In any circumstance, it is difficult, if not impossible, to categorise people into groups according to their characteristics , and this goes for "the type" of people who injure themselves. There is a wide variety of people who self-injure although several factors have been described as common in the backgrounds of those who repeatedly harm themselves.
These factors include : -
- Childhood, physical, or sexual abuse
- Violence at home
- Stormy parental relations or broken homes
- Loss of parent through death or divorce
- Lack of emotional warmth (neglect)
- Illness resulting in hospitalisation during early childhood
- Parental depression or alcoholism
- Confinement in residential institution
In response to the question of "who is likely to harm themselves?", a general answer would be that although certain characteristics may be common, it is impossible to say that one person is more likely to self-harm than another because people respond to different situations in different ways.