8 Feb

Self-harming over a pop icon?!

This is a bit of a belated article as this happened a few weeks ago, but it’s only recently that I’ve actually read up on this. I tend to avoid any gossip/news surrounding Justin Bieber, because he just isn’t my cup of tea. I don’t have anything against the guy, I just think it’s astonishing that his fans would go this far.

First of all, self-harm is so stigmatized for being a cry for attention and something a silly little child does. But, in fact self-harm is a serious mental condition. As Lucie Russell said: “Self harming is not a fashion, fad or statement. It’s a signal that young people are experiencing extreme distress and need help. Cutting is a self-destructive act that is a way of coping with overwhelming emotions.” (Independent.co.uk).

I think it’s disgraceful that somebody would make a joke about a delicate subject like that. The joker tried to encourage “Bielebers” to cut themselves because the star (loosely termed) decided to try drugs. Needless to say, most people used the Twitter trend #cutforbieber to cry out against the sick joke, but unfortunately some obsessed fans took it seriously and carved things like “JB I LOVE YOU” into their arms.

Reading this really upset me because self-harm is very personal to me and to witness people doing it over insignificant things sickens me. Self-harm is self-hatred and the reasons behind genuine self-harmers are much more serious than the actions of pop star. It is irresponsible comments like this that cause the seriousness of self-harming to disappear. Those people who are in real enough pain to turn to such extremities are being shunned away, and deemed as “emo’s”.

According to www.selfharm.co.uk, around 1 in 10 teenagers self-harm, although this figure could be incredibly inaccurate because very few people share their secret. This is a saddening fact about society, and it’s even sadder that people hide from it instead of facing their issues head on.

There are many ways to deal with self-harm, all of which can be found on help websites such as www.selfharm.co.uk. There are some things that I found really helpful in overcoming my issues:

. Instead of relieving the pain on yourself, try writing things down. You don’t have to read it, or keep it but if you write it down, it’s still left your head and it won’t be eating away at you as much.

. Try to think of one song or even just a piece of writing that really makes you smile and feel good about yourself and every time you feel the need to hurt yourself, just play that song or read that writing and remember why to smile. Some of my song choices included “High” by The Lighthouse Family and “Come Around” by Sister Hazel, which I now have the lyrics as a tattoo.

. Admitting to self-harm is one of the hardest things about it because of the shame you feel about doing it. So, telling people may be out of the question but try to confide in one person you trust with your life, because once it’s shared someone is there for you. Once someone is there for you, you feel less alone and are more likely to turn to that person over hurting yourself. If you don’t want to tell anyone you know, there are plenty of websites or help chat rooms with likeminded people there to understand what you’re going through. Be brave, it really helps.

. A more extreme measure to overcome this is to draw something small like a heart or a smiley face next to the areas where you choose to do it. So, when you go to do it, you see these things and sometimes it will be enough to stop.

Trying to get over self-harming is hard, but not impossible. Just remember you are never on your own, and there are so many people in similar situations.

Don’t suffer in silence, your voice needs to be heard.Melody has just finished a degree in Journalism, Film and Media with a 2:1. She aspires to work with vulnerable women and children subject to domestic, and or other forms of abuse. She is an animal lover and has a small obsession with Fearne Cotton. She is a constant joker and can be found on Twitter.


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