Pretty Little Liars star talks about self-harm
In an interview for the February 2014 edition of Seventeen magazine she spoke about striving for perfection while she was in school. This, she said, is what kick-started a self-destructive period in her life.
Wanting to please
Troian described being the youngest daughter and wanting to be the perfect little girl. “My school was a very intense college prep school” she said, “it was about wanting to please my father and mother and wanting to be perfect to everybody”.
Bottling it up
She felt like she would be disowned by her family if she expressed feelings of sadness or anger and so kept it “bottled up inside…it turned into self-destructive behaviour”.
Self-harming is often used as a way of coping with emotional distress, or to help provide a feeling of control.
It can also be used to express difficult feelings and sometimes to communicate to people that you need support.
The key to stopping hurting yourself is acknowledging the behaviour and reaching out to others for support.
It’s easy to imagine people we look up to have perfect lives. We forget they’re human too.
Despite being in a successful TV show, Troian says she’s been lacking confidence most of her life. “Sometimes I feel like I’m trying too hard, like I don’t fit in” she says, describing it as an ongoing struggle.
Own worst critic
No-one’s struggle is exactly the same, but feeling like you’re not good enough or ‘don’t fit in’ are difficult feelings. Remember, we’re all our own worst critic.