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"Emo" culture

Discussion in 'Family and Parenting' started by Matt106, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. "Emo" culture

    I'm new to this forum. In fact, this is my first post. I'm a therapist at a mental health facility. I'm a Christian, but the program I run accepts public funding, so sharing my beliefs is against regulations. (wasn't this country founded on Christian beliefs? I guess that's another discussion! :() We all had our fads growing up. Every generation of teens has a fashion or music that tends to upset the adults. Emo is similar in this regard. Emo's wear dark clothes, have hair that usually covers one eye, and many identify themselves as "bisexual." Their music seems to stress/convey, emotional pain, the meaninglessness of life, self injury, and suicide. I have to say that my experience over the past several years has opened my eyes about emo. I my work, I spent the first seven years of my career (most of the 90's) working in an outpatient mental health clinic. During that time, I saw hundreds of kids. My coworkers combined saw many times that number. During all of that time, I was aware of only one case of self injury (harming oneself by cutting, burning, branding, and so on). It was formerly a relatively rare occurrence. In 2000, I transferred to another program in my agency, and we began to see more and more cases of self injury. We also began to see more kids calling themselves "goth", or emo. my colleagues and I then thought that this was another fad, and these kids would look back at old pictures one day and say "I can't believe I wore that!"

    A few years ago, my family relocated so I could accept a job as a program director. Since then, my staff and I have seen dozens of cases of self injury and attempted suicide. The only common factor linking these cases is that approximately 90% of the "cutters" are self identifying emo kids. After all of this, I began to question the connection between self injury, suicide, and emo. Once I started seeing the online emo communities, the music lyrics, the poetry that emo's publish, and looked at suicide statistics (increases for teen suicide), I became very alarmed! Of course, not all emo's cut, and not all cutters are emo, but I do believe that there is a connection between emo and some very destructive behaviors. After a great deal of prayer, I've been drawn to try to warn parents about this subculture, because kids are permanently scarring themselves and some are dying. I'd be happy to share my research with anyone that wants it. Thanks for your time, and I look forward to any feedback that you have.
  2. Matt, you may not be allowed to openly share your faith, but that doesn't stop you praying up a storm for your patients!!!!! I don't know much about the whole goth thing - I work with small children, so fortunately, they aren't into that stuff.
  3. Not goth...emo. Bana is goth, bana no emo'd.

    Ok, sometimes I may "feel" a bit on the emo side, but who doesn't from time to time. On the other side, I have been in "the scene" long enough to actually remember the roots of emo, and they have come a long way...in the wrong direction.
  4. emo kids are weird, specially the men, er boys, they wear girl pants.
  5. But they are precious to Jesus and so to you and me- I will pray for those girlie panted young men. Do the girls wear guys pants? Either way let us pray!

  6. no they also wear tight revealing pants.

    This pretty much defines emo kids:

    Hello, my name is Mr. Emo
    Don’t bother waving or saying hello
    Feeling bad for myself is all that I know
    Sitting here wishing for a black rainbow
    Emo sucks, Emo rules, I really don’t care
    Nothing really matters, not even my hair
    Not girl pants, though I own twenty pair
    Not even my body, covered in gallons of Nair
    Leave me alone while I sit and reflect
    I feel as important as a tiny insect
    Masacara and paint, designed to deflect
    Do me a favor and support Emo neglect
    Cause that’s all that I want, it’s true and you know
    Sadness for me is like a warm pillow
    In a state of denial is where I’ll wallow
    Don’t worry, I’ll keep my razor cuts shallow
  7. Sad. That is the opposite of the life Jesus has for them.
  8. Thanks for feedback!!!! I do pray for the kids daily. I have seen the "contagion" effect at work as well. As well as the apparent link to emo, there also seems to be an effect where one kid cuts, then others see and cut as well. These kids get reinforcement from each other as they continue to become more and more involved in the subculture. I do have a website with some more information that anyone can use. visit if you like. Its whatisemo.bravenet.com

    Boanerges, thanks for reminding me that the Lord loves all of his children, even those who stray.

    Teck, thanks for your humor. I believe that laughter is a great gift from the Lord.

    Mom, you're TOUGH! Sometimes it is necessary for people to see, "how the other half lives." Interesting idea, but next to impossible to implement. You do have the progression of the problem down.

    Debate and knowledge is good if we are going to help kids. The first step is always prayer!!
  9. me..o evil.simple to i.
  10. I disagree. Emo poets pride themselves on the fact that their poetry is generally bad. This was too well done.
  11. I know alot of "Emo" people who are christians...
  12. I am glad to hear that little brother- I hope your friends aren't into the depression and self mutilation - that part is certainly demonic.
  13. Although I touched in this area growing up, as well as my wife, I am curious...

