Ingestion of Foreign Objects as a Means of Nonlethal Self-Injury

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borderline personality disorder, ingestion of foreign objects, inpatient treatment, nonsuicidal self-injury, self-harm, outcomes

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The focus of this practice review is to understand the precursors, correlates, and treatment of self-injury by ingestion of foreign objects among patients in inpatient mental health facilities. These cases exhibited pervasive psychopathology of early onset, histories of severe personality disorder, and trauma. The cases seemingly presented a higher incidence of medical complications than is reported in the literature, and treatment outcomes varied from modest-to-good success. Considering these difficulties, the goal of this practice review is to shed light on the motivation and treatment of self-injury by ingestion and to consider directions where existing theory and research could inform treatment strategies in future cases. We conclude the practice review with a summary of questions that remain to be answered with future research studies and make recommendations regarding treatment of these difficult cases.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, v. 4, issue 2, p. 182-189