CHICAGO (AP) — A new study warns of troubling videos on YouTube that could serve as a how-to for people bent on injuring themselves.
The authors say many of the videos show bloody, live enactments or graphic photos of people cutting their arms or legs with razors or other sharp objects. Many also glamorize self-injury and few videos discourage it.
They also feature haunting music and rich imagery that may attract young self-injurers and trigger the behavior.
Canadian psychologist Stephen Lewis, a study co-author, says he found more than 5,000 YouTube videos on self-injury.
He says parents and mental health professionals should be aware of the postings and that the videos might be perpetuating the problem.
Self-injury is most common among young people. Therapists say people who engage in it typically are struggling with feelings of anger, sadness, depression or other emotional troubles.
The study is published online in Pediatrics.