A survey conducted during a study by Affinity healthcare has revealed the shocking tendency of young girls to self -harm. Figures show that one in three girls do not hesitate to cause bodily harm by burning, cutting or even poisoning themselves. Girls seemed to be in the throes of this tendency more than the boys and blamed it on depression.
The study carried out among 800 youngsters showed one among five 11 to 19 year olds confessing to self harm. Further, 50% of them know of other youngsters who self harm, which is ample warning of a growing trend.
Dr David Kingsley of the Cheadle Royal Hospital and team leader of the study said, "One in three girls is an extraordinary figure. I was stunned by it. Some self-harm isn't suicidal in intent, but is rather a way in which young people seek relief from emotional pain. For very severe self-harm, things like physical and sexual abuse can be a factor, but in less serious self-harm, the top issue seems to be family relationship difficulties."
During the conference of Young People and Self-Harm, Dr Kingsley told delegates that the internet provided unimaginable information to youngsters about self harm. It might seem incredible, but some sites linked up to others selling self harm tools. It is as if the youngsters were encouraged to indulge in self harm; nearly 20% of the websites did not advice the reader to seek help for self harm. Forums for discussion on self-harm techniques also exist, encouraging the habit.
Describing self-harm as a huge problem, Dr Kingsley, said, "We need to ask ourselves what it is about modern living that is causing such stress for our youngsters."
Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, warned of an impending self-harm epidemic. She said, "It is essential that the rising numbers of young people who self-harm are helped to stop before it develops into what may become a lifelong illness."