Religious and ritual self-harm

Even though people hurt themselves “since the earliest times” (Menninger, 1938), non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) only became studied in the late 19th century. Because of this lack of research until then, it is difficult to know if NSSI as we define it nowadays existed before. Literature relates cases of people hurting themselves as we shall see,… Continue reading Religious and ritual self-harm


The case of Richey Edwards

On May 15 1991, Richey Edwards, one of the lyricists and guitarists of Manic Street Preachers, gave an interview to NME journalist Steve Lamacq. As the interviewer questioned the band’s authenticity and claimed they were a marketing product, Edwards took a razor blade and carved the words ‘4REAL’ into his forearm. The injury was then… Continue reading The case of Richey Edwards

General, Science

The addictiveness of self-harm

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) has no well-established diagnosis yet. While episodes of self-inflicted injury that occurred only once or a twice are considered NSSI by some researchers and health-care providers, another definition argues that NSSI is a repetitive behavior1. NSSI has no diagnosis in the DSM-5 yet, but it is included as a condition for further… Continue reading The addictiveness of self-harm


The biology of self-harm

Research about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is still relatively new, but it is developing through different approaches such as the psychological, cultural, and more recently biological approach. Yet, it is still poorly understood from biological and clinical perspectives1. These perspectives can be valuable for the understanding of self-harm. Self-reported data is not always accurate and there… Continue reading The biology of self-harm


Perfection (2012)

WARNING: PICTURES OF FICTIONAL SELF-HARM AND SPOILER The theory of social learning “states that an individual’s behavior is shaped by their social world”1. Someone’s social world can consist of friends, family, co-workers among others but also of the media consumed. This theory could apply to non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and some research suggests a correlation between… Continue reading Perfection (2012)

General, History

Self-harm in France

Une version française de cet article est disponible ici. BRIEF HISTORY OF THE REPRESENTATION OF SELF-HARM IN FRANCE Self-harm is still a taboo all over the world, as is mental health in general. Yet in English-speaking countries such as the United States and especially the United Kingdom, self-harm is discussed and researched, even if the… Continue reading Self-harm in France


American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice (2017)

WARNING: PICTURES OF FICTIONAL SELF-HARM AND SPOILER This article is the first of a series dedicated to the representation of self-harm in horror movies. Throughout our analysis of these movies, we will wonder how self-harm is represented by focusing on symbolism, visuality and the psychological theory with which these movies are in line. These articles… Continue reading American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice (2017)


Self-harm in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Self-harm, whether for religious, ritual or medical reasons, has been performed “since the earliest times”1. Yet, it is wrongly thought to be a recent behaviour and only started to be extensively researched in the late 19th century. As explained by Sarah Chaney, “Although self-injurious acts had been carried out and described previously in medical and… Continue reading Self-harm in the late 19th and early 20th centuries