Belfast Telegraph

Linda Nolan: I self-harm without realising I’m doing it

The former star of The Nolans discussed her personal battle live on TV.

Linda Nolan has said she sometimes self-harms without even realising she is doing it.

The former singer and entertainer, who found fame in the 1970s with The Nolans, appeared on ITV’s Loose Women along with her sister, panellist Coleen Nolan, to discuss a newly-released report that says one in four 14-year-old girls self-harms.

The 59-year-old said she began self-harming after the death of her husband, Brian Hudson, from skin cancer in 2007.

She told the programme: “I’ve had great support from the health service. I self-harm, I bite my hand or I rub my skin until it bleeds.

“I started when my husband died and, I know it sounds a bit dramatic, but the pain here took away the pain from here,” she added, indicating her heart.

“It made me feel better. And sometimes now I do it and I don’t even know I’m doing it.

“It’s not a nice thing to do, and people say ‘You’re doing it for attention’, but it’s not a nice thing.”

Asked by her sister how it made her feel better, Linda said: “It’s still pain, but it’s a different kind of pain.

“This pain you don’t think you can survive, in your heart.”

She added: “It’s my wedding anniversary today, we would have been married for 37 years, and there was a time I wouldn’t have been able to say that without getting upset, so time is a great healer.”

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Linda and Coleen Nolan (Ian West/PA)

She said that sometimes, if she feels “down”, she will start self-harming again.

Linda, who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer after a fall last year – 10 years after she was initially treated for the illness – said she has cancelled holidays with her sisters at the last minute because she is still suffering from mental health issues.

“I just felt safer at home, all my care was there, the people who looked after me,” she said.

Coleen said: “I was very upset when I found out about the self-harming. I’ve seen her and she doesn’t even realise she’s doing it.

“It’s really difficult to see someone you love hurting themselves.”

The Children’s Society has examined the state of children’s well-being in the UK, and its new report found that out of the 11,000 children surveyed, one in six reported self-harming at 14.

Based on these figures, the charity estimates that nearly 110,000 children aged 14 may have self-harmed across the UK during the same 12-month period, including 76,000 girls and 33,000 boys.

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