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Self-Harm in Degrassi: The Next Generation

Few things can be discerned by examining the external properties of one person. Though self harm proved through scars demonstrates a disturbing pattern of behavior, Degrassi:The Next Generation confirms that the pain behind this behavior penetrates more than just the external. Each character attributed with the habit of self harm harbors the distress of a suppressed individual. Each of these individuals, defaulted with a misshapen idea of how to satisfy the demands of everyday society. These characters are not alone in their shortcomings, personally having experienced similar feelings and behaviors, this coverage hits close to home. In short, Self-harm forewarns of major misestimations of self and deficiencies in the emotional climate of the surrounding environment.

People Self-Harm for a Bunch of Reasons

One does not need a disorder or disease to self-harm only a motive in the pursuit of a certain change in life aesthetic or fulfillment. Severity of self injury ranges from minor to life threatening. So, negligence of addressing the issue is not an option. In Degrassi: The Next Generation Ellie Nash, fits the build of what conventional media would label as a stereotypical suspect of self injuring adolescents. She hails from the home of an alcoholic mother and absentee father. She isolates herself socially from her peers early on in the show, and later opens up. From her external appearance she dresses her distress, garbed in black and multiple piercings. However, on the inside she conceals the motivated, caring and agreeable reality of her person. Her method of harm, cutting and fortunately her method of coping, therapy, saved her from tragedy.

Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

Adam Torres’ story breaks the stereotypical mold of a “cutter”. From his external appearance he lives like a normal extroverted adolescent boy. However his internal disposition serves as the driving force for his self abuse. He is a transgender female to male teen. His mother at first refuses to acknowledge that her daughter is in fact not her daughter, but actually her son. As “Gracie”, Adam’s former identifier, Adam’s method of self-injury emerges as burning .His method of coping, the ability of being himself, a boy, serves as the perfect deterrent. While these forms of self-injury seem tame, escalation of trauma can manifest almost immediately or even begin at a much higher level of intensity.

Self-Harm can be Lethal

Moreover, Degrassi: The Next Generation confirms how significant the consequences of emotional pain can be, through the characters Darcy Edwards and Campbell Saunders. Rape causes Darcy to commit the unthinkable in the episode “Standing In The Dark (2).” Imagining the residual effect of suffering rape seems almost unfathomable. In her case, she copes by slitting her wrist in the women’s locker room. Help arrives in appropriate timing as another character relays the issue to emergency services. Saving her life, in a possibly avoidable scenario, Darcy consequently must tolerate all the troubles associated with suicide watch.

Campbell Saunders’ case proves more unlucky as he bears with all the typical issues facing modern adolescents. The most critical of these pressures being the self and peer criticisms of his social life. The initial incident occurs as Campbell jumps from the second floor of the school and breaks his arm. He later tells another student that “he’s not one of those people that that hurts themselves,” in an effort of concealing his underlying psychological problems. Lack of intervention or confrontation later proves fatal. He takes his life on the school campus a short time after his prior experience. 

4 Out of 5 Stars For Degrassi and Self-Harm

In cases of suspected self-harm, proper attention to the suspected individual reigns supreme. Slight coaxing and subtle suggestions that the issue is not all that rare are key. Avoiding the problem, only compounds the possibility for more dire outcomes. Never be afraid of requesting help. Once again, 21 SCHIZM wants everyone to know that this issue is surmountable and not the end of your story. On the topic of Self-Harm Degrassi: The Next Generation receives a total 4 out of 5 stars.   

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