Videos posted online that feature self-injury are popular viewing among young adults and possibly teens -- and some researchers worry that this may encourage copycat behaviors.
A study conducted using YouTube's search option entering the keywords "self-injury" and "self-harm," found that the 100 most frequently-viewed videos received more than 2.3 million views -- and often contained graphic depictions of cutting, burning, and self-embedding, according to Stephen Lewis, PhD, of the University of Guelph in Ontario, and colleagues.
Most of the videos did not have warnings about the content or viewing restrictions, Lewis and co-authors reported online ahead of the March issue of Pediatrics.
... "The nature of nonsuicidal self-injury videos on YouTube may foster normalization of nonsuicidal self-injury and may reinforce the behavior through regular viewing of nonsuicidal self-injury-themed videos."
Previous studies have shown that self-injury in the absence of suicidal thoughts occurs at rates of 14% to 21% among children, teens, and young adults, and places them at risk for interpersonal difficulties, elevated psychiatric symptoms, and even suicide. ...
The vast majority of the self-injury videos were uploaded by females (95%) with a mean age of 25. The researchers noted, however, that the actual average age of those who uploaded the videos was likely to be lower, because some YouTube viewers provide an older age to access restricted content. ...
via Medical News: Self-Injury Videos Popular With Teens - in Pediatrics, General Pediatrics from MedPage Today.
... Studies, of which there are few on the subject, suggest that some 2 to 3 million Americans are self-injurers.
And that number is rising. Health-care officials report that self-injury cases have doubled in the past three years. And as life becomes more complex for teenagers, therapists expect the number will continue to rise. ...
Early physical or sexual abuse, or even neglect can trigger the lack of self love which causes this destructive behavior.
If you've been messed up in some way, I believe you can reprogram your mind. I'm very interested in the topic of helping people change non-adaptive behaviors.
I've been able to add some very healthy habits to my life, such as meditating, lifting weights and running a mile a day, cutting out sugar and drinking healthy shakes every morning.
There are still things, long term habits like working too much, that have not yet responded to my self-therapy.
Here is my behavior modification strategy:
- Identify a behavior you want to replace.
- Identify why this behavior is a long-term dead end for you.
- Identify what short term rewards you get from this behavior.
- Identify a positive behavior that you believe will work to replace the negative behavior. (You can't just stop something, you must replace behaviors.)
- Do the good behavior when you want to do the bad behavior.
- If you must, trick yourself. Tell yourself, for example, that you are going to do this replacement "just one time". Instead of thinking I'm going to run a mile, I tell myself I'm just going once around the track, but after I get going, it is easy to keep going. Inertia.
- When you fail, consult your list of reasons you made previously. Remind yourself with understanding and compassion that changing patterns takes time and work, then get back on track.
- Be stubborn about your goals. Persist.
- Ask for help from a friend if you hit roadblocks and can't make progress.
It takes about three weeks to form a good habit.
I've never really had self destructive feelings that would make me want to injure myself. But I have had some very strong self-anger when I don't meet my high standards, and I have been known, when alone and frustrated, to slam my fist on my desk and utter vile curses.