Non Suicidal Self-Injury As a Social Regulation Strategy: Experiences of Suffering Among Chileans and French Adolescents
Results: Self-injury is a behaviour that allows self-regulation of emotions and anticipation of impulsion. Self-injury is not an impulsive act, but a process that involves a system of meanings and interactions. Self-injury emerges when the individual does not find a way to contextualize or manage an intense suffering through his social relations. It is a way to regulate an emotion that cannot be normatively managed. There is an emotional tone that prevails in the hierarchy of emotions in the two local contexts: Chilean adolescents describe ‘rabia’ [angry], while French describe ‘angoisse’ [anxiety]. Sometimes when self-injury cannot be an effective response, i.e. when it does not produce an emotional and social regulation effect, suicide attempt appears as a possible act.
Conclusion: The aggression of the body tissue is not only a practice that aims to regulate the emotional experience, but also a strategy to regulate the social experience or social situation.