To discover why parasuicides who resolved their difficulties repeated self-harm within three-month follow-up at the same rate as those who had not resolved problems, a group of 30 repeaters was compared with 156 non-repeaters. The repeaters had a history of more frequent episodes, beginning younger. Their problems were more severe, the acts of self-harm potentially less lethal. They experienced greater feelings of externally directed hostility, powerlessness, and ‘normlessness'. A constellation of nine variables correctly predicted 81.5% of the repeaters and 77.5% of the non-repeaters. At follow-up the non-repeaters had improved on several parameters but the repeaters were essentially unchanged. The resolvers among the subgroup of repeaters were more like repeaters in the overall sample than the resolvers, which may explain why some parasuicides repeat in spite of resolving their problems.