A new study shows that in the US, more young teen girls are inflicting self-harm. This is a 15-years long research which monitored emergency room visits. Reportedly, the most affected by this trend are middle-school girls. Before 2008, the rate of young teen girls who inflicted self-pain was lower and more constant. Since 2009, that number seems to have been on the rise.
Young Teen Girls and The Worrisome Trend
Experts mentioned that there is no apparent cause for this trend. Some believe that it could be the fault and a consequence of Internet bullying and an increasingly young access to social media sites. Previous studies have shown that social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram make teens feel insecure about their image.
Self-harm is considered a strong indicator of suicide. Some of the self-pain attempts include cutting, overdosing on drugs, and ingesting poisons. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24.
Suicide rates are rising for both teenage girls and boys. When it comes to self-inflicted injuries, boys presented a smaller percentage, and the injuries were nonfatal and less severe, at least when compared to those caused by the girls to themselves. Also, even since 2009, the rate of self-harming among teen boys has remained constant, compared to the one of young teen girls.
From 2009 up until 2015, the number of young teen girls admitted to the hospital with self-inflicted injuries increased by 8.4% every year. To conduct this study, researchers monitored first-time visits for self-harm injuries in 66 hospitals in the US between 2001 and 2015. More than 14,000 boys and 29,000 girls presented such injuries during the study. Despite the fact that all of the injuries were caused intentionally, they were not all suicide attempts.
It is very hard to predict suicide, especially among teenagers. The biggest problem is that the suicide rate for teen girls in 2015 hit a new record. Over the last decade, the percentage among this age and gender group doubled, and the one for teen boys increased by 30%.
The rise of technology has a significant impact on the mental health and body image of teenagers. Body image problems have increased in the last ten years because more and more teens are comparing themselves to the seemingly ‘perfect’ people who post photos on social media platforms. In the long run, this can affect their self-esteem and cause depression and other mental health issues.
Image Source: MaxPixel