Self-harm goes beyond labels. Goth? Cheerleader? You don’t know who’s hurting.

self harm school stereotypes
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Teenage years mean that whatever label you have slapped on you, you’re still going to have the same problems.

Too often, people put self-harm down to ‘being a teenager’. It’s funny how quickly some people can forget what it was like. They say ‘X is just being dramatic’ and ‘they have it so easy’. As an open-minded teenage girl, I know it is truly hard, sometimes.

You think you’re the only one that feels annoyed? Fed up? Exhausted by it all? You’re not. Everyone has times when they just want to sleep through the next week.

Are popular people blessed with a sense of personal security?

When you look closely at a so-called popular girl she’s really just as insecure as anyone else. Often the popular girls don’t feel they have real friends they can count on, because they’re competing in such a cut-throat sociopolitical arena.

Do people self-harm for attention?

No way! If someone self-harms it means they need help to see that life is what you make it, and are using a coping mechanism in the meantime. In the words of Fall Out Boy ‘the best way to make it through with hearts and wrists intact is to realise that two out of three aint bad’ .

When you look around your school, do you think you know what everyone is about?

Think again. I know a girl who was in the ‘cool’ gang, listened to ‘cool’ music and did ‘cool’ things. No-one ever called her depressed or strange. She dressed in sassy fashionable clothes, but she still self-harmed – she felt it was her only way out. Although one of the popular girls, she felt her life was so terrible that she should just die.

People look at the kid dressed entirely in black and automatically think they’re depressed, when actually the officially ‘cool’, supposedly well-adjusted girl sitting beside them with a big smile and fake laugh could be dying inside and nobody has realised.

People have the right to choose what they want to wear, listen to, read and watch. And labels don’t help. Each to their own. If you don’t like someone, you don’t have to look – just don’t judge someone before you know them.

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