Self-cannibalism is a rare form of self-mutilation in which the person eats his or her own flesh.

Tissue that may be eaten include:

(1) a finger or toe

(2) excised skin

(3) other


Risk factors:

(1) psychotic mental disorder (schizophrenia, other)

(2) psychosis associated with substance abuse

(3) history of self-mutilation and/or suicide attempts

(4) antisocial or borderline personality disorder

(5) prison inmate (with or without malingering)


Very rarely no risk factors are seen. Such a patient would require a thorough psychiatric evaluation to identify a masked mental disorder.

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