- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Study finds many graphic YouTube self-harm videos
Question of the Day
CHICAGO (AP) - YouTube videos on cutting and other self-injury methods are an alarming new trend, attract millions of hits and could serve as a how-to for troubled viewers, a study warns.
Many videos show bloody live enactments or graphic photos of people cutting their arms or legs with razors or other sharp objects, the study found. Many also glamorize self-injury and few videos discourage it, the study authors said.
They also feature haunting music and rich imagery that may attract young self-injurers and trigger the behavior, especially in those who have just started to self-injure, the authors suggest.
Canadian psychologist Stephen Lewis, a study co-author, said he found more than 5,000 YouTube videos on self-injury. The study focused on 100 videos the authors found in December 2009. Their analysis was published online Monday in Pediatrics.
The 100 videos were viewed more than 2 million times and generated many online comments.
Parents and mental health professionals should be aware of the YouTube postings and that the videos might be perpetuating the problem, said Lewis, an assistant professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario.
The study’s authors also recommended that YouTube provide helpful resources or links when people enter search terms for “self-injury.” A company spokeswoman said YouTube is looking into the feasibility of the suggestion.
She said the site has policies against graphic content and content that encourages dangerous activities. It relies on viewers to flag questionable videos, and a YouTube team reviews and removes those in violation of those policies. Self-injury videos are among those that have been removed.
Self-injury is most common among young people. Between 14 percent and 24 percent of teens and young adults have engaged in self-injury at least once, Lewis said. Cutting is among the most common methods.
Psychologist Tracy Knight, an associate professor at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill., is interviewed in a documentary-style YouTube video about cutting that has been viewed more than 14,000 times and generated more than 80 comments.
“It makes it open for social discussion … in a way that was not possible when it was secret,” he said.
Lewis said therapists who treat self-injurers should consider asking their patients if they watch these videos and counsel them about possible effects. Parents, too, should be aware that kids may be watching the videos and discuss the issue with them, he said.
Self-injurers typically are struggling with feelings of anger, sadness, depression or other emotional troubles, and usually don’t cut deep enough to cause major harm, said Barent Walsh, a therapist and author of a book on self-injury treatment.
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Embryonic stem cell research falls out of favor as scientists go ethical
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!