Shannon Purser from Stranger Things tweeted a photo of a razor blade on Monday with the caption that she kept it around “just in case.” Purser, who made her debut as an actress on the first season of the science fiction-horror Netflix series Stranger Things, apparently used to cut herself, saying that she forgot where she had put the razor. Along with a “trigger warning,” Shannon Purser goes on to say that she hasn’t actually used the razor blade to self-harm in years but did keep it around. Fans tweeted their support of Purser, sharing that she’s not the only one who’s kept a blade around “just in case,” but went on to say that they’re glad she finally decided to throw it out.
Mashable posted about how Shannon Purser was cleaning her room out on Monday and happened to come across a few things from her past, including a Nintendo DS, as well as her “very first” headshot — both of which she also shared with her Twitter followers. Purser said the best part about cleaning up was finding “this baby,” referring to the DS. Fans of the Stranger Things star can probably conclude that the worst part about cleaning up for “Barb” was finding an old razor blade that she used to use for purposes of self-injury, a time that Mashable described as a “dark time” in Purser’s life.
Holding the razor blade between two fingers, Shannon Purser took a photo and shared it on her personal Twitter account, shortly after tweeting an old photograph of her head. Purser told her thousands of Twitter followers that she hasn’t used the blade “in years” to self-harm, but kept it around and even forgot “it was there.” Purser, who played Nancy Wheeler’s best friend, Barbara Holland, on Stranger Things in July, assured her followers that she threw the razor blade in the trash after taking the photo, and also tweeted that recovery from self-harm is possible, but did not share why she started cutting herself.
Hollywood Life called the pic of the razor blade “shocking,” adding that the fact that Shannon Purser even admitted to having a history of self-harm was “even more shocking.” But Psychology Today said in 2010 that the number of girls who are cutting themselves is “growing fast.” Recent studies, according to the article, suggest that self-harm is much more common than it was in the 1990s and that cutting is more common among girls than boys.
“As many as one in five girls between 10 and 18 years of age are now cutting themselves with razor blades or burning themselves with matches.”
Karen Conterio co-authored a book titled Bodily Harm in 1999 and said in an interview with WebMD that cutting helps kids control their emotional pain. According to Conterio, self-harm usually begins around the age of 14, and continues for years and years, because people “don’t really know how to quit.” Conterio speculates that the desire to cut may be part of the Goth culture, or may stem from an eating disorder, or a history of abuse. KidsHealth adds that cutting is also sometimes associated with other mental health issues, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or compulsive behavior. Some evidence even suggests that cutting releases internal opiates.
“I felt like I was up on the ceiling, watching myself do it. I was literally high,” according to one girl’s personal account of cutting on Psychology Today.
Hollywood Life goes on to say that they’re glad that Shannon Purser is using her success from Stranger Things to bring “awareness to problems,” and reach out to other people who suffer from self-harm.
“We think it’s so amazing that she’s put herself out there and let the world know that she is no longer hurting herself and has gotten rid of that part of her life. It can only serve to help others in the same situation.”
Radar Online said that Purser appears to be on the “up-and-up” now, thanks to her “cult following” from her “first acting credit” on Stranger Things. Shannon Purser’s “intelligent” and “outspoken” character on Stranger Things quickly became a fan-favorite, but “Barb” didn’t make it out of Season 1 alive, and won’t appear on Season 2. So, what is the 19-year-old up to these days?
Just hours ago, Shannon Purser tweeted support of one follower who shared that she also hasn’t self-harmed in “this long,” and Purser encouraged everyone to “vote wisely” today. As far as acting goes, Shannon Purser is set to play Ethel Muggs on TV in the upcoming CW series titled Riverdale, based on the Archie comic book characters, and she’s making her film debut in 2018 as Connie in the upcoming college-set comedy film Life of the Party.
[Featured Image by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images]