The practice of "self-embedding," where a person deliberately inserts an object under their skin, is an emerging problem among teens and adolescents, and one that mental health professionals seem largely unaware of.

The young have always been perceived as the first social demographic to try out new things, particularly when it comes to technology. The young - teenagers in particular - are also among the first ones to use some questionable or outright dangerous things. This is not always true, but it tends to prove itself to be a fact more often than some experts would like. According to some reports, the latest psychological phenomenon to hit the teen demographic appears to be something truly intriguing, physically dangerous, and only recently being noticed by the mental health community: the practice of "self-embedding."

Self-embedding is a practice that, according to the X-ray evidence presented by a team of radiologists from Nationwide Children's Hospital, involves putting objects under the skin. These objects can include any sort of object, including chunks of crayons, pencils, and even unfolded paper clips. The team appeared that it was some sort of new form of self-injury among teens and adolescents, and that they had treated more cases of this nature in the past year than they have the past decade. The team noted that all of the patients involved in the practice were female, though most medical literature cites examples of it as being typically male. Another trait noted was that the mental health specialists at the hospital had not heard of it, and that it appeared to be unknown to mental health practitioners as a whole.

An analysis of the medical records showed that those who were into self-embedding had consistent histories of self-injury, and many had mental health problems. Psychologists believe that there can be any number of factors, both psychological and emotional, that could drive a person to self-injury, but for the most part, there are two reasons for that sort of behavior. The first is to attempt to regulate their emotions and emotional responses, while the other is as a form of communication with others. Those who indulge in self-injury tend to experience a great physiological response to stress, have shown poor distress handling abilities, and have deficits when it comes to social problem-solving.