STATES CHRONICLE – A recent study reveals a worrying trend among teenage girls, and this should issue a warning among both parents and health experts. Since 2009, the rate of young girls inflicting non-fatal self harm has almost tripled. Experts attribute this rise to the increase of stressful factors among teens, such as financial issues, but the spike in smartphone use might be to blame as well.
The cases of self harm among teens have spiked over the past few years
For the study, researchers looked at 43,000 cases of self harm treated in the emergency rooms between the years 2001 and 2015. They looked at both boys and girls, aged between 10 and 24. From all the cases, around 29,000 occurred among girls, and only 14,000 among boys.
From 2001 to 2008, self harm cases remained somehow constant. However, starting with 2009, they noticed a sudden increase of these practices, with most cases occurring among girls with ages between 10 and 14. Every year, the rate went up by 18.8 percent until 2015. Before 2009, this category of teenage girls rarely inflicted such wounds upon themselves.
This is a serious problem, as self harm is the first step towards suicide. Therefore, experts advise parents and teachers to keep an eye on their kids, always listen to them, and take the necessary measures whenever they are struggling with difficult issues.
Smartphones might actually be to blame for this surge
Now, researchers are trying to find a cause to this sudden increase in self harm cases. They cannot establish a clear cause. However, mental health experts suggested financial pressure and substance abuse were the main causes. Others tend to disagree, saying the years with the highest surge were also prosperous from an economic point of view.
On the other hand, the rise of technology and smartphone use might be the real culprit. This also increased cyberbullying rates, which make it easier for teenagers to develop anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Therefore, parents should make sure their kids don’t spend too much time on their devices. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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