Self-harm is an addiction, Molly Russell wrote

Posted: 28th September 2022

Molly Russell’s despair and helplessness before her death was detailed in a note several pages long, an inquest was told yesterday.

The schoolgirl described her “addiction” to self harm but also her confusion about feelings of self-loathing, especially as she did not have a difficult childhood and came from a loving home.

“First of all no one is to blame, it is me, I did this, no one else is to blame,” she wrote. “Sometimes it all gets too much and you don’t know how to deal with it so you keep it deep inside you but it keeps building and building until you can’t deal with it any more.”

Molly said her thoughts were hard to manage and confusing “especially if you don’t have a difficult childhood and have a family that love you. I don’t know what was wrong with me. I didn’t have a reason to be depressed.”

The note was described as “very sad to look at” by Dr Navin Venugopal, a child psychiatrist who concluded that she was suffering severe depression.

Molly, from Harrow, northwest London, described her attempts to manage her distress: “Self-harm becomes an addiction, even when you are happy you crave it, so I tried to forget the feelings . . . but I couldn’t stop the way I was feeling.”

On Monday North London coroner’s court was told that Molly quoted from an Instagram post that said “I’m just not good enough”, before taking her own life at the age of 14 in November 2017.

Molly “binged” on 2,100 suicide, self-harm and depressive posts and 138 videos in the months before her death. Venugopal was so disturbed by that material that he was “not able to sleep well for a few weeks”.

He said the “distressing” content would “certainly affect her and made her feel more hopeless” and saw no “positive benefit” to the material.

He said the content was “likely to have exacerbated her sense of helplessness and made her less likely to seek help and support from family or friends.

“There was a risk to Miss Russell’s health and mental state by looking at self-harm related content.”

Andrew Walker, the senior coroner, said: “This material seems to romanticise, glamorise, and take the subject of self-harm — take it away from reality and make it seem almost unreal, take away from these terrible acts any kind of consequence.”

Venugopal, a consultant with Central and Northwest London NHS Trust, was an expert witness giving a psychiatric evaluation of Molly. He said adolescent children were particularly vulnerable between the age of 12 and 16. “There is increased sensitisation and responsiveness to stress. This along with being more aware of body changes makes them more prone to mental health issues, specifically for girls.”

Source: Self-harm is an addiction, Molly Russell wrote | News | The Times

Categories: News