If you’re on the internet on a regular basis, it’s likely that you have heard about Zayn Malik leaving One Direction. Thousands, if not millions, of their fans have been grieving over the news. But this article wouldn’t be focusing on the London-based band. Instead, we’ll turn our attention to those who are affected, and the disturbing trends that has crept its way to this current generation.
The trend among teens
It is understandable that young girls who have followed One Direction’s success are bawling their eyes out about Malik leaving. What’s disturbing, however, is the way they’re acting upon this grief. Self-harm.
Over the years, self-harm has been a rising trend among teenagers in expressing their frustration and strong negative emotions. Today, as the news breakout about the most popular boy band in the internet age, a circulation of tweets and pictures have made its round on the web where fans of the band were harming themselves in an attempt to capture their idol’s attention while encouraging others to do the same.
Images of devastated young, female teens exploded on the Internet showing cuts on their wrists and bruises on their bodies. Along with the images were messages like “The faster you cut your wrists, the faster Zayn will come back.”
Another said that if her tears aren’t enough, perhaps her blood will. A chilling thought coming from 15 year olds.
A deeper problem
For most this is just a subject for mockery, seeing the acts as teenage girls merely seeking attention and validation among their peers. But for psychological experts, this is a deeper problem that has burrowed its way into today’s society.
According to Health Behavior in School-Age Children, the popularity among teenagers hurting themselves has tripled since 2005. And while parents are floored by this trend, these youngsters see it as a form of a badge, much like a soldier’s stripes.
But what exactly is the root of this?
It could be problems from school, family, or confusion of their identity – a common occurrence among teens. People have asked why chose self-harm as an outlet.
Experts explain that the act of cutting their skin provides a vent for suppressed emotions. The pain inflicted is then countered by the brain through the release of endorphins resulting in a temporary high; providing a momentary relief to their decrease emotional state.
It is also a warning sign of underlying causes like low self-esteem and distresses felt by the child. Psychological experts suggest that parents be more observant about their kid’s behaviors.
While it is quite difficult to separate normal teenage mood from deeper emotional disturbance, watching out for warning signs like wearing long sleeve shirts and wearing excessive jewelry on their arm might be an attempt to cover up the cuts that were inflicted.
Social media is also a fuel of this kind of behavior. Teenagers follow what’s currently popular even if it means endangering themselves in the process.
It’s quite terrifying to be in a society where a member leaving a band can trigger teenagers to seriously hurt themselves. Parents should be more vigilant than ever. Talk to your child, be attentive at furtive behavior, and ensure that they aren’t alone, that there’s a family that’s there for them to lean to in times of need.