Depression and anxiety linked to self harming in young people

In a study that has been termed the most comprehensive of its kind, the results of a 16-year analysis of anxiety and depression and their influence on adolescent self-harming have been released.

The study that was conducted in Australia between 1992 and 2008 was published yesterday in The Lancet, arguably the world’s leading general medical journal. The researchers surveyed 1,800 young people, it was reported that of those teenagers 10 percent of females and 6 percent of males had said that they had self-harmed.

The study also found that those young people who were suffering from mental disorders such as depression and anxiety were up to six times more likely to consciously harm themselves.

One of the lead authors of the study additionally reported that due to the nature and the shame associated with the act of self harming, the number of young people that have emotional disorders and subsequently inflict pain on themselves could be a huge underestimation, the size of which is unknown.

It is clear from this study that more research needs to be undertaken to establish the exact link between mental illnesses and self harm but more specifically why young people feel the need to self harm and what can be done to help them.

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