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Do you think Self Harm is an addiction?

38 Answers
Last Updated: 01/28/2020 at 8:26pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Paola Giordani, Psychoanalyst

Licensed Psychoanalyst

I have helped and am helping people cope with loss, divorce, anguish and parenting. Depression is also a major issue that comes up.

Top Rated Answers
February 6th, 2015 11:17am
A simple definition of addiction is continuing a behavior in spite of the problems it causes. In my experience with self-injury, initially it starts as a coping skill. It was used once in a while, just to deal with something - whether anger, sadness, something to feel physical pain instead of emotional pain, or otherwise. Then as time went on, it started to take on more of a life of it's own. Instead of just self-harming once in a while, it became a more regular thing. It created scars. People started questioning me. I became ashamed of the fresh injuries as well as the scars. I felt more hopeless and then I felt guilty. Basically to cope with all of that, the self-injury started to take on more and more. So self-injury became a behavior that continued on in spite of the problems it caused. Yes, it can become an addiction. But as with any potential addiction, a professional should be consulted. Counseling can help to break the cycle of addiction!
April 1st, 2015 3:53am
Just like any addiction, self harm is something that people turn to as a temporary relief. In my experiences, I always saw my struggle with it as an addiction. Even after a year of not cutting, I still get triggered and have an urge that takes a lot of strength to fight. It is very possible to break the addiction, though. The longer you go without it, the better and more proud of yourself you feel.
April 1st, 2015 9:00am
Self harm can definitely become an addiction.After a while some people start to crave the feelings and effects it has on them as well as how it feels.
December 7th, 2015 12:16am
Yes, I think that self harm is an addiction. Usually, when people self harm, they do it because afterwards they feel better. They keep self harming to cop up with any stress they are feeling.
April 10th, 2015 4:34pm
Yes, I believe self harm is a type of addiction and that it should be taken as an addiction. I believe that just like people who used drugs or alcohol sometimes do it to numb their pain, that people who self harm do the same to numb a pain. I think that people should treat this very seriously. I believe that every family who has a member who is struggling with this should reach out and help them.
April 18th, 2015 7:31pm
It definitely is an addiction. Addiction to feel better...or just feel something. It's an addiction to feel life.
April 23rd, 2015 11:25am
Yes, I do believe that self harm is extremely addictive. Personally, I was a self harmer when I was younger and I often found that when I saw blood, in any form, it didn't even have to be on myself, I felt the need to harm. The blood would seek me to desire to hurt myself and draw blood, even if I wasn't feeling any anxiety.
April 30th, 2015 1:18pm
Self harm can easily become an addiction, you punish yourself for the smallest of things, the key to breaking the addiction however, it to use alternative methods! Like ping a rubber band where you want to harm yourself, and if that's not enough, try tying a knot in the band.
May 7th, 2015 3:18am
I definitely think self harm turns into an addiction after a certain amount of time. I think you start to miss it.
May 14th, 2015 4:39pm
yes self harm is an addiction... as the person keep hurting themselves in order to get relief from their suffering
May 16th, 2015 4:03pm
Yes,being someone with experience I can say self harm is very addictive.Although,like many other addictions with love and care it can be minimized at the very least :)
May 22nd, 2015 10:34am
Self harm becomes very addicting very quickly because of the rush of adrenaline it causes. That's one of the reasons it's so difficult to quit--you're breaking an addiction.
May 23rd, 2015 6:59pm
yes, even on good days its easy to want to do it, its like an adrenaline rush and everything is suddenly okay, as if your in control and nothing can stop you
May 24th, 2015 1:36pm
Self-Harm is an addiction and can be over come by using coping skill and learning tools to cope with this issues. Different people learn ways to cope with the addiction of self-harm and work on it. Talking about it in a group helps to.
June 3rd, 2015 11:52pm
I think Self Harm can be an addiction because I used to self harm, and after it a while it became a habit, something to do when I was severely anxious, rather than talk to someone
June 7th, 2015 11:40pm
I believe that after a while you become addicted to the feeling you get after it, Not the action itself.