    What happens when you try to tell the person that you honestly love them, in Christ?

    What happens when you show them that you care? Bring them flowers, candy, things that would normally lighten up someone's day and brighten their mood?

    From that I understand Goth/Emo, whatever it is called, a depression-always type attitude, that you literally think you are nothing and that nothing matters, except you pay all your attention to yourself, and your own pitty/discomfort/sorrow.

    God bless,

    BTW, I tried going to the site and nothing came up.
  14. I'm terribly sorry. I seemed to have messed up on the link. Here it is:


    It is up. Thanks for all of the discussion and comments. Raising awareness is so important!
  15. Emo

    I know this is a long post but for some reason I felt very compelled to explain these certain thoughts about a particular aspect of “Emo”. I’m sure there are tons of other factors to consider & I’m not claiming that I know everything about “social cultures”, and I mean no offence to anyone with this post.

    I have never been an "Emo" which I believe is different than "Goth". Though it’s possible to blend any "social culture" be it “Emo” or not. I grew up being what most people would call "grunge" or "alternative" or “punk” by the way I looked though if I was to describe myself I would say I was more of a "Hippie" growing up. I had & still have a large circle of friends that is composed of many "social cultures" including the ones I was discribe as & how I discribed myself but many of these friends were of other "social cultures" as well that did not have the characteristics of a rebellious nature as some of the others among us did, being more clean-cut & not listening to rock & roll or what have you, but we all supported each other & didn’t drag each other down. Our circle is composed of people who are from Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Wicca & Celtic Druid backgrounds & we all accept each other for who we are. We have had MANY theological/religious debates over the years, but I cannot really remember getting into an argument or getting mad at one another while expressing our beliefs of theology/religion to one another. My oldest friend, whom I’ve known since I was 3 years old, became a Christian before I did but he dressed like me, had long hair & listened to rock & roll or what have you. He was generally tossed into the “grunge/alternative social culture" catagory by people who judge a book by its cover; though he may have looked a certain way he still kept his Christian values. Before I continue I'd like to say I'm sure there are good "Emos" out there & don't have any root causes that I am about to discribe & would never become a bad "Emo" regardless of inffluence. Here goes: In alot of situations "Emo” may not be the root of the problem but the actual root (what ever it may be, example: clinical depression) of the problem caused a domino effect that lead to the person to be an “Emo”. The line gets crossed when a person takes it too seriously. & I agree the influence of a “hard core Emo” can possibly rub off on a “less serious Emo” causing him to possibly be a “hard core Emo” as well. But let’s say the “Emo social culture” never existed. Some of these people who would have been an “Emo” would still have their root problem but would still attach it to some “other social culture” & find another person who was more “hardcore or extreme” within this “other social culture” causing the person to possibly be a “hardcore or extremist” of this “other social culture”. I’ll give an example of a similar situation. (& again I mean no offence to anyone) take “Rednecks”. There are plenty of types of “Rednecks” out there. I grew up in a very small town filled with them. Some were good people some were not so good. Let’s say “Redneck Chuck” has some anger issues but he never really took them out on anyone, maybe he had a punching bag to blow off steam. Then one day “Redneck Chuck” met “Redneck Billy”. The two of them had many things in common such as the cloths they wore or the trucks they drove or the music they listened to & became friends. But “Redneck Billy” also has an anger issue and “Redneck Billy” directs his anger issue through racism (rather than a punching bag) maybe even physically attacks people of other races. Well “Redneck Chuck” could possibly get pulled down by “Redneck Billy” & start directing his root anger issue through racism as well. I guess what I’m trying to say is: most of these people probably already had a root problem & there is always going to be other people worse off that might drag someone down with them if they arnt careful, even if there was no “Emo”. One of the best ways to avoid this would to be to surround yourself with people of positive influences, though that is easier said than done. I have seen people in real bad times hanging with some real bad people but once they "woke up" they began surrounding themselves w/poeple with sincer Love & understanding & patience (which I believe all 3 are the keys) they came around & are no longer up to no good as they were before. If you can just get someone to try & they sincerly keep trying, there isnt much else you can ask of a person. At that point that person would gain more respect (from me atleast). Maybe I've been driven to write this long post because my favorite Parable is the one of the lost/prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Which I think really applies here as it applies to so much of life.
  16. Sailor79, I'm getting what you are saying re: the domino effect. I've seen that quite clearly in my experience. I also understand what you are saying about other cultural groups. Depression is also a major cause of what I am seeing. But even if the numbers of depressed teens have remained the same, and they probably have (I do need to check that), there is only one explanation for the vast increases of self injury and suicide. The only different factor is emo. Self injury has alway been with us (unfortunately), as has suicide. There are currently large increases in both. The only factor that is around now and was not before, is emo. It is the emo subculture that promotes those behaviors. Are kids falling into that and imitating the behaviors? you bet! Doe it have a "triggering effect" on depressed kids? It certainly appears to.

