Love Hurts

Back in the 19th century when I started school, a “cutter” was somebody who skipped (“cut”) class.  Boy were we naïve.

YouTube videos illustrating cutting, burning and other methods of self-injury may have an impact beyond the online world in normalizing and possibly even reinforcing the behaviour among viewers, a new Canadian study suggests.

Researchers…looked at depictions of non-suicidal self-injury, or NSSI, on the popular video-sharing website. NSSI is described as the deliberate destruction of body tissue without suicidal intent. Researchers found cutting was the most common form of self-injury, followed by embedding of objects under the skin and burning. Hitting, biting, skin picking and wound interference were also observed, albeit less frequently.

[Researchers] said individuals typically seeking out such content online may have a history of self-injury. – ctvNews

Aah, these crazy cuddly kids today.  No longer content to starve themselves, ink their skins like octopus wrestlers, or puncture their eyelids/lips/nipples/navels/dicktips/clits (did I leave something out?  Don’t tell me), now they’re slicing, dicing, and shredding themselves, and embedding pointed objects under their skin.  All for love.  Or at least attention.

Well, they’re certainly attracting attention.  So do train wrecks, fit-pitchers, and flashers.

Fortunately for those inclined to self-mutilation, there are plenty of instructional materials on teh interwebs, so that even adolescent amateurs can get it right the first time.  No longer do self-destructive children need to rely on the advice of peers whose gory wounds they admire and wish to emulate, if not top.  This is what 21st century technology has made possible.  The future has arrived – isn’t it even more dazzling than you imagined it would be?  Although I’m still waiting for my flying car.

Even better, trends like these now sweep the nation in record time, and include all demographics.  Everyone can be one of the cool kids, and, researchers assure us, it’s already documented:

Wendy Lader, a psychologist and co-founder of S.A.F.E. Alternatives, a U.S. treatment program for self-injurers, is concerned about the possible negative impact such content may have on viewers.

“We know in the field that there is something called contagion, that when people know of or see other people who have used this technique — and it seems to`work for them,’ help them to feel better or it looks like it’s something that’s cool for some reason — that other people will try it,” she said…..”So I don’t think there’s any question that this can lead other people to self-injure.”

Yes, that’s right, it’s all about feeling better about yourself, not just looking your best.

Remember when an adolescent’s biggest problem was zits, and teachers handed out detentions for chewing gum in class?

No, neither do I.

Photo credit

This entry was posted in Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Love Hurts

  1. Hose B says:

    When I was in American school, every guy carried a blade, but it wasn’t for cutting our OWN skin. Maybe this is an improvement. Make gang war a form of solitaire.

  2. Mister E says:

    Nice photo, but squathurl — I thought you LIKED redheads.

  3. Ted Larsen says:

    While I agree with your premise that NSSI should avoided by the youth of America except in time of extreme boredom, I take exception with the photo you used.

    I’m sure you are aware this is an image of a tribal leader of the esteemed UGGA BUGGA WUGGA tribe of our great nation of Malawi.

    As the President of Malawi I must file a formal complaint for your racial bias and insensitivity. I demand you remove the image immediately.

    Bingu wa Mutharika,
    President of Malawi
    Chairman, African Funny Names Association

    • Libby Rae Shone, Ph.D. says:

      While I know he was joking, Mr. Larsen inadvertently makes a very good point about cultural sensitivity, a subject to which you, “Squathole,” seem deliberately tone-deaf.

      In my practice as a family counselor specializing in eating disorders, I certainly recognize that NSSI is a serious obsessive/compulsive behavior pattern that is almost always a cry for help, not scorn, not abuse, and certainly not ridicule.

      Piercing, tattooing, and manipulation of body parts such as lips, ears, and sexual organs, etc., is practiced by many cultures around the world, not just disturbed American youth. Failure to mention this in the context of your post amounts to cultural bias and racism.

      This is hardly the first time your tortured attempts at humor have skidded over the line into cruelty and insensitivity. Apologies, if not a retraction, are in order, although I don’t delude myself into expecting it from you.

      • Squathole says:

        Whatsamattah, Liibby? Nobody to take to the Washington’s Birthday witch dunking party?

        Let’s begin with the obvious: I’m not talking about anybody but the young people referenced in the study. Not Watusis stretching their necks, or African click tribes jewelling their tongues, or the mythological Ugly Buggy Huggies tribe noted in the comment before yours.

        As for apologies, you and your cult of specialists who haven’t yet found a specimen of sick, self-destructive, and anti-social behavior you’re unwilling to excuse, or a practitioner you wouldn’t coddle as a “victim,” are ‘way overdue. Instead of stapling their stomachs and nailing their mouths shut, or at least getting them to drop their knives and forks and step away from the buffet line, you’re telling morbidly obese children and adults to “accept their bodies” and fell good about themselves. Rather than giving bulimics fois grois therapy, you’re holding their hands and blaming their parents. So I’m not surprised you’re carrying the solidarity flag for maniac adolescents slicing their eyelids and poking knitting needles through their nostrils. What do you do in therapy — pet them between the embedded horns in their foreheads?

        At bottom, you and your professional leeches are the ones without compassion, condescending towards both your patients and the rest of us who haven’t lost our grip on common sense.

        You’re sick. Sicker than they are.

        Hey — thanks for stopping by. Always a pleasure.

  4. Fran G'Panni says:

    Every time I see something like this I thank God I never had kids. In this respect, I’m much like my own parents, who, when I told them at age 14 I was gay, wished to God they never had kids, too.

  5. Missing Lincoln says:

    Man, Soupy Sales has really let himself go…

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