SELF-HARMING by young girls


This is a copy from The Guardian’s article about mental health in the UK and the trend of young girls for self-harming: Quarter of Young Girls in UK have self-harmed. My novel Guardians’ Betrayal came out last November and treats the subject of self-harming in a sensitive, exploratory manner, and is easy to read for its target readers: mature young adults and their parents.

GUARDIANS’ BETRAYAL Guardians’ Betrayal  is a story of an adopted girl, who self-harms by cutting superficial cuts on her underarms when things get really difficult for her in her adoptive family.

The subject of self-harming is difficult for parents to stomach and often they are in complete denial, and refuse to accept that their child is doing such a thing. So also the parents of Shayla in my novel.

The article quoted from The British The Guardian lets a girl say what she wants to say about it in her own words, and I am placing a copy below:


Case study: ‘If we’re not perfect we punish ourselves’

Jessica, from south Wales.
Jessica, from south Wales. Photograph: Gareth Phillips for the Guardian

“I started self-harming when I was 13. I don’t really know why I started doing it. I guess I had a lot going on and wanted to feel in control of something. The first time I did it I was in the bath and I accidentally cut myself shaving. At first I was panicking but then it felt kind of nice so I started doing it on purpose with various different objects. I would do it all the time, it became addictive.

“I would feel euphoric afterwards. I found physical pain easier to control than what was going on in my mind. The moments I felt pain were the moments my thoughts stopped and all I focused on was the physical discomfort.

“I thought I was the only one doing it, but my friends were too. It came up in conversation and I tried to help them. I encouraged them to seek help, although I never told them I was also doing the same. As well as cutting myself I also developed issues with food. I think both things stemmed from all the pressure I was feeling. Girls feel pressure from a younger and younger age these days. We feel pressure to be perfect and when they don’t achieve that they punish themselves.

“I am not sure why girls are more prone to this, perhaps it is because there is more pressure on us to look a certain way. You tend to see more female models, and girls strive to be like them. The gender stereotype is that boys are manly and girls have to be pretty. This leads to people feeling self-conscious and like they need to look and act a certain way. It makes you feel like you cannot be yourself. I saw a girl this weekend and she was so young but plastered in makeup and fake tan and acrylic nails. She was way too young to feel that pressure.

“The solution is better education about mental health, so people know where to go if they are struggling. There needs to be more resources. I am getting better now and on the road back to recovery but it’s been a long journey. The most important part of getting better for me was knowing I am not alone and others have experienced this.”
, 18, from south Wales

So far from the article.

Read the book GUARDIANS’ BETRAYAL, an easy read for mature young adults and highly educational if you like to know more about circumstances around self-harming and how to deal effectively with the young woman in your life. The book is available from most distributors as an eBook and in print. The first link below takes you to the self-publishing website to order.

Guardians’ Betrayal

or if in the USA:

In Print Amazon:

In Print Amazon

To read its KIRKUS review:

Kirkus Review




About BABYBOOMER johanna van zanten

My name is Johanna van Zanten. I am a baby boomer, interested in writing and connecting with other writers and readers to engage in discussions and information sharing, to share a point of view about current global issues, writing, and publishing, diversity, immigration, travel, music, life, specific baby boomer issues, and dating/relationship issues. I have written a novella, ON THIN ICE about baby-boomer Adrienne and will link this blog with the information website for this novella. Right now, I am trying out the blog.
This entry was posted in adolescents, alcohol abuse, book review, Children, Children and child protection, E Books, eBook, EU, Mental health, Parenting, sexual politics, Uncategorized, women's issues; torture of women, Young Adult books. Bookmark the permalink.

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