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Agony of the Society, Non-Suicidal Self-Injury
J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2023; 34(3): 151-151
Published online July 1, 2023
© 2023 Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Hee Jeong Yoo

Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide in adolescents have been described in psychiatry; however, it did not attract as much attention as the present. For example, according to a national survey, suicide is the leading cause of death among adolescents in South Korea (41.1% of deaths in age 10–19 years, 6.5 per 100000 persons), and 2.6% of adolescents have reported attempting suicide [1]. Prevalence of NSSI are estimated much higher than actual suicidal rate, as 11%–39% in adolescents and young adults, and NSSI is not necessarily associated with suicidal intent [2]. NSSI may precede suicidal attempts, but it is not directly associated with suicidal intent itself. Adolescents often broadcast their NSSI attempts on social networks and share their experiences, feelings, and vivid scars and blood with unfamiliar individuals. It is an emerging psychopathology in adolescents and young adults. Simultaneously, it is a social phenomenon representing the agony of young individuals in the society.

Currently, two articles examining NSSI and suicide in adolescents are published as special articles. A research article examined the relationship among suicide, NSSI, and internet addiction in adolescents using large samples in a city of Korea [3]. Considering that internet addiction may be due to interplay of multidimensional risks factors, the research shared an insight regarding the co-occurrence of problematic behavior being closely linked to suicide and NSSI, besides mood disorders [4]. The second paper shows careful analyses of subjective experience of young participants using semi-structured interview and thematic analysis followed. It revealed that NSSI has multiple functions within an individual, in the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and emotion regulation context. We hope it will assist clinicians gain a more profound understanding of the clients’ experiences, enabling them to effectively apply this in the real world practice.

  1. Korea Disease Control. Adolescent Health Behavior Investigation 2022 [Internet]. Cheongju: Korea Disease Control and Prenevtion Agency [cited 2023 Jun 28]. Available from:
  2. Kim S, Kim Y, Hur JW. Nonsuicidal self-injury among Korean young adults: a validation of the Korean version of the inventory of statements about self-injury. Psychiatry Investig 2019;16:270-278.
    Pubmed KoreaMed CrossRef
  3. Kim H, Jhon M, Kim JW, Kang HJ, Ryu S, Kim SY, et al. Suicide and non-suicidal self-injury from internet addiction among Korean adolescents. J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2023;34:152-158.
  4. Thomas D, Bonnaire C. Non-suicidal self-injury and emotional dysregulation in male and female young adults: a qualitative study. J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2023;34:159-168.

April 2024, 35 (2)
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