An ‘epidemic’ of self-harm: Why are more Canadian youth hurting themselves?
Pajer said the type of person who self-harms now compared to 20 years ago has changed. She said she used to expect someone with severe mental health issues such as depression or psychosis. But it’s become far more common.
“More and more of the kids don’t have what we might call a severe mental illness or a severe substance use disorder but instead are really experiencing sort of a crisis of meaning in their lives or an inability to handle their negative emotions except by cutting,” Pajer said.
“My point is that a lot of these kids don’t fit into one of our neat diagnostic categories.”
She suggested kids need to be taught at an early age to deal with and learn from negative emotions.