April 11, 2017
Emily claims self-harming gives her a feeling of calm. The 22-year-old, who says she began cutting herself at 13, during a period when she claims she was being physically abused, says she suffers from depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Since then, claims Emily, she’s cut herself upwards of 500,000 times, resulting in over 437 stitches and staples, and two hospitalizations for anemia due to loss of blood.
Emily says she showed her scars online for the first time in 2015 when she uploaded a photo of herself to social media. Since then, she’s acquired over 200,000 followers worldwide.
“It’s like I’m a celebrity or something – and these people see me as this huge inspiration.”
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Emily says she feels like she can advocate for people who struggle with cutting because she’s been there. She says she uses social media to tell her personal story and to share advice and awareness.
“I want to break the stigma on mental illness and self-harm,” she says. “It’s such a taboo subject, and it shouldn’t be.”
Many of Emily’s followers are fans, but she says many criticize her as well. She says people think she is a trigger for others who self-harm, or that she encourages others to hurt themselves.
Why does Emily say she won’t be silenced by her critics? Tune in to Tuesday’s Dr. Phil when Emily comes face-to-face with a woman who started a petition to have her social media presence shut down, and hear why others say they believe Emily is using her online audience to gain attention for herself.
Find out where you can watch here.