Psychiatric morbidity and the Socio-demographic determinants of Deliberate Self Harm 601-604
Senior resident, Deptt of Psychiatry
Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Bathinda.
Background: Manâ€™s attempt to harm himself or to end his life is probably as old as himself. Even then, this topic fascinates researchers and it continues to be one of the most talked about, written and discussed subjects, but it still is an enigma. Deliberate self harm (DSH) is common; however, there is scanty data on this issue from India.
Objectives: To study the socio-demographic and the clinical profiles of the subjects who had the tendency to deliberately self harm themselves.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was performed for a period of 1 year in a medical college and research institute in north India. The data were recorded in an especially designed proforma which documented the socio-demographic variables, psychiatric illnesses, psychosocial stress factors, past and family history and the details of the suicide attempt. Chi2,Fisher exact, and t tests were used to note the statistically significant associations.
Results: Younger people <25 years of age (53%) predominated in the study. Females (58%) outnumbered the males (42%). Most of the DSH patients were married and housewives, and were from urban and low socioeconomic backgrounds. A majority of the patients were 1st time attempters, they had no family history and they used poison as the most preferred method. Half of the patients (50%) had psychiatric illness which was predominated by depression (36%). Family quarrel (32%) and marital disharmony (17%) were found to be the most common precipitating factors for DSH.
Conclusion: Population based prospective studies, awareness programs, preventive measures and proper psychiatric referral systems should be built up to decrease the incidence of self harm.