Self-Injury And YouTube

Black shoe stamping down
Image credit: photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash.

YouTube is best known as a center of procrastination on the internet, filled with amusing montages, clips from television shows, or music videos. However, a recent study published in Pediatrics has revealed a disturbing trend ...

... users are now posting videos of self-injury. [Read more about it here.] According to the study, the top 100 videos of self-injury had more than 2.3 million views, reflecting a troubling new way technology is affecting mental health.

The researchers involved in the study state that between 14 and 24 percent of teens and young adults have engaged in self-injuring behavior.

Self-injury - or self-mutilation, as it is often called - can manifest as:

  • Burning.
  • Excessive scab-picking.
  • Hitting, or ...
  • Cutting.

The behavior is not considered to be suicidal, but rather an attempt by the self-injurer to cope with extreme anger, depression, hopelessness, grief, and sorrow. Videos such as those on YouTube can be extremely triggering to active or recovering self-injurers.


Self-injury, like any self-destructive behavior, can be a difficult habit to break. If you or someone you care about is self-injuring, there is hope. Contact our client care consultants at (516) 221-9494 for more information about taking those first steps toward ending the cycle.

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