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Ginny and Georgia: Self-harm and Seeking Help

Netflix drama series, Ginny and Georgia shows an accurate portrayal of anxiety attacks, self-harm and the therapy in season 2.


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Ginny and Georgia Season 2 was trending top 10 on Netflix when it was released. The comedy drama series seems to have hit the nail on the head with the portrayal of anxiety attacks, self-harm and the struggle involved with seeking professional help for mental health. Before we take a dive to see how realistic is the portrayal, let’s go back to uncover what the story is about.

Spoiler alert if you have not watched the series and Trigger warning if you are affected by mention of self-harm, anxiety symptoms and mental health struggles

Photo via Today

Blitz on the background

Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and her mother Georgia (Brianne Howey) have a love-hate relationship. Beyond the typical teenage angst and single-mom woes, Georgia has a deep dark secret; she is a murderer. When a Private Investigator questions Ginny about it, the fifteen-year-old girl panics and runs away from home.

Ginny’s biological father, Zion (Nathan Mitchell), takes Ginny and Austin (Diesel La Torraca) in while both parties take some space. Now, we are all caught up.

“I trusted you, and I need you to be my dad right now, and you can’t even do that.” – Ginny
Photo via TV Fanatic

Season 2,

Skip this if you haven’t watched.

In the opening scene for season 2, Ginny has a nightmare of Georgia putting a pillow over her head in an attempted murder. After jolting awake, she seems to struggle to regulate her breathing. This is the first sign of her anxiety symptoms as well as a hint of the possible trauma and fears.

Eventually, Ginny has to return home with Austin for a Thanksgiving tradition, which sends Ginny into another panic attack. This time, her father witnesses it and finds out she had been self-harming as well. Zion immediately suggests she attends therapy and live with him on the condition that Georgia is aware of everything. This breach of trust upsets Ginny and renders her helpless. She concedes and returns home.

Photo via Teen Vogue

Truths about therapy

Things start to turn around for the teenager when she starts seeing a therapist. But to keep it a secret from Georgia, Zion takes her from school to her appointment personally. 

“We’re gonna talk a lot about what you think and what you feel because that’s gonna influence what you do,” the therapist states.

She opens up about being poor, moving cities often, and not being able to make friends. After the first therapy session, Ginny begins to understand the root of her mental illness and the loss of control. She explores the beginnings of her self-harm urges, her triggers and many other revelations that go beyond her mother’s alleged murder.

“Sometimes when we’re stressed, we use unhealthy coping behaviours to cope instead of healthy ones.” – Therapist
Photo via HITC

The therapy session portrayed in the series is a good depiction of what a typical session with a therapist is like. The therapist would usually ask a lot of questions to better understand a person’s past, what is currently happening and the thought processes that drives certain behavior. The purpose is not to provide advise but rather for the client to discover where they are in their headspace and how they can move to a better emotional state.

Often, the initial session with a therapist can leave a person feeling very raw and vulnerable as the discussion would usually involve talking about feelings, thoughts, experiences that can be unpleasant.  But qualified counsellors would know how to close any wounds that have been opened before the client leaves the session.

Self-Harm

Ginny’s dissappointment and unhappiness about her self-harm secret being told to Georgia is totally realistic. Self-harm is a complex behavior as the pain and emotional turmoil is often far deeper than any physical visable signs.

Confidentiality is one of the key elements of any therapy session. However, whatever is agreed about confidentiality between therapist and client is usually for the clients best welfare and safety. The motivation for self-harm is also often complicated and varies for different individual. Some engage in the behavior to feel alive, while others do so to send out signals that they are in deep pain. Read more about self-harm here.

Ginny and friend group MANG
Photo via Roger Ebert

Whether or not to stop a person from self-harming is a controversial question and is best answered by that individual’s therapist. However, there is certainly much that friends and family can do to support a person who is self-harming. Read more about helping a person who is self-harming here. 

 

If you are self-harming or have thoughts of ending your life please get help immediately.

SOS helpline

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some people who can help you.

 

 

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