When Selfies Turn Into Self Harm

Self-harm wrist covered with bandage

Self harm is a growing problem in America, particularly among teenagers and young adults. It is difficult to say just how widespread this issue is because so many sufferers do not seek help for their self injury. Some experts estimate that 1% of the U.S. population engages in self-abusive behavior, including body mutilation and eating disorders. If you have used self harm as a coping mechanism for trauma, depression, anxiety, or self-loathing, you are not alone.

Study Connects Selfies With Self Harm

A recent study in the UK shows that teenagers may turn to the internet to trigger their self-harm. Researchers at Cardiff University found that many teens use social media to share pictures of their self-harm, and some use this process to inspire acts of self-harm. Dr. Nina Jacob, the qualitative researcher for the study, said, “We found young people are going online to specifically to seek out certain pictures and images of injuries often to precisely prompt an episode of self-harm.” Dr. Jacob said this process soon becomes a ritual, where teens “seek out that picture to almost get a high or a trigger and then they will go off and self-harm.”

Reasons Why Teens Self Harm

There are many reasons why a teenager may turn to body mutilation. Some of the most common triggers include:

  • Cutting Or Burning The Skin As Self-Punishment
  • Coping With Stress, Anxiety, Or Feelings Of Inadequacy
  • Feeling Worthless Or Useless
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Feelings Of Depression, Often Coupled With Suicidal Thoughts
  • Thinking Self-Injury Is “Cool” (Wanting To Fit In)
  • Body Dysmorphia And Self-Loathing

There is always an underlying reason why a person will turn to self-harm. The act brings on a rush of emotions similar to that of substance abuse or alcoholism. Many teens who experience self-harm also suffer from drug addiction, eating disorders, anxiety, and more. Luckily, there are treatment options available to help teens cope with their emotions without self mutilating.

When To Get Help

If you feel the need to self-harm, reach out to a counselor, friend, or family member about the struggles you are facing. No matter what may be going on in your life, self injurious behavior will not make it easier. Instead of putting scars on your body, you must learn to manage your stress in a healthy, productive way. Speak to one of our counselors / therapists at Perspectives Of Troy to learn more about self-harm treatment and stress management. Call us at: 248.244.8644, as “You Need Not Walk Alone”.   We really can help.