Non-suicidal Self-Injury, Eating Disorders, and the Internet
Online communities and material regarding non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and eating disorders (ED) are abundant and easily accessible on the Internet. Internet platforms (e.g., social networks, message boards, blogs, video-, and photo-sharing sites) offer individuals who engage in these behaviors opportunities to interact with others with similar experiences (i.e., who have self-injured or who have ED difficulties). Researchers have found that although online activities can be positive in a number of ways (e.g., providing support to otherwise isolated individuals), they may be detrimental in others (e.g., contributing to continued and unhealthy self-destructive behaviors). In this chapter, we review extant literature on the potential benefits and risks of online activities related to NSSI and EDs, discuss avenues for future research, and present implications and guidelines for clinicians. We end with a case vignette illustrating the clinical guidelines presented.
KeywordsEating Disorder Eating Disorder Internet Addiction Online Activity Mental Health Difficulty
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