I don’t know how familiar you are with the concept of Pinterest, but for those of you in the dark, allow me to shed some light on the subject. Pinterest is a website/app where people can find funny, relatable, educational, or inspirational pictures, and “pin” them so their followers can
legally stalk them see what they’re up to or interested in st the time. Subject matter ranges from photography, fails, memes, recipes, self help, humor, etc. Imagine it, I’m you can find it. Anyway, when you click on a picture, it will give you similar ones in the general category you’re looking into. I have a point to all of this, I swear.
So, like many others, I have a Pinterest account. I mostly use it to
stalk celebrities find funny pictures to brighten my day and waste time.
Until tonight. Tonight, I’ve stumbled across something that truly makes me I’ll. I won’t be posting the picture, as I do not want to draw more attention to the image itself, but I do want to draw attention on the subject matter.
The image features the wrist of a young girl, fresh, red blood pools on her skin. There appears to be razor marks as well, indicating self harm. I hate seeing pictures like this to begin with, but the message accompanying the image is what disturbs me. “I’ve been diagnosed with depression, give me 100 repins and I swear I’ll stop.”
There are so many problems with this post, I’m not even really sure where to properly begin.
One, I understand not everyone is a psychologist/psychiatrist, and not everyone has a mental illness, or understands how they work. But depression does not automatically mean you’re obligated to become a cutter.
Two, cutting is the physical manifestation of an abstract, illogical, emotional pain. It is a wound on your soul now made visible. Why would anyone photograph this for the sole purpose of showing it to anyone, let alone the internet?
I’m a cutter, but unless I want you to see it, you’ll never know it’s happened. I am guilty of taking pictures, but not for show and tell. I take them so I can look back, and remember the pain. Remember what led to the scars. Try to keep myself from doing it again. So far, it does seem to work.
Three, self harm is not something to mock, or take lightly. It is a problem, and doing it for attention only discredits those of us with a real problem. Doing it because you want people to pity you, or because you want the romantic image of the man of your dreams kissing your scars, are not proper reasons to harm yourself.
The reality of self harm is not romantic, or beautiful. It’s disgusting, and shameful, for the person doing the harming. It means constantly having to make wardrobe changes to cover the scars, or new wounds, and often times being uncomfortable.
It means having to constantly feel everyone’s eyes on you, and knowing they’re judging you in some way (be it pity or otherwise).
It means people touching your scars and constantly having to answer the question of “what happened to your arm?”
Boys don’t place loving kisses along your arm and tell you how beautiful they are, and even if they did, why would you mark up your own body just for that? Some guys have a feces fetish, are you going to eat shit next to impress the menfolk? (Sorry to anyone reading who might have a shit fetish)
Four, why would anyone repin something like this? Again, I understand a lot of people are ignorant to the world of mental illness, and perhaps you think you’re doing good, but you’re actually enabling more harm.
Say this girl is real, and she does have a cutting problem. She sees people fawning all over her, and giving her the attention she so craves. It won’t stop. She’ll cut again, post again, to gain even more likes and followers. So begins a nasty, never-ending cycle.
If you really want to help people who self harm, talk to them when they’re ready. Help them seek the help they need. Do your research, educate yourself using credible sources, and try to help. But repinning, or reposting an image will not help. It will not make the pain go away.
I, for one, grow such and tired of the lacking knowledge in this world regarding mental illness. I think it should become mandatory for all to learn about them, and stop romanticizing this stuff.
Scars can be beautiful, because they make up who you are. The pain you’ve lived through, the times when you wanted to give up but fought a little harder is evident. Don’t be ashamed, but don’t make a pubic spectacle of yourself in the process.
All of us have pain. Some of us wear it visibly, others keep it hidden and tucked away.
I also urge you, my readers, to educate yourself. Ask questions, learn from others, be understanding, but don’t be blinded.
If you are a cutter, I also urge you to try your best to find an alternative. It’s easier said than done, I know, but try.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope I’ve helped a little.