"doesn't the message 'everybody hurts' sort of belittle the extreme suffering those people are going through?"
I think the case could be made by some that by R.E.M. releasing 'Everybody Hurts' to begin with and basically making profits off this song both on the album as well as the singles were essentially profiting off of people's misery which is a very cynical approach to take, albeit true, that music is not a bunch of "Shiny Happy People" dancing around but can sometimes touch us in very dark places.
Now as far as judging or rating pain, I am not really going to get into this, however, I surely would not point to this song as a song that is only targeted to depressed teenagers. For me, the message is not to concern yourself with the sadness but pulling yourself up, i.e. "Hold On". That message is not belittling in my opinion.
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