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Celebrities and Self Harm

Celebrities and self harm have gotten more media attention than ever before with breaking stories about Miley Cyrus. Allegations that Cyrus engages in self-injury cutting began to emerge in May 2012 when pictures surfaced in the media showing definite cuts on her wrists. Rumors that the 19 year old is a self-harmer and has an eating disorder abound on the Internet. The singer tweeted a photo of herself sniffing a bag of takeout food with the caption, "Can't eat it so I'm just gonna smell the sh** out of it! My mouth is literally watering."

Famed singer and songwriter, Fiona Apple, endured a rape at age 12 outside her mother's apartment. She says that she checked her closets to make certain no one was hiding in the house for years afterward. Even as an adult, she claims to suffer from horrible, violent dreams due to the experience; one of the effects of rape. During her teen years, Apple suffered from an eating disorder, saying that she had become terribly depressed after the sexual assault. Her first album, Tidal, received poor reviews. It was after these biting reviews that she began scratching her wrists with her fingernails until her skin bled, which is one of the ways to self-harm.

British comedian and actor, Russell Brand, talked about self injury as a teen in his autobiography, My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up. He admitted in a "Time Out Chicago" interview that, in the past, doctors had diagnosed him with bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He says that it's difficult to discern which of those diagnoses were accurate, since he was heavy into drugs and cutting at the time. "I get fixated when I'm bleeding – I can see why they went in for blood-letting in medieval times because it makes you feel a bit better. When I cut myself, the drama of it calms me down," says Brand. (read: Why I Self-Harm: Why People Self-Injure)

Demi Lovato and Self Injury

When celebrities who self harm come forward and talk openly about it, their admission may help others find peace and, eventually, recovery. Famous people who self harm, like Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, and others have admitted to cutting themselves in the past. Some stars who’ve come forward have recovered and some have not.The Demi Lovato self injury story on her own MTV Special, Stay Strong, reveals her ongoing battle with self harm and an eating disorder. The singer courageously opened up about her struggles in the hour-long documentary. She admits that she has cut herself and purged since receiving treatment, but that she will continue in her fight for recovery. Demi says she came forward and spoke so candidly about it because she still feels vulnerable and knows that someone, some girl or boy, out there needs to hear her story. (more self-injury, self-harm stories)

Celebrities who self injure, like others who do the same, tend to keep it to themselves. It's not about getting attention. It's about getting relief. So, when they come forward and share their challenges and personal struggles with self injury, people must listen to their words and their account of the journey. These can serve to help people dealing with a variety of challenges – not just self harm.

"Some people go shopping – I cut myself." ~Angelina Jolie, 1995, ABC News

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