Suicide and Self Harm with Addiction
“Suicide and self harm is extremely common among those living with the disease of addiction, because the person’s life has gotten out of control and they simply can’t stop
themselves from abusing alcohol and drugs.”
Because self-harm (also known as self-injury or self-mutilation) can involve physical injury (such as in the case of self-injury cutting), it can seem like self-harm and suicide are directly related. It’s normal to think that cutting one’s wrist, in the case of self-harm, may be a suicidal gesture; indicating that the person wishes to cut their wrist to die.
However, this is typically not the case. In fact, most people who practice self-injury don’t intend to kill themselves and may even see self-injury as a way of avoiding suicide.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-HARM AND SUICIDE
Self-harm that is not undertaken with the aim of committing suicide is called non-suicidal self-injury and most self-harm falls into this category. People who practice non-suicidal self-injury do so to deal with overwhelming emotions or to feel emotion when none exists. These self-injury quotes provide additional insight into that. And while many people who self-mutilate consider suicide, the act of self-mutilation itself, is not generally a suicidal act. (read: Why I Self-Harm: Why People Self-Injure)
A minority of people will practice self-harm with suicidal intent, however, so the specific relationship between self-harm and suicide is unclear. And while the act of self-harm has not been shown to lead to suicide, it is understood that the pain that causes people to self-harm may also drive a person to suicide. This is seen in the following statistics about individuals with a history of non-suicidal self-injury as compared to those without a history of self-harm:1
Vogue Recovery Center has been invited by the Nevada chapter of
the American Counseling Association to lecture on suicide and self harm prevention at their annual
conference March 23, 2018. Vogue Recovery will address recent national headlines regarding
the epidemic of suicide and self-harm which are now associated with the opioid epidemic
and Las Vegas addiction crisis, as well as how to identify and address suicidal ideation.
NBC News Debunker: Tony Dokoupil looks at three common myths about suicide