Teens Girls Are Poisoning Themselves in Scary New Self-Harming Trend

We all thought cutting and self-mutilation were sad and scary, but there is an alarming new trend where teen girls ingest over-the-counter medications and household poisons as a way of hurting themselves. 


BBC Newsbeat has a special report: 

The data was provided by England's Health and Social Care Information Centre and the Welsh Government. They discovered that the number of girls aged 13 to 19 being admitted to hospitals across England and Wales for self-poisoning went up by a third in five years.

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Over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen -- which almost every family has in its medicine cabinet -- remain the most common form of self-poison, followed by prescribed drugs. 

I can't imagine having a kid so depressed that she resorts to this extreme behavior, and I feel so bad for any teen who feels this way or any parent who has a kid who engages in this. I think once we become adults we tend to forget how fraught adolescence and puberty are and how easily teens can fall into depression. Add to that the pressure they feel from their peers, their desire to do well in school, and outside influences like media and how it effects their self-esteem, and you can begin to understand why -- as scary as this seems -- some teens could fall prey to this. 

Research shows that teens usually engage in self-harm when they feel anxious or depressed. Anytime a kid is deliberately hurting themselves is cause for alarm, but in the case of toxic self-poisoning, the signs may show up too late. 

If you're worried about your teen, you can call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to speak with a qualified professional.

Reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1 (800) 222-1222.


Image via  Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

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