Edited by Paul Plener and Joerg Fegert
Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) has been included in the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in section 3 as a "condition for further study", meaning that criteria for identifying a possible new disorder have been put out to the scientific and clinical community to see if the proposed construct holds value to justify its inclusion as a formal diagnosis. The past few years have seen a rise in studies focusing on NSSI. This rise is still continuous, with researchers trying to clarify aspects of a phenomenon that has received significant clinical attention, especially in adolescent populations.
At the time of the first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health special issue on NSSI in 2012, it was still unclear whether (and if so, in which format) NSSI would be part of the DSM-5. This second special issue, also published in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health now goes a step further in presenting a plethora of in-depth studies on different aspects of NSSI, including functions of NSSI, diagnostic issues and NSSI in special populations, as well as outcomes and cessation patterns.
The International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) held their 10th annual meeting this year in Heidelberg with participants from 12 countries. A wide variety of research was presented at the meeting demonstrating a substantial progress in the field, but also outlining the need for further research. Moreover, as NSSI research is a rapidly evolving global field the second installment of this series (September update) offers a guideline on conducting NSSI research. Anyone interested in NSSI will find new thoughts and future essential readings in both installments of this special article collection.
This series of articles has not been sponsored. All articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer review process, with final decisions made by the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief declares no competing interests.