Self-Harm Doesn't Mean Suicide Is The Next Step

Stop Assuming People Who Self-Harm Want To Die

Because when you self harm, it isn't just about ending your life. There's so much more that surrounds the action.

Brooke Albright

Trigger Warning: includes self-harm and suicide

After finishing season two of "13 Reasons Why" on Netflix a few weeks ago, I realized that self-harm is so much more than a person wanting to die. Skye, portrayed as the school's outcast in season one, and as Clay's girlfriend in season two made me come to the conclusion that the stigma around self-harm is wrong.

Completely wrong.

By no means did "13 Reasons Why" make self-harm OK, but they did give more reasons on what makes a human harm themselves. So, if a family member or friend comes to you about being a victim of self-harm, you don't categorize them as a Hannah, someone who wants to completely end their lives.

Instead, you explore some reasons that drove them to it, figure out the problem, and help them move forward.

With that being said, everyone goes through some stuff that makes them feel like self-harm is the only option. They could be sitting right next to you, or they could be faces on the billboards.

On May 14, Willow Smith openly talked about her self-harm on her Mom's show "Red Table Talk." She explained that after her song "Whip My Hair" hit the radios and blew up, she self-harmed. In the interview she admitted to completely losing herself, she didn't know who she was, what she was supposed to do and what her purpose was.

After her tour and the promotions she explained that she went to a place mentally that she'd never been before:

"They wanted me to finish my album," she said. "And I was like, 'I'm not gonna do that.' And after all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull, I was just listening to a lot of dark music. It was just so crazy and I was plunged into this black hole, and I was cutting myself."

In the "Red Table Talk," it seemed as though her mother was completely shocked. She asked Willow exactly where her cuts were and said that she "missed that part." Willow showed her wrists and explained that "they're barely there" but, she also made it a point to admit that she really didn't reach out to anyone about her harm, only one person.

"I never talk about it because it was such a short weird point in my life. But you have to pull yourself out of it."

And most people don't talk about it. But the question I think we are all wondering is why? Why do people self-harm?

At such a young age, Willow explained it perfectly. So perfect, in fact, that I think I understand myself a little more.

"I honestly felt like I was experiencing so much emotional pain but my physical circumstances were reflecting that."

I think that's such an important point to make, people self-harm because they are hurt on the inside. So much, that they feel the need to employ that hurt physically.

I'd like to describe that feeling as numb. Sometimes when you're hurt that bad, you just want to feel something again, whether it be love, hate, sadness, or even pain.

A little bit of feeling goes a long way when you're in that mental state.

Smith's mother goes on to piece together what Willow was saying in more of an easier way to understand.

"So would you say that the self harm makes the pain more tangible, actually visible, something you can see and put your finger on. And then it becomes real."

Willow goes on to explain that depression was "like a ghost". In some way that the pain she was feeling mentally just wasn't actually real because she couldn't see it.

That's what people don't understand, that's why depression is such a lethal sickness. It's not there so people don't believe it. It's almost like once it can be seen, it's there.

And you think that people might believe you.

Willow continues saying,

"One night I was just like this is actually psychotic and after that, I just stopped"

I wish it could just be that easy for everyone that self-harms but, sometimes it takes so much more than just a thought. It's important to understand that you're not alone, you're never alone. There are real people out there who are just like you, maybe not going through the same exact thing as you but they feel the same way as you.

1 in 4 people struggles with mental illness, an illness that is never discussed. Let's talk about it.

You can get through it, you're so much more than just a statistic. People love you.

If you or anyone else you know are considering self-harm or are thinking about suicide. Please seek help immediately and call 1-800-273-8255.

You are worth it.

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