Nonsuicidal self-injury disorder: clinician and expert ratings

Gregory J Lengel, Stephanie N Mullins-Sweatt
Psychiatry Research 2013 December 30, 210 (3): 940-4
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a growing clinical and public health problem that affects individuals from all age groups, most prominently young adults. NSSI involves numerous methods and functions. NSSI has long been associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD), and in fact, it is only referenced among the diagnostic criteria of BPD in the DSM-IV-TR. However, recent studies have provided strong evidence that NSSI occurs outside of BPD. For these reasons, a diagnosis of nonsuicidal self-injury is included in DSM-5 Section-III as a condition that requires further study. The primary purpose of the present study was to identify whether the proposed DSM-5 NSSI criteria adequately reflect the symptoms of a prototypic individual who engages in self-injury. Clinicians in private practice and expert NSSI researchers (n=119) were asked to describe their familiarity and agreement with the proposed DSM-5 NSSI criteria, as well as the degree to which each proposed criterion is a prototypic symptom. Overall, most participants reported that the proposed DSM-5 criteria for NSSI accurately captured the behavior of the prototypic self-injurer. The results of this study provide incremental support for the proposed DSM-5 NSSI diagnostic criteria.

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