A YouTube search for “self-injury” returns 50 pages of results. And while some of these videos are educational, hundreds depict disturbingly graphic images of people injuring themselves, typically by cutting.
This alarming trend is the focus of a study published in the March journal of Pediatrics. The study found that YouTube videos of self-injury are growing in popularity, with many viewers rating the videos positively and even selecting them as their favorites.
An estimated 1 out of every 200 girls between the ages of 13 and 19 regularly practices self-injury, and experts are concerned that this trend could lead to a larger incidence.
Akron Children’s Hospital child psychiatrist Laura Rocker says it’s never OK for a child or teen to experiment with cutting or other self-injury behaviors. In this video, she talks about the warning signs that a teen may be hurting herself as well as how parents can help.