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A Necessary Pain: A Literature Review of Young People’s Experiences of Self-Harm
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3360-5589
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9116-5569
2022 (English)In: Issues in Mental Health Nursing, ISSN 0161-2840, E-ISSN 1096-4673, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 154-163Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Self-harm is defined as intentional self-injury without the wish to die. People who self-harm report feeling poorly treated by healthcare professionals, and nurses wish to know how best to respond to and care for them. Increased understanding of the meaning of self-harm can help nurses collaborate with young people who self-harm to achieve positive healthcare outcomes for them.

Aim: This review aimed to synthesise qualitative research on young peoples' experiences of living with self-harm.

Method: A literature search in CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO resulted in the inclusion of 10 qualitative articles that were subjected to metasynthesis.

Results: The results show that young people’s experiences of living with self-harm are multifaceted and felt to be a necessary pain. They used self-harm to make life manageable, reporting it provided relief, security, and a way to control overwhelming feelings. They suffered from feeling addicted to self-harm and from shame, guilt, and self-punishment. They felt alienated, lonely, and judged by people around them, from whom they tried to hide their real feelings. Instead of words, they used their wounds and scars as a cry for help.

Conclusion: Young people who harm themselves view self-harm as a necessary pain; they suffer, but rarely get the help they need. Further research is necessary to learn how to offer these people the help they need.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2022. Vol. 43, no 2, p. 154-163
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-186601DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2021.1948640ISI: 000681245400001PubMedID: 34346267Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85111844078OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-186601DiVA, id: diva2:1584762
Available from: 2021-08-13 Created: 2021-08-13 Last updated: 2023-03-24Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren, Britt-MarieMolin, Jenny

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