanaticism, cruelty, crime, violence, and suicide. What should we do? We should understand that we all have both a life wish (libido) and a death wish (mortido). And we should be alert to the mortido, because it never rests, and it’s always with us. 

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 September 2014
Hugh Mann
New York, USA