Your Child Could Be Addicted to Self Harm! Shocking New Trends Among School Kids is Worrisome (Representative Image)
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Over 13 girl students studying in a private school in Karwar district of Karnataka slashed their left hands this week. As of now, neither parents nor teachers have found a plausible explanation for the collective self-harm. A psychiatrist has been involved to understand the primary reason for it. However, this is not it, the matter is much bigger.
Self Harm is emerging as a new trend especially amongst school students. Most often, even the parents and teachers are unaware about it. National Library of Medicine Reports that deliberate self-harm is recognized as a serious public health issue in young people. There is evidence that young people who self-harm are more likely to repeat self-harm, and this in turn increases their risk of completed suicide. Prevalence studies have identified that the rate of self-harm among young people is on the increase.
In an exclusive conversion with Times Now, Psychologist Dr. Samidha Pandey, Founder and CEO “SelfConnects” shared her views and observation on this increasing trend. Self-harm is a deliberate act of self-inflicted injury intended to cause physical pain. It’s used as a means of managing difficult emotions, or as a way of communicating distress to others. Self-harm is different from suicidal behaviour, but some people who self-harm are also suicidal or can become suicidal. Suicidal thoughts refers to thoughts that life isn’t worth living. Suicidal thoughts do not always lead to suicide or attempted suicide, but should always be taken seriously.
Psychologist Dr. Samidha Pandey said, “The underlying causes of self-harm in students are complicated and often unclear. Self-harm may occur in response to a person attempting to communicate feelings of sadness, and/or to express a need for support. Self-harm may also provide the person with a sense of control and temporary relief. Teenagers suffering from depression, low self-esteem and self-hatred are most at risk for self-harm.”
On being asked about the common form of self harm, she said, “The most common form of NSSI is skin cutting, so you might see cuts or scars on your child's hands, wrists, stomach, legs or other areas of their body. Kids may inflict deep gashes or make dozens of smaller cuts in one spot.”
How to Identify that your Child is indulged in Self Harm?
Talking about the ways to identify the same, Dr. Samidha Pandey shared, “It is important to remember, though, that kids often hide their injuries by wearing long sleeves (even in hot weather), so the scars and cuts may not be visible or readily apparent. Other subtle signs to look out for might include symptoms of depression (such as having overwhelming feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, sleep disturbances, and low energy levels). This is because kids who have depression are at higher risk of engaging in NSSI.”
Is Self Harm Related to Suicidal Thoughts?
Self-harm is not directly related to suicidal thoughts. However, it is important that the risk of serious harm and suicide should be assessed. If self-harm functions as a coping strategy for a person, it can be helpful to focus on learning new distraction or coping strategies. If there are obvious triggers to self-harm that can be identified then coping strategies should be aimed at addressing these issues.
For example, if exam or test stress is an issue then learning to take time out from study may be important or providing additional support for the student on tips to avoid self-harm at school may be helpful. It's important to work with the student, develop a list of alternative behaviours that they can use to distract themselves from their self-harm urges so that they can build their confidence in coping without it.
This New Trend have left Schools Worried
Muskan, a private school teacher shared her views on the tragic consequences of parental expectations. She said, "Parent-child relationships are integral to a child's development and well-being. Parents naturally have hopes and dreams for their children, but when these expectations become too overwhelming, it can lead to severe emotional distress for the child. In some heartbreaking cases, children may resort to self-harm or even commit suicide when they feel they cannot meet their parents' demands and desires."
She said, "It further highlights the importance of building healthy parent-child relationships, where children can thrive and develop without feeling overwhelmed by excessive demands. Parents should be mindful of the emotional well-being of their children, and society must provide resources and support to those facing these challenges to prevent such tragic outcomes. Remember, seeking professional help is crucial in these situations, as it can save lives and help children find healthier ways to cope with their struggles."
Shreya, teacher at Open Minds School shares, "The students are dealing with peer pressure and insecurity complex. They get bullied for how they look or how they dress that's why they get very conscious and insecure. They don't get a safe environment at home to discuss these issues with their parents which results in depressing thoughts and ultimately leads to self harm." To report self harm, one can call on any of the numbers attached here.