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Revista Dor

Print version ISSN 1806-0013On-line version ISSN 2317-6393


VIEIRA, Marcos Girardi; PIRES, Marta Helena Rovani  and  PIRES, Oscar Cesar. Self-mutilation: pain intensity, triggering and rewarding factors. Rev. dor [online]. 2016, vol.17, n.4, pp.257-260. ISSN 2317-6393.


Self-mutilation is a self-destruction behavior elicited by the desire of self-punishment which may be unconscious and has major impact on individuals' lives. This study aimed at identifying pain intensity which satisfies self-mutilation need the most, in addition to triggering and rewarding factors.


Cohort study, carried out by means of a questionnaire with participation of 20 patients aged above 18 years, treated in a Psychiatry ambulatory of a medium-sized city of Vale do Paraiba.


Participants were aged between 16 and 60 years, being 85% females. Depression was the most prevalent disease and sadness was the triggering factor. With regard to feelings, 65% have answered being relieved and the period with large number of occurrences was at night. As to pain intensity according to pain numerical scale, 45% have reported no pain, 35% mild pain, 15% moderate and 5% severe pain. However, when considering pain interpreted outside the moment of crisis, 5% have reported no pain, 45% moderate pain and 50% severe pain.


The prevalence of self-mutilation was higher among young females with some psychiatric disorder and the period with large number of occurrences was at night. Pain intensity was low to mild, especially as compared to patients' evaluation outside the moment of crisis.

Keywords : Acute pain; Biological psychiatry; Self-mutilation.

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