Stranger Things’ Barb opens up about struggles with self-harm

Shannon Purser tells fans not to 'give up'

The actor behind cult Stranger Things character Barb has opened up about her past struggles with self-harming, encouraging her fans not to “give up”.

Barb, portrayed by Shannon Purser, became something of a fan cause célèbre online after many thought she was unfairly forgotten by the writers and other characters after being killed off the show.

Purser recently took to Twitter to post a photo of a razor blade, along with the caption: “*TRIGGER WARNING* I haven’t self-harmed in years, but I kept this around, ‘just in case.’ I forgot it was there & now it’s in the trash.”

She later added: “Recovery is possible. Please don’t give up on yourself.” Purser has also been offering support by responding to fans directly via the social media site.

If you are suffering from depression or self harm in the UK, you can contact Samaritans for free on 116 123, or visit Self Harm UK, Mind.

In the US, you can call 1 (800) 273-TALK. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.

Netflix recently confirmed that it has renewed Stranger Things for a second season. Season two will feature nine episodes, one more than the first, launching on Netflix at a date in 2017 which has yet to be announced.

The show’s co-creator Matt Duffer previously promised that its second season will offer some “justice” for Barb. Speaking to IGN, Duffer said that while he “can’t see” Purser returning in the role in the future, that her character nonetheless “will not be forgotten”.

“We’ll make sure there’s some justice for Barb,” Duffer went on to say. “People get very frustrated, understandably, that the town doesn’t seem to be really dealing with Barb. That stuff is all happening. We’re just not spending any screen time on it.”

“It’s not like her parents are like ‘Oh Barb left. She died!’,” he said.

“Season One actually takes place over the course of six or seven days – it’s a really short period of time,” Duffer explained. “So part of what we want to do with hypothetical Season Two is to explore the repercussions of everything that happened.”