Thursday, March 2, 2017

A quarter of young men commit self-harm?

A shocking report was published regarding self-harming behaviors in young men.

Approximately a quarter of the participants of this survey who were aged 16 to 24 replied that they had an experience of intentional self-harm when they depressed. And, a further 22% made an idea of self-harm if they did not so.

The Guardian: A quarter of young men self-harm to cope with depression, says survey

Generally speaking, self-harm behaviors are typically seen in young women. Criteria for borderline personality disorder defined in DSM-5 include self-harm. Not only wrist cutting, but also binge eating, vomiting, excessive shopping, and even seeking a new sexual partner repeatedly are considered as a form of self-harm. Compared to women, men are unlikely to conduct such self-destructive acts.

However, this result suggests that the idea of self-harm is not unique in women. Indeed, the suicide rate is higher in men than women even though prevalence rate of depression is higher in women. Male patients tend to commit serious harm when they are influenced by mental disorders.

In addition, men are unlikely to express their agony to others. Suppression of their unwilling thought and feeling is frequent. Thus, the rate of self-harm reported among men can be underestimated.

On the other hand, there is a possibility of selection bias in this survey. This poll was commissioned by the Mix, Self-Harm UK, and Young Minds. The members of these organization are more aware of the risk of self-harm than ordinary citizens. Considering this fact, the real percentage of self-harm in young men can be lower.

Anyway, self-harm is a destructive behavior. Even if it is an expression of something, it cannot be accepted as it is. Appropriate care and treatment are needed for people who experienced or expect self-harm.

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