A psychologist who has seen self-harm cases increase from one to 12 every six months is urging society to take the issue seriously.

Clinical psychologist Rose Galea told The Sunday Times of Malta that one reason for the growth in the number of cases was peer pressure.

Clinical psychologist Rose Galea. Photo: Jason BorgClinical psychologist Rose Galea. Photo: Jason Borg

“An important part of personal development for adolescents is to feel part of a group. If a couple of group members say they self-harmed and felt good, others will follow the trend and that is why the phenomenon is growing,” clinical psychologist Rose Galea told The Sunday Times of Malta.

Some might brush it off as peer pressure, but every case needs to be taken seriously, she warned. “Self-harm is a symptom of an underlying issue like conflict within the family, bullying or low self-esteem.”

The most common form of self-harm is cutting of arms, legs and torso, but it includes pulling out hair, drug overdose and breaking bones.

More in The Sunday Times of Malta and the e-paper on timesofmalta.com Premium.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us