Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

First do no harm: the impossible oath

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 19 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4734

Rapid Response:

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, and violence. 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

19 July 2019
Hugh Mann
New York, NY, USA