First of all, I just registered and I'm glad to have accidentally found a wonderful and caring forum board. So, hello for the first time!
Now onto my topic:
Whenever I'm at school all I really ever hear about is the "emo" sub-culture and how they're being stereotyped as "depressed, pessimistic, wrist-cutters". I get really sick of this as I've had friends who were labeled as "emos" because they simply wore black.
Also my first girlfriend, who I am no longer with, used to cut due to clinical depression.
I've fought with people about there labeling of such people, but usually lose due to peer pressure.
How can I lessen stigma and make self injury more noticeable as a serious issue instead of a joke?
What are some of your stories with stigma on self injury?
I totally agree and understand what you mean. I've self-harmed in the past, first when i was about 12/13, then managed to stop for a while before falling prey to it again a couple of years later. I cut where people can't see, and I dont generally allow others to be aware of it (ah the annoumity of the internet!)
Ive known a few who are almost following the fashion of being 'emo' with their cuts up and down their arms it really irritates me. Ive heard some boast on the bus where anyone can overhear and its annoying. Even my friends (who probably all dress a bit alternative, but i wouldnt class as emo) do the whole joke thing of 'Oh Im so depressed, Im going to go slit my wrists' or if someone's got a totally innocent cut on their arm they laugh and call it self harm. Ive had to even follow this little jest now and again when Ive innocently cut my arm, and they joke about self-harm and I jokingly agree, but am quite annoyed/upset at the same time. Because privately I understand the real issues of self harm and how serious it can be.
Unfontunatly I think this emo/goth culture have kinda become the new trend, with sites like deviantart, myspace and countless blogs almost promoting self harming and how cool it is. The best you can do is try and make people you know aware of it by explaining to them but I think depressingly enough to attempt to inform the world that cutting yourself is more than a joke will be a very hard thing indeed. I recently for nostalgia sake looked up my old school on you tube, and I actually found footage of these little idiots whacking themselves against walls and punching stuff enough to really hurt themselves, and everyone was laughing including them.
I would say leave the idiots to it, and the ones that do it for a fashion statement or to merely âfit-inâ, let them continue to regret their stupidity when theyâre older and their children ask what the scars are. But its these people that ebb away the seriousness of the real issue, I wish they would just stop (because they are lucky enough to be able to) and let the people with the real problem seek help and not be embarrassed about it. I know I havenât told people because Im scared of being classed as an emo.
I really do think that the stigma attached to cutting is more harmful than the act itself, and I'm glad that someone else has noticed it. Personally, my troubles really started not when I started cutting, but when the school found out and kicked up a big fuss, insisting that I was mentally unstable etc. and needed to go for counseling. Of course, my parents are pretty old-school, and their reaction didn't help either. Everything just went downhill from there - I started cutting more and more because I couldn't take the discrimination, the insults, or the stress.
I don't really see an "emo" or "goth" culture around here; the community I live in is pretty traditional and mainstream. (Which is the root of all my problems.) But there are people who get into cutting because they think it's cool. My parents think I'm one of them. The first thing they asked me was "Where did you learn about this trend? Who taught you?", and I was like, "Huh? You mean it's a trend?", because with all the derogatory remarks about it in popular culture and the press, you wouldn't think so. The sad thing is that I never knew about that before. It just sort of happened when I was trying not to blow my top. And, well, you know the rest.