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The causes of deliberate self-harm may be divided into predisposing and precipitating factors:

  • predisposing factors:
    • early parental loss
    • parental neglect or abuse
    • long-term social problems e.g. divorce
    • poor physical health e.g. epilepsy, multiple sclerosis
    • personality disorder
    • alcohol

  • precipitating factors:
    • stressful life events

Last reviewed 01/2018