‘Real World’ Emotions Get Out Of Control As Robb Turns To Self-Harm

Photo: (MTV)

On “Real World St. Thomas,” sparks were flying early on between Robb and Marie. But when sparks begin to fly between Marie and other dudes-not-Robb, Robb reacts by harming himself leaving some roommates wide-eyed and wanting to intervene.

In the episode, Brandon sees Robb hurt himself, and one point Robb even asks Brandon to hurt him, but he declines. Instead, Brandon, who had struggled with similar issues before, urges him to stop.

Teens and young adults sometimes use self-harm, like cutting, to try to deal with feelings like anger, failure or sadness.  Often, there is an underlying problem like depression.  However, there are much better ways to cope and feel better, without causing further pain.

If you think a friend is cutting, there are things to watch for and many ways you can reach out. Here are a few things to keep in mind from mtvU’s Half Of Us:

+ How you respond to a friend or classmate that is showing signs of emotional distress or a potential problem is often dependent on your relationship with that person. If you have a long history and friendship with the person, you may be a key resource for support and feel comfortable having a discussion with your friend about how they are feeling. If the person struggling is a more recent acquaintance, like a roommate or classmate, your role may involve letting someone else know about the problem.

+ It is important to remember that you aren’t a therapist and it isn’t your job to provide treatment. Your role is to be supportive and encourage them to reach out to family, the counseling center or another medical professional as a first step — even if you don’t fully understand the problem or its severity.

+ When we see someone who is sad, angry or anxious, it is our instinct to ask “what’s wrong?” However, someone dealing with a mental health problem may have certain thoughts or feelings that aren’t related to a specific situation or event. So when approaching a friend who is showing signs of a problem or dealing with emotional distress, it is important to be patient and supportive. You may not be able to understand how your friend is feeling and it may seem uncomfortable or awkward to discuss personal and emotional issues, but you can listen and let them know they aren’t alone.

If you or a friend needs immediate help, call The National Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

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Show up for friends who need extra support. Visit the Half of Us info page for helping others.

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Half of Us offers resources and support for young people suffering from depression and mental health struggles.