The number of adolescents in the UK who self-harm by poisoning themselves is on the rise. Girls and young women are particularly at risk, according to a study published the coming week. What drives them to do it?
“It’s like my brain has two bits: the happy bit and the bad bit, ” says 18 -year-old Jasmine. “The bad bit holds pushing until it takes over. You feel like you’re losing control of yourself a little more and a little more. And then it happens.
“There’s something in my brain telling me to do it. It’s sort of like having a toddler who’s demanding things of you constantly. Eventually you simply get so tired and the toddler is annoying you so much that you simply give in.”
Jasmine is one of thousands of adolescents and young women who self-poison – employing substances such as alcohol, painkillers and illegal drugs to construct themselves sick. Sometimes they have calculated how much they need to feel badly ill without passing out and having to be taken to hospital.