June 17th, 2015 6:58am
Self harm can be addictive, after a couple of time, people who feel sad will turn into self harming, because for them its the only quick solution they could have found, so they'll do it everytime they feel sad
June 17th, 2015 6:20pm
I do. At first it can be easy to stop, but you can eventually fall into a never ending circle of self mutilation. It becomes your safety net. You can become codependent on the buzz you get afterwards, and when you try to go without it, it can just make things worse. Self harm, in general, just makes things worse, in the long run. I know it may seem like an easy way out, but I promise it's just a shove into the rabbit hole.
September 21st, 2015 9:25pm
Yes, it's an addiction. When you start it's so hard to quit. You can't stop thinking about it, you're so embarassed of your cuts and scars but you feel like you can't live without it. I don't want anyone to start doing it, because it will never help you to solve your problems, it will only give you more problems than you have at the moment. I'm clean for a year now, and yes, I have scars that will never go away, but I'm stronger now and I know that I will never come back to self harming, because I overcame it and I'm sure that anyone can. I believe in all of you.
October 26th, 2015 3:57pm
Yes. Self-Harm is in addiction.People harm to stop feeling an emotional pain. they give themselves physical pain to hide the emotional troubles. soon they become numb to the emotional pain and they have to keep harming themselves to keep themselves numb because if they stop all those emotional troubles will come out and they will have to face them.
October 29th, 2015 7:47pm
Self-Harm is an addiction, however it is not always recognized as one. Self-harming does make people feel better in a way, but only for a fraction of time, in the long run, it might make you feel guilty or bad about doing it; the act releases endorphins, a chemical in the brain, which can bring on a sense of well-being and relaxation. Self-harming becomes an addiction because there is a "feel good" factor. It appears to work, but the need to cause injury to oneself escalates as does any other addictions, it can be hard to stop.
November 23rd, 2015 2:18am
Yes, it 100% is, and is a very hard one to break. I found stopping smoking easier than stopping self harm. One of the best ways to prevent/ stop the urge when it prevents itself it fast beat dance/ happy music, and a calming hobby (Such as writing or sewing)
December 2nd, 2015 4:52am
When I first started self harming, I thought that I could stop at any time. I was lying to myself though. I did it more and more until I didn't know how to deal with regular everyday stressors without hurting myself. In my experience, I was addicted to cutting. It did provide me with a rush, but ultimately, I had to do more and more to get the same feelings out of it. It's definitely an addiction that consumed my life and was extremely hard to break.
December 2nd, 2015 2:55pm
January 11th, 2016 1:32am
No, i think the feeling you get from it, can get to an addiction. The feeling when getting pain from a cut or burn, is better than the pain you get from your heart. But that is never the answer, is just a mask, you either fight that heartache, overcome it and try again, or you accept the situation and let it go by itself till it doesn't hurt anymore.
February 2nd, 2016 6:16pm
I do believe that self harm is an addiction as it can be used as a coping method that is relied upon in difficult times.
February 23rd, 2016 3:36am
Yes I do think its an addiction. Self Harm is an escape for people so people continue to do it and it gets to a point of where they need to do it. They need to do it to escape from whats going on though its not really escaping. Self Harm is an addiction.
April 12th, 2016 11:53pm
Self harm itself might not be a direct addiction; instead it is most likely the temporary feelings you get from the act of self-harming that becomes the addiction. To feel free from your anguish, pain and issues that are out-with your control. This is why doctors can recommend such things as anti-depressants as they are intended for short-term use while you're able to emotionally stable yourself to think clearly and know that you're making your own decisions. This way, you can work towards fixing the issues within your life by seeing a counsellor, getting involved in hobbies and enjoying the work you do or even getting a job. In short, I personally wouldn't say that self-harm is directly an addiction but rather the outcome of the self-harm is the addiction.
April 14th, 2016 2:34am
yes, i do but your able to overcome an addiction
September 26th, 2016 10:53pm
True. It is. Gives an irresistible feeling that helps to divert mental pain to physical one. Unfortunately,is satisfying when one is depressed.