Thursday, August 18, 2011

Non-suicidal self injurious behavior

Self-injurious behavior is prevalent in our society. It is estimated that approximately 7% of preadolescents, 12-40% of adolescents, and 17-35% of college students have engaged in non-suicidal self-injury. I just searched “cutting myself” on YouTube and found almost 5,000 hits! Self-injury is described in books, the news and now you can watch it happening on YouTube!  I never heard of such a thing when I was a kid. Why is it so common now? Some have argued the theory of contagion. Many kids tell me they learned about self injurious behavior from a friend. Having heard about it, they then try it when in distress. For those who feel some relief after the behavior; a seriously bad, dangerous habit is born.