"Making someone else out to be a joke and being nasty could lead to them taking their own life."
Ice skating star Elise Christie has spoken out against online bullies after a heartfelt post sharing details of her struggle with depression and self harm.
The Livingston-born skater shared a graphic picture of a previous self-harm wound at the weekend, alongside an emotional message looking back at a year since her ‘lowest moment’ at the end of 2018, and thanking family and friends who have supported her.
“As the new year approaches I am so happy I’m here to see another year, to be around the people I love and to build over these next two years into the next Olympics in Beijing 2022,” she wrote.
But Ms Christie has since followed up her post with another, revealing that she has suffered ‘negativity and mockery’ as a result of her revelations.
“Your negativity and mockery may make my depression more difficult to deal with, but it will no longer make me harm myself,” she wrote.
The 29-year-old implored social media followers to “think before you speak and act,” and consider the consequences of their comments.
“Making someone else out to be a joke and being nasty could lead to them taking their own life,” she wrote.
“We can’t control the world but we can control ourselves and how we treat people.... why aren’t more people creating love.”
In her original post Ms Christie celebrated a year since her lowest moment, writing that “a year ago things could have ended very differently”.
“This isn’t something I’ve ever openly spoken about and it will be covered in much more detail in my up and coming book in 2020,” she wrote.
After thanking several friends and family members for their support over the year, Ms Christie expressed her gratitude to “all my fans and supporters who have stuck by my failures and followed my success, who’ve helped to keep me doing the thing I love most with all their support.”
“Thanks to you all and of course many others I’ll be going into this new year happy, wanting to live, wanting to fight and focused on my goals of 2022.”
The sportswoman broke the 500m world record at the speed skating world cup in Canada in 2016.
She later took gold in 1500m at the 2017 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in the Netherlands, and came fourth in the 500m short track speed skating event at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
She has previously suffered abuse on social media, including after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, when some South Korean users accused her of causing South Korean skater Park Seung-Hi to crash in the 500m final.
The abuse led to Ms Christie deleting her official Twitter account, and to calls from the British Olympic Association to improve protection for athletes’ social media accounts.
If you are struggling to cope or need someone to talk to, Samaritans is available 365 days a year on 116 123.