Self-harm is rather common among young people but we tend to think of all self harm in modern times as elaborate cutting rituals and signs of mental illness.  

Not so, many teenagers have at one time scratched, punctured or even cut themselves and hit their head forcefully against a wall – and it is behavior almost as common among boys as it is girls, despite the the steretotype. Labeling young people who self-harm as on a slippery slope to adult psychiatric states is not warranted.  Rather than over-diagnose, some knowledge is needed in order not to over-interpret the behavior of young people, says psychologist Jonas Bjärehed in his thesis at Lund University in Sweden.


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