Self-Injury, Biomedicine and Boundaries



In this chapter I present an exploration of biomedical ways of knowing about self-injury. The idea that self-injury is a pathological act that should come under medical jurisdiction has been challenged on numerous fronts. However, despite such challenges, biomedicine can be seen to have far reaching impacts in how self-injury is understood. More than this, medical knowledge shapes how we understand our bodies and our emotional lives, and each of these has been shown to be central in how self-injury is narrated, and experienced. By directly facing, and critiquing, medical knowledge about self-injury, this chapter seeks to excavate some of the numerous ways in which medicine has claimed authority over self-injury. At the same time, I incorporate engagement with long-standing resistance to such claims.


Mental Illness Borderline Personality Disorder Medical Knowledge Borderline Personality Disorder Severe Psychopathology 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LincolnLincolnUK

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