‘Stranger Things’ Star Offers Hope to Self-Harming Fans
TV| | By Sara Wilkins
Stranger Things actress Shannon Purser has gone public with her self-harming past to offer up a message of hope to others struggling with similar issues.
The 19-year-old star, who portrays Barbara ‘Barb’ Holland on the hit sci-fi series, took to Twitter on Monday to share her dark secret as she posted a picture of a razor blade.
“I haven’t self-harmed in years, but I kept this around, ‘just in case,'” she explained. “I forgot it was there & now it’s in the trash.”
*TRIGGER WARNING* I haven’t self-harmed in years, but I kept this around, “just in case.” I forgot it was there & now it’s in the trash. pic.twitter.com/C0oAQTL0IM
— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) November 7, 2016
She then added a few words of encouragement for followers battling similar demons.
“Recovery is possible,” she declared. “Please don’t give up on yourself.”
The actress did not provide any further details about what led her to start self-harming, but she tells Entertainment Tonight she wants to use her own experiences to show others they are not alone.
“I’m so happy to be able to help other people by talking about my struggles,” she says. “I guess I’d just say, ‘You’re worthy of love, valuable, and beautiful. You can and will get through this.’ Getting the help you need to deal with this is a form of self-love and you are worth it.”
Purser has managed to turn her life around in recent years, and has found fame with her official acting debut on Stranger Things.
The teen admits she was surprised at viewers’ reactions to her supporting character after the show debuted on Netflix in July, but she couldn’t be happier.
“The fan response has been absolutely incredible!” she recently told ET. “This was my first acting credit, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I loved the character from the very beginning, and I was really excited to play her.”
She added, “I had such a good time filming, (but) I didn’t really think people would think too much of the part. A few days after (the show) aired, it was incredible. This response started to flood in, and it’s been amazing. I wasn’t expecting it but I’m super thankful.”
Though Stranger Things was her first credit, the show’s success seems to have jump-started Purser’s acting career.