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Season 1 | Episode 1

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Season 1 | Episode 1

Why Do People Self-Injure?

Jan 1, 2021

with Dr. Nicholas Westers

Why Do People Self-Injure?with Dr. Nicholas Westers
00:00 / 01:04

Self-injury does not reflect typical behavior, but it is also not uncommon. One in five adolescents across the globe reports having self-injured, and one in twenty adolescents in the United States reports having self-injured 6 or more times in the past 12 months. Self-injury isn’t limited to adolescents: 13% of young adults and 6% of adults also report having engaged in self-injury.

But why? According to research, there are two primary categories: emotional reasons and social reasons. In this inaugural episode of The Psychology of Self-Injury, Dr. Nicholas Westers delves into these two categories and asks leading experts, an individual with lived experience of self-injury, and a parent of a teen who self-injures: "Why do people self-injure or self-harm?"

Follow Dr. Westers on Instagram and Twitter (@DocWesters). To join ISSS, visit and follow ISSS on Facebook and Twitter (@ITripleS).

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