What is sexting?
Sexting is when someone sends a sexually explicit photograph or video of themselves via their mobile phone or online. It can also refer to written messages. It has become common in recent years due to easy access to smartphones and camera phones with internet access. Adolescents are texting messages of a sexual nature taken in the privacy of their own homes and there is significant concern regarding the negative effects of this on their mental state.
“There is a risk their image will be made available to others. This leads to a high level of distress for a young person, and it can lead to them resorting to ‘coping’ in unhealthy ways such as self-harming, isolating themselves and restricting their dietary intake. It can also lead to high levels of anxiety and the development, or exacerbation of, depressive symptoms.”
Dr Hayley Van Zwanenberg, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist from Woodbourne Priory Hospital (http://www.priorygroup.com/