A recent study of data from UK GP practices says there has been a steep rise in self-harm among girls aged 13 to 16. It also said that GPs could recognise and help teenagers better, with this psychological problem.
Self-harm is more common in girls, and often takes the form of cutting their arms or legs. Teenagers say that stress from school work and exams, bullying and pressures from social media are causes. There is help though; the NSPCC says that if children get support early on it can help them rebalance their outlook and reduce their anxiety.
An earlier study by the BBC showed that 70 per cent of 11 to 16 year olds have experienced negative feelings in the past year, and half of all teenagers try to cope with mental wellbeing issues alone.
If you are in this age group please know that talking to someone close, or to a counsellor, can help you. Also understanding that as you go through your teens, and your brain develops, you become more able to cope with the risks and stresses of life. This does get better.
You might be aware of this with your own child and be wondering what to do. I see teenagers for counselling, so please make an enquiry, whether you are a teenager or a parent. Let’s have a chat about how I can help.
Other sources of help are: NSPCC, Harmless http://www.harmless.org.uk/ and Young Minds.