Recent research has differentiated several distinct classes of self-
destructive behavior. This paper describes the clinical characteristics of
one class, the deliberate self-harm syndrome. Analysis of 56 published case
reports of self-harm revealed a typical pattern of onset in late
adolescence, multiple recurrent episodes, low lethality, harm deliberately
inflicted upon the body, and extension of the behavior over many years.
Since the clinical characteristics of the deliberate self-harm syndrome
differ substantially from those of other classes of self-destructive
behavior, the authors propose that DSM-IV classify deliberate self-harm as
a separate diagnostic syndrome.