Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mental Nurse on Emo and self harm - Daily Mail screws up a vulnerable teen's therapy

Found an interesting blog on the recent anti-emo stuff in the Mail by a mental nurse at He/she works in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services sommwhere:

I think I’ve give a real-world clinical example, dealing with a self-harming emo kid.

A quick caveat before I do. Teenage self-harming is not an “emo thing”. We see plenty of cutters in CAMHS, and the bulk of them are not emos. Chavs cut themselves too. In fact, some kids cut themselves despite not being part of any fashion clique at all. It’s almost as if self-harm were a mental health issue rather than a fashion trend. Strange, that.

Anyway, let’s bring in our emo. He’s 15 years old, and in honour of My Chemical Romance, we’ll call him Gerard. read more here More on Emo
The most worrying thing about this is that in the blog Dr Cretin takes his ideas on emo from the press reports.

Dr Cretin is…shall we say…a little old-fashioned. Therefore I had a feeling things weren’t go to go well when Gerard turned up to the appointment wearing eyeliner.

Dr Cretin looks at him disapprovingly. “So….this emo cult that you’re involved in. Is that why you started cutting yourself?”

Emo cult? Oh Christ, please don’t tell me Dr Cretin read that bloody Daily Mail article...

By this point Gerard looks like he’s about to cry. Which is unsurprising, since he’s just been told his personal identity is a cult and he should get rid of all his friends.

Once again proof that the Daily Mail screws with peoples lives. The nurse seems to think (with good reason) that the kids interest in bands is in fact a positive thing. "I’ve explored in sessions what Gerard feels he gets out of being an emo. His answers: a sense of identity, a feeling of mutual understanding with others, being accepted and valued in a way that he isn’t by the bullies at school who push his head down the toilet."

And once again we note the kid has been bullied in school as well.

The original comments on the Mail emo article are classic in pointing out its absurdity but they also note:
Funnily enough, we haven’t any seen that many emos come into CAMHS lately (though we’ve got a few goths). We actually see a lot more chavs than any other subculture.
So according to an inexact survey it is chavs, not emos that self harm more at the moment. But as they also point out it might be that social services intervene in "chav" cases more often.

Basically the point is stupid sterotypes about mental conditions cause more harm than anything else. And where do they come from ? Media nonsense is one source.

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