Reddit Analysis Finds Similarities Between Nonsuicidal Self-Harm Experiences, Addiction

April 4, 2022 09:56:27

New research has found that the experiences of people who talked about and reported nonsuicidal self-injury on Reddit are similar to individuals who have been diagnosed with substance use disorder.

Individuals who posted on a self-injury forum titled r/self-harm in 2010–2019 cited an increase in tolerance or severity and often referred to their activities as an addiction. These are terms that are regularly used by individuals recovering from substance use disorders.

Figures estimate that about 7% of adults, 12% of young adults and 17% of adolescents report a history of nonsuicidal self-injury. Currently, there exists no standard approach for the condition’s treatment.

Similar to substance use disorders, the motivations underlying nonsuicidal self-harm often include a desire to cope with or relieve feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental conditions. Evidence-based criteria described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used to diagnose substance use disorders.

For their study, the researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse explored language used on Reddit by individuals who spoke about self-harm, sifting through more than 290,500 comments from about 38,480 Reddit users and more than 69,300 original posts. The group conducted an analysis of the comments and posts on this social media platform, then adapted some of the diagnostic criteria used to diagnose substance use disorders on the posts that were examined. This led group members to discover that about 75% of these individuals met some of the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder.

The researchers also found that generally, people whose self-harming behaviors took on addictive features were more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. These individuals also engaged in more hazardous and frequent self-harm activities and used a greater range of techniques for self harm.

The study’s findings suggest that physicians may better support individuals living with nonsuicidal self-injury through the adoption of strategies utilized in the diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, stated that nonsuicidal self-harm was often hidden and private and was highly stigmatized, much like substance use disorders, noting that if left undiagnosed and untreated, it could cause substantial harm.

Volkow also explained that while this research didn’t show that self-injury could be categorized as an addiction, it would allow researchers to learn more about self-harm’s addictive-like behaviors, which was important in bettering the understanding and treatment of the condition.

The study’s findings were reported in the “Journal of Behavioral Addictions.”

The analysis by the NIDA makes a strong case for expediting the development of more effective treatments for different forms of addiction, and R&D conducted by companies such as Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) (FSE: ONFA) offers hope that novel remedies for addiction could soon get regulatory approval and hit the market.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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