First report on teen self-embedding disorder described

December 8, 2008

The first report describing an emerging self-harm disorder among teenagers was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

The first report describing self-harm disorder among teenagers was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

As described by William E. Shiels, DO, Chief of the Department of Radiology at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, the condition is called self-embedding disorder and involves insertion of foreign objects into parts of the body such as necks, arms, hands, ankles, and feet.

The findings presented at the meeting were based on 10 adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 18, in whom 19 episodes of self-embedding injury were documented. Among nine of these girls, 52 foreign bodies were removed. Foreign objects included metal needles, metal staples, metal paperclips, glass, wood, plastic, graphite, crayon, and stone.

According to Reuters, Dr. Shiels and colleagues have set up a Web-based registry at Nationwide Children's Hospital for physicians to submit their own cases of alleged self-embedding.