This week's episode of "Red Table Talk" Jada Pinkett-Smith, her daughter Willow and her mother Adrian (aka "Gammy") discuss how they've survived losses in life. While the two elder women talk about losing friends and parts of themselves when the question was turned on Willow she makes a startling confession.
At the beginning of the show Jada gets a call telling her that a friend has passed away from brain cancer. The women are dealing with the loss of life when Jada turns to ask Willow "what's been your biggest loss?" The younger Smith chuckles and replies "I honestly feel like I lost my sanity at one point." From this admission comes the confession that neither Jada nor Gammy saw coming.
The "cutting" epidemic is nothing new however, it is more common than most parents think. According to USA Today:
"It turns out that rates of self-harm for boys and young adults have not changed very much in 15 years. The big increases are in girls aged 10 to 14 and 15 to 19. The rates for the younger girls increased by 166% and older group by 62%. Overall poisonings had only increased by 19% over this period, but injury from sharp objects increased by 152%. Notably the vast bulk of the increase in cutting started in 2009. Since then, the rate of cutting by younger girls has increased by 18.8% a year!"
Although the above article does reference the "effects of social media" as one of the causes for cutting, I feel that it is often something deeper than that. It's a cry for help in most cases and should never be taken lightly or dismissed.
If you, or anyone you know, struggle with self harming please reach out to the Crisis Text Line, or text CONNECT to 741741. Often we don't feel comfortable talking to others and texting feels easier. Don't wait, get help.