What are we doing wrong if there’s a 50% increase in the rate of teen girls self-harming?

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This is a shocker. According to reports this week:

THERE was a 51 per cent increase in the rate of young women
intentionally self-harming between 1996 and 2006, which peaked in
the 15- to 17-year-old age group, according to the first Australian
Institute of Health and Welfare report on injuries.

But young males had a much higher suicide rate. In 2005 it was
almost four times that of young females, with 13 per 100,000 deaths
compared with three.

The executive director of SANE Australia, Barbara Hocking, said
self-harm was still relatively rare, and the increase could be
explained by the improvement in reporting methods.

She said it could also be due to an increase in rates of abuse
and trauma, which is associated with self-harm, or copycat
behaviour.

“It could be related to an increase in abuse; it could be people
reading about it more and seeing it as acceptable.”

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It’s interesting – and tragic – to notice to difference between suicide and self -harm rates. I once heard a health professional note that women tend to kill themselves slowly with eating disorders and self-harm and addictions, while men do it quickly with suicide.

 

Is there more pressure on teenage girls today or just more information about self-harm?

Before Princess Diana came out 15 years ago and spoke about her own bulimia and self-harm, so little was publicly known about those things except by those who suffered.
Now that photos are routinely published of celebrities like Amy Winehouse and Lindsay Lohan (pre-rehab) with cuts on their arms that appear to be self-inflicted, has self-harm become as standard as tattoos and body piercing?

How tragic that there are so many girls who feel their only way to express internal pain is by harming themselves…..

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