Intended for healthcare professionals


Prevention of self harm in adolescents

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 07 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d592

How to understand self-harm

In order to understand self-harm, we must study Sigmund Freud's
theory of the libido (life wish) and mortido (death wish). Unfortunately,
Freud's theory of the mortido has lost currency. As a result, the mortido
is alive and well, and flourishes as self-harm in all its manifestations,
including accidents, addiction, tattoos, body-piercing, bad relationships,
criminality, and suicide. Let's dust off our copies of Sigmund and Anna
Freud's work, and re-learn their seminal lessons.

Competing interests: No competing interests

19 April 2011
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA