Nonfiction Recommends

Bodies Under Siege

Bodies Under Siege Armando R. Favazza

This work analyzes the complex issues surrounding self-mutilation, drawing on case studies from clinical psychiatry and cultural anthropology to show that the phenomenon is deeply embedded culturally, and far more common than is often thought. More…

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A Bright Red Scream

A Bright Red Scream Marilee Strong

An investigation of why so many people deliberately hurt themselves and what can be done to help them. The illness “outed” on a global scale when Princess Diana admitted hurting herself deliberately, and continues to be practised mainly by middle-class women who start in their teens and self-harm throughout their lives. More…

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Healing the Hurt Within

Healing the Hurt Within Jan Sutton

This work reveals the traumatic experiences underlying self-injury, food misuse and alcohol abuse. As well as offering hope and relief to other sufferers, the stories in this book aim to give those who have contact with sufferers a deeper understanding of self-destructive behavior. More…

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The Scarred Soul

The Scarred Soul Tracy Alderman

This step-by-step guide is designed to help victims of self-inflicted violence understand why they feel the need to hurt themselves and to take steps to change their behaviour. Most victims tend to be teenage girls or women in their twenties. To hurt themselves is sometimes a way of focusing and controlling overwhelming feelings of chaos. For others, it frees them from the numbness that defends them from the pain of previous abuse. More…

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Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers

Bodily Harm : The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers Karen Conterio and Wendy Lader with Jennifer Kingson Bloom

Two pioneers in the treatment of selfinjury problems offer a comprehensive look at this epidemic psychiatric disorder, in which people feel compelled to mutilate themselves, examining potential treatments, discussing case histories, and presenting success stories. More…

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Coping with Self-Mutilation

Coping With Self-Mutilation Alicia Clarke

A growing number of young people are trying to cope with their problems and challenges by harming themselves physically. In this sensitively written book, teens and their parents can learn what self- mutilation is and why people harm themselves. More…

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Other Books in Nonfiction

Man Against Himself

Man Against Himself Karl Menninger

Scholarly examination of man’s need for self-respect and understanding, focuses on the nature and causes of his psychological war against himself. More…

Judging by the customer reviews on, this book should be well worth reading. Not bad for a book originally published in the 1930s.

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Cutting Steven Levenkron

[Self injury] is not recognized as a clinical disorder and few understand it. This work has been written for the self-mutilator, parents, friends, and therapists and explains why the disorder manifests in self-harming behaviour and describes how the self- mutilator can be helped. More…

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Living on the Razor’s Edge

Living on the Razor's Edge Matthew D. Selekman and Bill O’Hanlon

This text aims to provide therapists with a practice-orientated guidebook for working with self-harming adolescents, a growing and challenging treatment population. More…

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Self-Mutilation and Art Therapy: Violent Creation

Self-Mutilation and Art Therapy: Violent Creation Diana Milia

Examines the effect of art therapy interventions with clients who harm their bodies. Argues that using art as intervention supports the self-mutilating person’s preference for ritualized symbolic action and their need to create transitional objects. More…

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Mutilating the Body: Identity in Blood and Ink

Mutilating the Body: Identity in Blood and Ink Kim Hewitt

“This scholarly discussion places acts of body mutilation within a conceptual framework that explores their similarities and dissimilarities, but ultimately interprets them as acts that ask to be witnessed. The author explores self-mutilation through history and across cultural divisions.” More…

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Cry of Pain

Cry of Pain Mark Williams

The author has written a short description of the book: […] It considers ‘rational suicide’, euthanasia and martyrdom, and how serious self-harm can occur either because there are too many reasons for dying, or because there are too few reasons for living. It looks at some of the factors that may reduce the barriers for suicide, how television and newspapers can cause an increase in such behaviour by showing or reporting suicide stories which vulnerable people then imitate.

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