Not to set myself up as special or anything, way back in my teenage years of the late 80's (1986-89, more specifically). I had a free reign of
making myself. One of the major activities was Teen Institute
as well as acting.
I had made friends and mentors out of people that were upwards of twice my age and then some whose professional adult lives range from a former drug
runner in The Outlaws
to psychologists and psychiatrists. Between those two things
alone, I have met a considerable number of different (and "different") people. Acting introduced me to politicians, celebrities and other
Teenagers hurting themselves physically and psychologically was nothing new back then either. Eating disorders, drug/alcohol/sex addictions, even the
cutting and burning self mutilations were going on. And quite a number of these people in my life at the time were really concerned about my use of a
persona to deflect and shield myself.
That the over use was self-destructive and would cause traumatic mental scarring. To say that I escaped unscathed would be a lie. But it didn't
happen at the time like they thought it would. It came much later in my early to mid 20's when the realization came that I was either a has been or
never was (depending on how hard I was on myself).
Honestly to have faced that prospect in my teen years would have indeed been devastating. Maybe even to the point of suicide or other destructive
tendencies. Good examples would be Dana Plato, Winona Ryder or Brittany Spears. Lost of fame can cause some really crazy thoughts.
And that leads to the article, with online fame being very real and happening without a support mechanism. Desperate actions can be acted upon. With
the above child actors, fame was all they knew. Same as many, how shall I say it, Facebook Divas.
As for self-mutilation. I think today's teenage girl (and it is mostly girls that engage in this, although some guys do support "manly" scars) it
isn't always out of depression or loathing. Sometimes it is a fashion statement like hair dying, tattoos or piercings.
Good topic, Intrepid.
I might have missed this one had you not mentioned it.