Self-Embedding Behavior (SEB): A Case Report and Review of Literature

Main Article Content

Abdul Wahab Yousafzai
Junaid Chaudhry




Self-embedding behavior (SEB) is a type of self-injury in which individuals insert foreign objects into their soft tissues (e.g. into the muscle or under the skin).  This report is a case of self-embedding behavior (SEB) with multiple self-inserted pins and needles in the extremities in a young female suffering from major depressive disorder.  Information for this case was compiled from psychiatric and psychotherapy interviews, clinical observations, and medical and surgical notes.  The patient engaged in self-embedding behavior most likely to deal with the pain and suffering she had been experiencing due to low self-esteem issues.  Although there is scant literature published on this topic, the available literature indicates that self-embedding behavior in adolescents occurs primarily in females of 14-18 years who have bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression.  The diagnosis of SEB is challenging, and once a diagnosis is made, the decision to remove the embedded objects depends on the location of the object.  Management of SEB involves treating the underlying psychiatric disorder, which was done quite successfully in the case of Miss K. 


Article Details

How to Cite
Yousafzai, A., and J. Chaudhry. “Self-Embedding Behavior (SEB): A Case Report and Review of Literature”. KHYBER MEDICAL UNIVERSITY JOURNAL, Vol. 8, no. 1, Apr. 2016,
Case Report
Author Biography

Abdul Wahab Yousafzai, Department of Psychiatry, Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan

Consultant Psychiatrist