Girls have never had it better – so why harm themselves?

Aug 9, 2018 by

by Laura Perrins, TCW:

Hospitals are treating almost twice as many girls for self-harm as they did 20 years ago.

The number of hospital admissions for girls who self-harmed jumped from 7,327 in 1997 to 13,463 last year. The number treated for attempting an overdose rose more than tenfold in the same period, from 249 to 2,736, NHS data shows.

Admissions of boys for self-harm stayed broadly constant, from 2,236 in 1997 to 2,332 last year. The number attempting an overdose jumped from 152 in 1997 to 839 last year.

This follows the revelation in July that the number of antidepressants prescribed to children in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland had risen over the past three years. In England, there was a 15 per cent rise, in Scotland the figure was 10 per cent and in Northern Ireland 6 per cent.

The figures relate to a group of powerful antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

The total number of prescriptions for anti-depressants given to under-18s rose from 290,393 in 2015-16 to 330,616 in 2017-18. The steepest increase was seen in the youngest patients, those aged 12 and under, where the number of prescriptions rose from 14,500 to almost 18,000.

So if we just take some of the figures together this means that last year 13,463 girls had to be admitted to hospital for self-harm and at the same time there are almost 18,000 under-12s on powerful antidepressants.

Last month it was also reported that a study revealed a 50 per cent rise in levels of prenatal depression in a single generation.

[…]  So what’s going on here? What is with all the depression? If you are on the Left you could blame the lack of funding for mental health services and austerity generally. Those on the Right could blame the collapse in family life, religion and community. Both can blame social media, even though those that do all the blaming probably like a fair bit of Facebook themselves.

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