Social Media and Self Harm

2 years, 4 months ago

So I just watched a news segment suggesting that the use of social media had lead to the increase of self harm and suicide, I also read an article about it:

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/15610465/facebook-link-to-teen-self-harm/

I’m not sure if self harm and suicide has become more public through social media, but I just wanted to hear everyone’s thoughts on the issue.

In the past year, I’ve heard of more suicides amongst the younger generation, some of them being people I know (16, 17 and 19).

I was discussing the other night with a friend who works for TWLOHA (To write love on her arms) about how social media (Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram) often internally amplifies people’s insecurities.

Do you think there is any correlation between the increase of social media and self harm and suicide?

December 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm

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Profile photo of Kristian Jaded Kristian Jaded (@mentalkink) 2 years, 4 months ago ago

@sarahsfoster, i think times are changing, and it is getting easier and easier to not completely face our fears. Also, I do believe that with the media it is making it seem alright to do such things, because it seems like so many others feel the same way. Also it makes it feel alright because people are writing all over facebook and other social medias there problems and are basically telling the world they are cutting themselves or are causing harm or are thinking thoughts of suicide. This is almost like a crutch and a reason to continue, because they are telling the world (but really aren’t) and the world is doing nothing back, justifying their feelings. It can be normal to think suicidal thought, its a time of learning through age, but we are supposed to get over it, not sink into it and become depressed.

On top of this, I do believe that all the media glorifies it. Like that Amanda Todd girl, her story was all over facebook, the internet in as many ways as your could think of, and even eventually in the newspaper. Her story was huge, and almost everyone knew about it, it was very sad, but I truly believe a big reason why her story became so large was because she was so beautiful. Many teenagers commit suicide and there stories are never told so large. Although i am glad her story was brought to light for means of bringing up the topic, but just like that, in a flash, nowone cares anymore,on to the next thing.

I don’d know how to approach this topic, because I don’t know how to go about fixing all these teens and kids. I feel for them and I just want them to feel like children again, where did we go wrong? Are we just letting suicide flourish because we are to soft at approach the issue,too worried we might set something off. And as a result our children are becoming more desensitized to the idea, of a way out – rather than sticking in there?

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Profile photo of sarah sarah (@sarahsfoster) 2 years, 4 months ago ago

@mentalkink, I do agree with you, I think that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

As someone who has taken antidepressants for about a year now, and has been seeing a psych for about the same time, I feel as though perhaps younger people are inclined to think that once you are ‘depressed’, there is no solution.

I believe that doctors are quick to diagnose depression and hand out anti depressants too quickly. It doesn’t help that getting counselling costs a heck of a lot too, so the only outlet that younger people have really, is social media. But venting to social media, as you said, is not really fixing anything at all.

I do feel to an extent, that perhaps we are being too soft, in the way that we really should stress that sometimes things happen, and that’s just life. Obviously we can’t put ourselves in their shoes, and I don’t mean to come across as arrogant and misinformed, but I don’t see things improving. It’s such a shame to see these kids end their life when they have so much to live for, but are unable to see it yet.

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