We live in very strange times when nearly 25% of girls and 9% of boys aged 14 admitted self harming, I find that quite extraordinary.
New figures from The Childrens Society estimates nearly 110,000 children aged 14 have self-harmed across the Uk during a 12 month period, which included 76,00 girls and 33,000 boys.
What can possibly be so wrong with their lives that 38% showed signs of depression and 30% had low wellbeing. Apparently, worries about how they look is a big issue, especially for girls but other factors such as how they feel about their sexuality and gender stereotypes may be linked to their unhappiness.
When I look back at my own childhood I have absolutely no recollection of being particularly depressed although I may be looking back through rose tinted glasses. We certainly didn’t have the pressures that today’s young people have, some of us had crooked teeth, some had ears that stuck out or weren’t the most handsome one of the group, or in my case you had all three afflictions.
We obviously realised there were members of our peer group who were better looking and were more attractive to the opposite sex, but it didn’t matter because there was more to life than just being good looking.
Quite a few of my friends were no where near as witty or funny as I was, luckily at 14 none of us had to experience the shame of walking off the stage of The Glasgow Empire to the sound of our own footsteps. Laugh, they nearly did!
Some chaps were rubbish at riding their bicycles and would have trouble keeping up as we dashed through the local forest looking for a suitable place to have a crafty cigarette.
There was no social media as we have today if you wanted to find out about anything you had to look it up in an encyclopedia, you would be unable to find the latest look from Kim Kardashian in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Sadly, only today there was news of a 9 year old boy who killed himself after he came out to his school classmates and suffered homophobic bullying for four days when he returned to school after the holidays.
How on earth could this happen, I am confused on so many levels, how fragile his mental state must have been that he would kill himself after just four days of being bullied? Surely he could have spoken to his mother or a school teacher, there must have been someone he could have spoken to before taking such drastic action.
It shows how things have dramatically changed for in my day at 9 years old we wouldn’t even know what gay was, in fact I rather doubt we would have known at 14. My how times change.
I wish I had a solution to this problem but I don’t, there is no way to go back to the more innocent days of my youth let alone take the youth of today back with you.