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Hidden Anesthetisation

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You may have heard of the ‘massive teenage alcohol binge drinking problem.’ You go to any park in Dublin, even Ireland and you will undoubtedly come across adolescents consuming gargantuan amounts of alcohol the intention being reaching a fully disinhibited state. The amount of teenagers taking drugs may also have came across your radar. Cocaine having become hugely popular at sixteen/seventeen year olds house parties. Another example is the habit of deliberately overdosing on Prozac for a high and that shockingly also happens among teenagers. But did you hear about the other kind of anesthetisation that the future generation of our country use? Instead of being acceptable among youths, users of this emotional novocaine are shunned by their peers when ‘caught’. What is this drug you say? Self imposed physical pain.
Statistics show that at least ten per cent of teenagers do this on a regular basis. So how come you don’t know about it? The acts of teenagers cutting or burning oneself, or jumping down stairs is one of Irelands best kept secrets. I’ll now tell you some misconceptions and facts about self-harm. First and foremost there is no particular type of person who partakes in this act. The idea that only ‘emos’ or ‘goths’ self harm is laughable. As is that only members of the lower class hurt themselves is also completely false. Another misconception is that these people just ‘need to stop being so selfish.’ People treat others who self harm with disgust bordering on hatred- simply because they don’t understand it. In A and E kids who have just come in with a severed vain, artery or tendon - remembering that these are people in need- have to take dogs abuse off nurses who feel they are wasting their time and these people are just blocking up the system.
But why do it at all? Well the act of physical pain is said to distract from any emotional pain. If someone is suffering guilt they might feel that they need to punish themselves. Or one might have a fascination with scars. Ask someone who is self harming if they are thinking of ending it all they will merely laugh. It usually in response to a bad life situation such as bullying or mental illness.
We as a country need to get smart about this and notice the elephant in the living room. This problem won’t just go away. We need to get this into the open and arrange a lot more help for teenagers to stop them emotionally anesthetisating. Whatever the means.
EOGHAN O MORAIN





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