Self-Mutilation and Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety, and Borderline Personality Disorder

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between self-mutilation and symptoms of depression and anxiety in a nonclinical population. Selfmutilators reported significantly more symptoms of depression and anxiety than did the control group. When the group of self-mutilators was divided into individuals who cut themselves and individuals who harm themselves in other ways, we found that the between-group differences were primarily due to individuals with a history of cutting. Yet when symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) were statistically controlled, all significant between-group differences in depressive and anxious symptoms were reduced to nonsignificant. These findings highlight the importance of assessing symptoms of BPD in self-mutilators, regardless of diagnosis.

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Peer Reviewed



APA Citation: Andover, M. S., Pepper, C. M., Ryabchenko, K. A., Orrico, E. G., & Gibb, B. E. (2005). Self-mutilation and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 35(5), 581-591.