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Why does hurting myself make me feel better? Should I stop hurting myself or is it the right thing to do?

31 Answers
Last Updated: 01/04/2021 at 1:03am
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Johanna Liasides, MSc


I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
April 5th, 2016 1:12am
Hurting yourself makes you feel better because you are forgetting about the things in life that make you suffer because you are focusing on the pain you inflict on yourself. Stopping hurting yourself id the right thing to do, it feels like it helps but it really just makes your problems build up. consider getting some medical help.
April 25th, 2016 10:36pm
The fact hurting yourself can make you feel better seems odd, it almost makes no sense. Why would it? The simple answer is that it provides a form of relief, a way to express your feelings. But it is not a safe way to go about dealing with any negative feelings. If you are hurting yourself you should seek help from a professional on how to stop and alternatives. Some people like to exercise intensely when they feel the need to hurt themselves, others like to get some pencils and draw a picture of how they feel. Whatever works for you, but hurting yourself is not the right thing to do. Help yourself in a non-harmful way.
February 15th, 2016 7:42pm
It makes the pain reality. Obviusly I should stop. you should stop, everyone should stop hurting themselves: it's like a relief for that moment, I know, but think of your future and how you'll certainly recover sooner or later
July 13th, 2015 5:15pm
There's a couple different reasons, in my experience, why we commit self-harm. In my case, it was because the physical pain distracted me from my internal pain. That distraction added an aspect of pleasure with the pain. In the case of a dear friend of mine, she commits self-harm because she suffers from self-hate and finds pleasure in punishing herself. But no matter what feelings it may create, self-harm is never a good thing and everything should be done to avoid it. Self-harm brings a sense of shame and leads to more self-harm. Self-harm can also be extremely dangerous, leading to lasting physical problems or even death. There are many other better solutions than hurting yourself.
May 6th, 2015 4:03pm
Hurting yourself from the outside may make you feel relief from pain inside, but hurting yourself is never the right thing to do.
May 13th, 2015 4:39pm
Hurting yourself never helps, it may make you feel better for a little bit because you have control, but it is never the right thing to do.
May 24th, 2015 8:05pm
many people have different reasons, for some it is a way of dealing with things, for some it is about the feeling of power that it holds, for some it is a way of reminding themselves that they're the one in control. if you have been harming yourself for a long time it can be a bit difficult to stop, seek out help as in a counselor, local hotlines, a friend, or a listener on 7 cups of tea. i would love to help :)
July 21st, 2015 2:52am
for me, self harm or self destructive behavior was a coping mechanism. an unhelpful one at that. you should absolutely try and stop.
January 5th, 2016 2:31am
Hurting yourself is never the right thing to do. But certain personality finds reilf in doing so. I would say its always best to stop it, if you find it hard please meet some clinician.
February 1st, 2016 7:47am
Hurting yourself is never the right thing to do. The pain from wounds you make or cause yourself temporarily removes the pain from your head or heart. But hurting yourself should not be an option. I recommend seeing a professional (psychologist for example).
May 23rd, 2016 6:04pm
Hurting myself helps focus on the physical pain, instead of the mental pain. It is not right to do.
June 1st, 2020 4:58am
Hey! So sorry to hear that you’re hurting yourself. It’s incredibly tough and I can’t imagine what you’re dealing with. Hurting ourselves can make us feel better because for a number of reasons. We may feel that we have to punish ourselves for being hurt/upset/alive, we may feel that it is the only way to feel something as we might be numb, etc. We may feel that it is the only way to gain control over our lives, whichever aspect of it that may be. Hurting ourselves is something that may make us feel like we are able to *do* something. We have an impact, we matter. And that can make us feel better ❤️
April 28th, 2015 10:44am
It felt better for me because I had difficulty regulating my emotions at the time. You should stop hurting yourself because it has lasting damage to your body and there is also the risk of infection.
June 22nd, 2015 2:33pm
I understand the feeling, but it's never a solution, nor is it the right thing to do. If you're hurting yourself, I suggest you see a professional for help and any intervention. I may not know you personally, but I'm worried for anyone out there that is in trouble and needs help, so I hope you start feeling better soon!
July 20th, 2015 1:21am
You know yourself better than anyone. There are some really great resources about self harm on our website. I'd encourage you to look there for guidance. If you are thinking of seriously harming yourself, please seek professional help.
July 27th, 2015 7:03am
Hurting yourself is never the right thing to do. The line between pain and pleasure can be very thin for some people so we hurt ourselves to feel close to happiness. This is not a happiness replacement though and it's best to fill the space in our minds where we want to cut with something really rewarding like volunteer work or something. :)
September 7th, 2015 2:21am
Hurting yourself never helps in the long run. It cause emotional and physical damage. There's a number of reasons why it could make you feel better; it's something that you can control, it brings a sense of relief, and it gives you one thing to focus on.
