Shannon Purser, Barb from Stranger Things, used to self harm

Spoilers for Stranger Things; trigger warning, self-harming
Barb may have ended up too digested at the end of Stranger Things to return to Hawkins, but Shannon Purser, the 19-year-old actress who played the dowdy high school student, has a thriving career. Right when the news came out that Barb is not coming back for the next season we heard that Purser got a job on a new CW series based on the Archie comics. So Purser is doing well professionally and she’s a fan favorite. Purser recently opened up on social media about the fact that she used to self harm. She shared a photo of a razor blade and wrote that she hasn’t self harmed in years but she kept it in case she felt like she needed it, I think. She’s since thrown it away.

That was powerful. She has a platform now and she probably just helped countless other people. Purser also spoke to Entertainment Tonight and said that she hopes she can help people know how worthy they are:

The 19-year-old TV star also spoke with ET exclusively about her decision to speak about her painful past, and share such a personal photo. “I’m so happy to be able to help other people by talking about my struggles,” she said. “I guess I’d just say, ‘You’re worthy of love, valuable, and beautiful. You can and will get through this.’”

Purser added, “Getting the help you need to deal with this is a form of self-love and you are worth it.”

[Entertainment Tonight]

Kudos to her, she deserves a lot of credit for coming out with her story. I browsed through her Twitter and Instagram and Purser is one to watch definitely. She loves makeup (she looks so much different in real life of course but it’s striking how different she looks) she’s dryly funny and self deprecating and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her.

If you or a loved one struggles with self harming you can get help by calling the National Alliance on Mental Help at 899-950-NAMI or texting “NAMI” to 741741.

This is amazing. Purser complained about too few peanuts in a pack and the Planters company sent her a huge care package and apology note!

SO much fun working with these two lovely, warm, goofy people. So thankful.

A photo posted by Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) on

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7 Responses to “Shannon Purser, Barb from Stranger Things, used to self harm”

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  1. KasySwee says:

    I really appreciate her being open and vocal about this. I always appreciate people in the media speaking out about their own mental health struggles, unless it’s Stephen Fry, who can go to hell and take his narcissism, faux apologies and victim-shaming with him. As long as they help break down to the stigma, and not add to it, good on them (and that’s me giving you the side-eye, Stephen).

    I don’t self-harm, but I do have many years of living with PTSD, social anxiety/isolation, depression and other fun, exciting prizes for being a neuro atypical survivor of interpersonal and institutional abuse. Whatever your mental health issue is, you are not to blame, you should not feel ashamed and asking for help isn’t wrong or a failing.

  2. susanne says:

    It breaks my heart to see this behavior. Girls harming themselves like this- girls who are inherently beautiful as human beings, feeling the need to hurt themselves- tears me apart. My daughter is 12 and I am afraid of what is to come for her, living in this cultural climate.
    I am grateful for anyone who speaks out. I know that in my family silence is a big part of the sickness.

  3. Chelsey says:

    She seems like a cool chick. Good for her for speaking out.


    Barb is overrated!


  4. Cali says:

    I loved Barb during her short time on the show and she’s beautiful. Stay strong!

  5. p says:

    I think she was irresponsible for posting a pic of the actual blade. If anything, that only glamourises self-harm.