PURPOSE: This study investigates self-injury fromthe perspective of patients with
DESIGN AND METHODS: A phenomenological design was used. Twelve patients
participated. Data were collected using a semi-structured interview guide.
FINDINGS: Participants display self-injurious behavior predominantly in situations
when they are forced to eat. They are terrified of gaining weight and use selfinjurious
behavior to copewith their anxiety. Self-injury is envisioned as a technique
to regain control of their own eating pattern without bothering anyone. They feel
shame for not controlling their emotions more constructively.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Healthcare professionals should systematically
observe signals and explore less harmful strategies that help to regulate overwhelming feelings