September 15th, 2015 12:46pm
Hurting yourself (also known as self-harm) can often make people feel better in the immediate moment. When you hurt yourself you replace the negative feelings you are experiencing with a behavior that lets you get rid of those negative feelings. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself, or you are harming yourself, I encourage you to reach out and talk to someone; a friend, a family member, a mental health worker, or someone here on 7 Cups. Self-harm is not a healthy way to manage your feelings, even though it may feel it in the beginning. Speak to someone you trust, there is help.
January 11th, 2016 2:10pm
Hurting yourself is never the right thing to do, and in order to best answer this question I will refer to self-harm as a drug. It is addicting to the body, it releases endorphins that make you feel 'good' for a short period of time, which causes you to feel a little better- but not for long. When you are experiencing this endorphin rush, you are teaching yourself to enjoy the pain of self-harm. There are many other ways to release endorpins without harming your body. Exercise, chocolate, certain smells, music, spicy foods, laughter, and sex all release endorphins that are much healthier to the human body than self-harm.
February 9th, 2016 8:45pm
Hurting myself, was not something that I enjoyed. As I chose to improve my whole being, I decide to remember what makes me feel better, mentally, psychologically, emotionally & physically. It demanded strong-self discipline traits, to which I had no idea I had until I purposely chose to look inside of myself for what makes me smile and feel good overall.
January 17th, 2017 6:50pm
Hurting yourself can make you feel better for a variety of reasons. This may be because you need an destructive outlet for your feelings, because you feel that you deserve to be punished, because you feel numb and want to experience something, simply because pain is enjoyable to you, or any other reason. Self-harm, however, is a slippery slope, and once you do it for long enough, stopping becomes very difficult. Remember that you are worthy of love and respect and that there are other ways of processing emotion. You don't have to self-destruct. You don't have to hurt yourself. It doesn't have to be the way that it is now. Personally, I recommend stopping because there is always a better way, even if you don't see it yet.
February 7th, 2017 2:31pm
It feels better because it temporarily shifts focus from your emotional pain to physical pain. It is NOT at all the right thing to do.
May 16th, 2017 2:04pm
The right thing to do would be to find your alternatives, start on the path to stopping, and find a way to resolve what's making you feel bad in the first place. Self harm is only a temporary relief of a bigger problem, and that bigger thing needs to be addressed. It makes you feel better because it's a release, it gives you control. But it would make you feel even better when you start recovering :)
August 8th, 2017 4:09pm
I can understand the feeling of instant gratification a person may feel when they are harming themselves. Most people would argue that it's better to feel physical pain than emotional pain, but I don't think bringing yourself harm is the best way to deal with hurt. I'm no expert, but I don't think you can heal yourself from hurt, by further hurting yourself.
October 31st, 2017 8:31pm
Cutting releases endorphins. Personally for myself cutting was a way to not kill myself. It was my way of coping and my way of ensuring i woke up every morning and go to work. I also made sure i was cutting in 'safe places'. My doctor told me where to avoid, told me to clean every cut with antiseptic spray and cover it. This really helped me to not feel judged. Whether you want advice or help to stop then please reach out to a friend, doctor or counsellor.
November 2nd, 2017 4:28pm
Hurting oneself is a coping mechanism that helps you dealing with all your emotions and thought that you can't seem to handle on your own just now. It takes what is hurting on the inside to the outside and with that making you feel better - for the moment. It is okay to rely on this coping strategy for now if it is something that helps you. There are alternatives though to really hurting yourself, i.e. putting a rubber band on your wrist and twitching it, putting cold ice cubes on your wrist, doing sports like running around the block, scream into a pillow or maybe even beat it, etc. There are many alternatives out there and it is worth looking for them - you have to find your own though, because others will never fully grasp what exactly helps you the best! In the end it is always, always vital to go down the long way, find the reasons that are pushing you to self harm and work on these issues. It can be a long way but it will be worth the fight!
December 4th, 2017 10:14pm
It makes you feel better because in the situation of depression feeling anything other than that depression, in this case pain, is better than feeling nothing.
April 24th, 2018 2:39am
self harm is never the right thing to do. it probably makes you feel better because you feel like you're getting what you deserved for something, but that's not true. the best thing i can recommend getting a therapist or talking to someone like your school counselor.
June 26th, 2018 12:42pm
Because physical pain, took your attention from mental pain, and you have feeling that "helped", but in reality no
December 31st, 2019 3:55am
Sometime self harm releases a chemical into the mind that gives a moment of relaxation and happy feelings, but the pain and sadness will eventually come back. It is an addiction, and can make many people feel lesser than. You can find help in countless places to stop, and I highly recommend stopping it as soon and as safely as possible to avoid a rebound.