"They see others being supported when they report trolling. This is then endorsed by the reactions of the media when celebrities report incidents. They tend to want to have attention paid to them by friends, peers, or teachers, rather than by parents," Simon explains.
Times have changed, and so has the mental health landscape. The realm of self-harm has now gone digital.
Social compatibility is often the reason when the cyber self-harm activity results in being accepted or liked by others, and the desire for positive remarks can go deeper than simply wanting attention. "This is where the child wants specific and direct positive comments, on aspects such as their physical appearance, what they have done etc. It may be directed to get a response from parents or family, but most certainly friends, and usually to counter the specific trolling comments."
what can parents do to help?
The nature of cyber self-harm can make it difficult to spot. Ensuring communication between you and your child is open and honest can help them feel more able to come to you for support. Regular conversations about social media and negative comments will also show that this is a topic they can come to you about.
If you discover that your child is self-harming in this way, it may be tempting to ban social media and take away their devices, but this is rarely helpful. Instead, it's important to talk about what's happening, without any judgement. "Once a child or teenager has come for help it's important to build a confidential, safe and trusting relationship. It's best to take the time to listen to their story and allow them to open up."