    From reading your post, I'm really hoping that you are in no way offended by anything that has been posted here. Most of us belonged to various subcultures while growing up. I belonged to the scene that preceded yours. I'm really not concerned with the dress, the hair, or the music. Most of us did that to some degree or another. If it were only that, it would be just another fad, and most of us would just wait for it to fade (and be replaced by something else). The fashion of the fad is only useful in identifying those who may be into the scene. It's the messages of hopelessness, meaninglessness, self injury and suicide that concern me. It especially concerns me that there are many of those kids that are following through on the messages!
  17. I hear you

    I guess it boils down to if you can catch the root problem or some one else such as your family, God willing, before it gets out of hand. Again this is easier said than done.

    But if this certain individual has already progressed to an "extremist state" its of coarse going to be much harder to get them to "wake up" & come to their senses. At that point do all you can to show compassion as often as you possibly can & with God's help pull them out of the hole they have dug themselves into.

    I have not looked at the statistics myself but if they are corresponding with "Emo", self mutilation & suicide, I agree it can turn into very serious problems. I was focusing on a couple of aspects such as catching the problem before if gets "out of hand" & suggestions as to help someone who has gotten "out of hand". Also do your best to make sure what the person is really going through before jump to any conclusions.

    I really appreciate your insight into the response to my post & I pray these people experiencing these issues can have them resolved with no long term effects.
  18. hi matt106,im doiing an assignment about the whole emo culture being linked to suicide,would you mind me asking you a few questions?[please email me ur email addy so i could get back to u heres my email:[email protected]]
  19. I know it has been a long time since the last post was post, but I read this discussion and I just had to comment.

    I first want to tell you people something about me, so you'll understand me better. I am Pamela, 17 years old from Holland. I wasn't raised christian, I went (and still go) to christian schools. I do believe in God and Jesus and I do believe that the bible was God's word. I never go to church though, because I believe God is with me all the time and I don't need a church to get close to him. I do pray every day and I think he hears me, no matter what I've done or where I am.

    All right, here I go on this very topic.

    I haven't been a good girl in the past. I've self injured for a couple of months because I felt so depressed and I didn't know what else to do. cutting relieved my pain and stress and I don't think any of you who haven't done it can really say it doesn't relieve. I do know it sounds bad to you and I am not proud of what I've done and I asked God to help me through and to help me not cutting myself and after a while I stopped.

    Even though I have one of the "symptoms" of being emo, I really would not consider myself emo. I'm super girly and I wear pink and colorful clothes all the time. I do listen to the so-called emo-music, though. I like it alot, because the lyrics are so deep and emotional and it describes teenage-life of these days. (yeah, being a teenager isn't easy these days! people expect so much of us!)

    I'm not saying that cutting isn't wrong, but being emo isn't either. In fact, I think being emo isn't wrong at all! If humans would be emo instead of so-called preps like they are right now, it wouldn't be that big a deal anymore. Emo's are people too, you see, God loves them and so should we all. I like their style and yes, they cut, but not just emo people cut themselves. As I said, I'm not emo myself either and I "know" so many people who aren't emo either but do harm themselves.

    I just wanted to tell you all my point of view, I'm not here to offend anyone. I hope you understand.
  20. Hi Pam! Emo, Prep- it is what is one the inside that counts. But I must qualfy that satement with this: if a culture promotes depression it is not healthy. Some cultures promote gansters and drugs, these are not healty either. The point is again that it isn't what you were or how you dress but do you know who Jesus is and do you know who you are in Christ?
    As far as church I go as often as possible. Mostly I love it but sometimes it can be not so great and occasionaly it can be a major trial just to get there but I alsyas come home blessed. Why? Becuase God commands us in His Word ( the bible) not to forsake assmbling with the church. He has a good reason for everything He tells us. In church we are built up, encouraged and feed on God's Word. We get to show and share our love with each other, help each other and generally do the things we should.
    As far as cutting - you are precious to God and that makes you precious to each of us here. No one here wants to see you coping with your problems in this way- there is a better way. If we do not walk in an intimate way with God then we tend to try to handle all lifes problems and troubles on our own- this we were never meant to do. He alone is our strenght and in Him alone will we find peace and victory in every area of our existance. I would reccomend for you to find a Pastor and schedule some counseling. These guys are trained and know how to help. It is satan's favorite tactic to try to seperate us from the things we really need.
    I will be praying for you. Many blessings in Jesus Name, your brother Larry.

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