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› Emo & Cutting

In recent years the media has linked the Emo scene closely with issues of cutting and self-harm, but in reality when you step back and look self-harming objectively, there is no medical or cultural link that connects it to any one social group. Self-harming stems from some serious mental illnesses, namely borderline personality disorder, and is also carried out by people who are suffering, or who have suffered from significant trauma or emotional upset.
Cutting is also usually linked to other psychological symptoms such as depression, social phobia and extreme anxiety. When you look at the medical reasons behind cutting and self-harming, it is impossible to suggest it affects any one group of individuals, and so claiming that somehow a fundamental part of the Emo culture is very misleading.

Perhaps a large part of this false link between the Emo culture and cutting is brought about by the fact that a small number of vulnerable people are attracted to the Emo scene, because of its emphasis on self expression and its deeper exploration of emotions. Much of the music that floods the Emo scene examines some of the darker emotions in the human psyche, but it does not actively condone or encourage any negative behaviour in its followers. It is true that self-harming can be very ritualistic and this often involves listening to a certain type of music, but this is part strictly part of the ritual and not the motivation for it. Motivation for self-harming springs from deeper, mental and emotional problems and is not simply a part of belonging to any one scene or listening to any one musical style.

The Emo culture is all about self-expression and embracing the full range of human emotions, but nowhere in the culture is there a requisite for cutting or self-harming. In fact many people in the Emo scene are very aware that vulnerable people can be attracted to their culture, and so are good at spotting and looking out for self-harming behaviour, and seeking help for those involved in these negative patterns.

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