Clinical Case Database / Category: Clinical Care

Management of deliberate self-harm in adolescence

Publication details

Andrew Weaver MBChB MRCPsych
Foundation Years Journal, volume 1, issue 5, p.235 (123Doc Education, London, September 2007)


Lisa, a 15 year old girl, attends the accident and emergency department with her best friend. She has taken an overdose of eight paracetamol tablets. Her friend has persuaded her to attend. You see her and she consents to a physical assessment and blood tests. However, she is reluctant to discuss the reasons for her overdose. How should you proceed?

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Andrew Weaver MBChB MRCPsych (Corresponding author)

Consultant in Child & Adolescent psychiatry
Macclesfild CAMHS
Elm House
Lea Bank Close
SK11 8QA


2.  National Institute of Clinical Excellence. The short-term physical and psychological management and secondary prevention of self-harm in primary and secondary care 2004.

3.  Kingsbury, S. Parasuicide in adolescents: a message in a bottle. Association of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review and Newsletter 1993; 15, 253-259

4.  Taylor, D.C. The components of sickness: diseases, illnesses and predicaments. Lancet 1979; ii, 1008-1010

1.  Hawton, K., Osborn, M., O’Grady, J., et al. Adolescents who take overdoses: their characteristics, problems and contact with helping agencies. British Journal of Psychiatry 1982; 140, 118-123


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About the Clinical Cases Database

T​he Foundation Years Clinical Cases Database is​ a selection of 600 peer-reviewed clinical cases in the field of patient safety and clinical practice, specifically focused on the clinical information needs of junior doctors, based around the Foundation Year Curriculum programme (MMC). The cases have been chosen to align with the Foundation Year Curriculum.

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