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Favazza found material on a bloodletting ceremony in Morocco that was meant to heal a person’s illness. Fascinated, Favazza wondered if self-injury in Western cultures might also serve some kind of healing purpose. Favazza’s research led him to write Bodies Under Siege: Self-Mutilation in Culture and Psychiatry, an exploration of self-injury across cultures published in 1987. It was the first major book on the subject since Karl Menninger’s Man Against Himself in 1938. 1990s: A Hot Topic It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that mental health professionals and the public paid much attention to self-injury.

The rate of self-injury is high in many developed countries and seems to be increasing. Does this mean there is a self-injury epidemic? Experts disagree. They also disagree on what many people consider the number one reason why self-injury is becoming a more acceptable behavior: celebrities and the media. Self-injury spans the globe. 2 percent of teens said they had injured themselves during the previous 12 months. In two other studies from 2011, 15 percent of Chinese teens The number of teens self-injuring continues to rise, leading some experts to believe media’s increasing focus on it is to blame.

Fascinated, Favazza wondered if self-injury in Western cultures might also serve some kind of healing purpose. Favazza’s research led him to write Bodies Under Siege: Self-Mutilation in Culture and Psychiatry, an exploration of self-injury across cultures published in 1987. It was the first major book on the subject since Karl Menninger’s Man Against Himself in 1938. 1990s: A Hot Topic It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that mental health professionals and the public paid much attention to self-injury.

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