Year: 2013 Source: Archives of Suicide Research.(2013).17(3):223-235. DOI:10.1080/13811118.2013.805642 SIEC No: 20130821

There is concern that graphic pictures of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) may detrimentally impact vulnerable viewers, namely those who may self-injure. How individuals (most who have, but some of whom have not, self-injured) respond to photographs of NSSI is currently unknown. Thematic analysis was used to assess testimony regarding NSSI imagery online. Analysis of testimony regarding NSSI photographs revealed a dichotomy. Individuals reporting positive perceptions said the photographs reduced loneliness and NSSI enactment. People reporting negative perceptions argued photographs reinforce and encourage NSSI. Experiences of being triggered by NSSI images were described by several participants. Photographs of NSSI posted online may have several risks for viewers. It is important to achieve a greater understanding of the effects of various forms of online NSSI content and to develop supportive NSSI resources on the Internet.