Along with other recent research, such findings suggest that “self-injury affects a significant number of individuals, and that rates may rise,” Giordano said.
“As the incidence of self-injury increases,” she continued, “it is not surprising that hashtags related to self-injury also increase on social media platforms.”
Giordano and her colleagues found several indications that this was exactly what was happening.
The team noted, for example, that although the hashtag #selfharm was almost never used in January 2018, it had accompanied more than 45,000 teen placements by December.
And by the end of the year, only one of the five highlighted NSSI labels – #selfharmmm – had seen a decline in overall use.
Regarding what forces teens to share their self-harm experiences on social media, Giordano suggested that they probably have several needs that they think programs like Instagram can fulfill.
And it can also reflect a risky copy-cat phenomenon. The more teens see other posts sharing about self-harm, the more curious they become and the more likely they are to mimic what they see and then share that experience online, Giordano said.
Whatever the main motivator, the analysis raised a worrying concern – the two most common hashtags associated with self-injury were #suicide and #depression.
“Therefore, it appears that the individuals who use self-harm-related hat brands associate it with suicidal thoughts as well as feelings of depression,” she said. “It emphasizes to me the need to discuss mental health with the youth and ensure that they have the support they need. “
This thought was seconded by dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, who reviewed the findings.
“The significant increase in social media postings associated with self-injury is a wake-up call not only for children and teenagers, but also for their parents and carers,” he said.
Noting that “the reason behind such an increase is complex,” Glatter suggested that self-harming behaviors such as cutting “could be a cry for help, and serve as a way to relieve parents, friends and teachers of ongoing emotional pain and suffering. warns. “And, he added, feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety probably got worse once the COVID pandemic posgevat het.