From self-harm to self-recovery. Local actress Julie Tan shares her story

Depression comes in all forms, and that includes self-harm, like what Julie Tan experienced.

Have you ever felt so down, like there is no hope in anything and everything? What did you think about those feelings? If you feel depressed and don’t know how to deal with those emotions, please don’t succumb to self-harm as Julie Tan did.  Let’s learn how she is coping with her depression and find out how we can support each other.  This is her journey from self-harm to self-recovery

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Sharing her story

Julie recently shared her personal story of self-harm during an interview. Earlier this year, she had an emotional TikTok where she broke up and shared publicly for the first time, what she was feeling and how she punished herself whenever she felt she was lacking.

Although she has struggled with her mental health since a young child, she only revealed this year of her history with emotional problems. From childhood trauma due to her mother’s difficulty in managing her own emotions to an abusive relationship, Julie has suffered through many challenging periods in her life.

Self-harm was her way of dealing with negative emotions, and she truly believed she did not deserve love. When her inside voice gets so loud, she’d slap herself, bite her arms or even cut herself. She hid her emotions behind her upbeat and fun videos.


Blocking out the bad

Being somewhat new in Singapore’s media industry, Julie was pulled into a public scandal by industry seniors in 2018, causing old wounds to surface. In defence, she made a public post on a particular senior without mentioning names.

In her previous experience of sharing what she is going through, many offered unsolicited advice and told her she will “snap out of it”. However, it’s never that simple when it comes to mental health.

All she needed sometimes was a listening ear.

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Road to recovery

Her journey to self-love and help has been nothing easy.

Between seven to 12 years old, Julia attended therapy with her mom but later stopped due to their busy schedules. She also later sought professional help through an online platform for counselling sessions with licensed therapists.

Now, she seeks comfort and solace in close friends.



Speaking up is not easy to do, and Julie’s message of being kind to one another is hugely courageous and brave. There is no shame in feeling any negative emotions, and acknowledging these feelings is the first step in the right direction to loving yourself.


If you are self-harming or have thoughts of suicide, please get help immediately.



Image credit: @julietancxq, NAFA


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