So, I just watched a gamer-streamer who I like and respect rebuff a guest in his chat asking for help with emotional issues and self-harm.
On one hand I think the person who made that comment shouldn't've done so on a public forum and to a no-nonsense and opinionated figure. The move seems almost like a bait and a plea for attention. On the other, the streamer's comments about cutting friendships with any self-harmers by default, and asserting that people who do need to grow the eff up ... they hurt. And scare me.
I wanted to ask ... is it a common experience for you guys? Is self-harm a friendship ender, moreso than other mental health issues? What kind of mentality ... makes it okay to abandon a person upon learning about their darkest often-secret habits?
I don't like the "grow up" mentality. Since when do depressive drinkers, binge-eaters, smokers get told to grow up as much? What kind of culture of eternal hiding and shame does it breed when a friend gets told to get lost and get over it "or the friendship is over" when they feel brave enough to come out with it?
"It's something you can change." << People who assert this don't understand the complex emotional and thought traps behind the habit, which are different for each person. Never mind the gnawing physical need
. If only it were as simple to choose to walk to the park instead of to cut, burn, bite, beat ... Yes you CAN change it, but it's not an overnight thing that gets better by being told to grow up.
At the same time, I know it's delicate. I firmly believe everyone who succumbs to it needs compassion and support. Those who abuse it for attention ... I find it hard to understand them, but I know they might exist; they STILL need help of some sort to pull them away from its use, from the need to cry for affection so destructively.
So tell me. Are people who end things with a self-harming friend usually reacting with disgust on principle, or pulling themselves away from something they don't know how to deal with - perhaps even after having tried but to no change? I think I'd be more forgiving of the latter.
And on the harmers' side. Are you comfortable with the idea of an expectation of silence or "control"? To withold letting it show to your friends to stay on their good books. Do attention-seekers "make us look bad" and should be discouraged and told to tone down, or do they have their brand of issue that needs dealing with in a completely different way, compared to the secret harmers?
Any and all of your thoughts are appreciated.