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I harm myself on purpose. I never do it because I need to cope, I do it because I like the pain and like to have something on my body. I know I should stop, but I don't want to. Why is that?

161 Answers
Last Updated: 03/05/2022 at 11:08am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
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Tara Davis, Doctorate in Counselling Psychology


I have worked successfully with a wide range of difficulties. Nothing is more important than developing a warm, compassionate relationship with someone you can trust

Top Rated Answers
November 5th, 2016 5:53am
There's actually a biological/hormonal reason for this. When you experience pain, your body releases endorphins that make you feel good and lessen the hurt/fear/stress that comes with the pain. You can also trigger an endorphin rush through exercise or laughter or riding a rollercoaster--things that make you feel satisfied or excited. But sometimes it seems like self-harm is an easy shortcut to that happy feeling. The problem is that self-harm can be addictive, and it can escalate. And instead of learning healthy coping mechanisms, you come to rely on this shortcut to feel good. It's like a drug addiction, in a way.
January 25th, 2017 4:51pm
I get Tattoos when i feel like i want to self harm. yes im pretty much covered but i wont cut artwork.. This has helped me alot to stop self harming.
September 10th, 2016 11:35pm
It seems that you are having self harm addiction based on pain. Some people just get addicted to hurting themselves as it makes them feel like they have fully control in them life but it's really important to remember that there is a way better things to do than to hurt yourself. Hurting yourself don't lead you anywhere it just leaves the scars on your body. Maybe you feel like you like them now but it would make you feel bad afterwards in your life.
February 7th, 2018 10:50pm
A lot of people feel the same way! If you just want the pain then here's my advice: Run. Run as hard as you can, as fast as you can, for as long as you can. That will give you the pain without it being unhealthy. And since you want something on your body? Either get a tattoo or draw with pens on your skin. Those are just a few things that help me.
August 7th, 2016 3:45pm
It's because self harm is an addiction like any other. It takes a lot of self control to stop and maybe you're not ready yet.
August 14th, 2016 9:02pm
You don't want to stop because it's an addiction and you've been doing it for so long that you have a routine when you feel a certain emotion then you will want to self harm.
August 3rd, 2016 1:46pm
we can get as addicted to pain as we can to pleasure. We get comfortable, this is human nature whether it is bad or good for us we get use to our environment
August 6th, 2016 12:09pm
You don't want to stop because has become a habit. I suggest you get help from a licensed therapist
October 4th, 2016 11:06pm
I can't tell you for 100% sure but is it possible you just feel like you've gotten use to doing it almost as if it's become a habit? What I can suggest about the idea of liking to have something on your body is maybe just drawing. It would be less harmful. As for liking pain, perhaps squeeze a few ice cubes in your hand?
August 19th, 2016 11:49pm
If you self-harm, even if there isn't a specific reason for it, it slowly becomes an addiction. This is mostly because, for some, the pain can have a rewarding effect on the brain, which makes you want to do it more and, you don't want to stop.
August 21st, 2016 10:37am
Because you don't think you have better options. But you do. There's always a better option than hurting yourself.
July 13th, 2018 10:01pm
The reason that you don't feel like stopping is because self-harm is an alternative coping method. Your mind sees the self-harm as something positive since it's giving a temporary release of all of your thoughts which makes you feel better. Self harm also releases endorphins in the brain just like any other time you feel pain. These hormones are natural opiates and work to ease the pain and makes you feel better - this is usually what gets people addicted and not able to stop.
July 28th, 2016 4:19am
Some people have an attraction or fascination with pain and marking one's body. This is often seen with people who get tattoos and piercings (not saying you have to like pain to get those, of course). Obviously it's not healthy to be harming yourself and you should seek help about that or attempt to replace it with safer substitute behaviors.
March 1st, 2017 1:17pm
This is called addiction. You start doing something repeatedly because you enjoy it. Like drinking or smoking. And it is very difficult to get rid of such situations. You cannot stop even if you want to because you like doing it and you know no such method which can help you prevent this. You can put your agression and pain into other too then your body. Try scatching or drawing on a paper hard or writing your feelings out and then destroying it afterwards. Also try to calm yourself by meditating. You need to stop hurting your body. It will get you nowhere
July 26th, 2018 10:58am
Maybe because the pain from harming yourself is blocking pain from other events or situations. It helps you feel that nothing can make you feel pain other than harming yourself.
July 11th, 2019 2:08pm
I think you have a Low self esteem and are taking out your anger on yourself by hurting yourself. You should definitely consider consulting a professional Therapist. I completely understand what you’re going through because I have been through something very similar. Please do try to talk about it personally to someone. Trust me, it helps and is necessary for a recovery. You will get better, really. You just need to reach out to someone and realise that you’re not alone in this. We’re all here to help you and care for you. It’s amazing that you’re sharing your issue here !
December 29th, 2019 11:17am
There a lots of different reasons why someone might self harm. Some do it too cope, so because they feel they deserve to be in pain and some because they enjoy the pain. Often the pain we create by self harming causes our body to release endorphins, these feel really good and can often feel like taking a drug. Obviously self harming is never a good thing and you should always try to stop. These endorphins might be the only way a person can still feel happy or pleasure and this makes it really hard to stop. Talk to a professional for coping strategies or try to find some healthier alternatives like eating something spicy or the rubber band method. Sometime eating something like chocolate which also releases endorphins in your body can also really help as stupid as it sounds. Just no that although you should try and stop self harming you are not broken or defective as a person. Your just dealing with something in an unhealthy way and there are loads of people who can help you with that!
January 25th, 2020 3:07pm
Sometimes people self harm not to cope with everything but as an outlet. They do it because it is satisfying and makes them feel better. Sometimes the pain that you feel while doing the self harm feels better than the pain that you feel inside your head or the pain you feel in your chest. People self harm to feel the pain on the body instead of Inside the body. It takes your mind away from the pain your feeling mentally so your brain focuses on the pain you feel on the outside distracting you. This could make you feel better in the moment yes but is not the right way to go about it. It can cause sever harm to the body. trying another outlet to release the pain may be a better idea.
July 28th, 2021 4:32pm
I think you answered this for yourself. You like this pain so why would you even consider stopping for a second, right? You say you do not do it to cope and I wonder if pain is the only thing you have allowed yourself to feel up to this point. Are you trying to see how much pain you can take until your body gives up? It could also be you just simply put enjoy pain but if it is not because you get a thrill from the pain, otherwise there might be better methods to these things. Try bungejumping or getting tattoos. Tattoos are a bit more accepted than say scars.
July 24th, 2016 8:14am
I used to be like that, however I learned that I needed to stop for the sake of my life and my friends. I ended up just getting addicted to self-harming even though I knew it was bad.
July 24th, 2016 10:09pm
You are either a sadist or you don't have respect for your body. You need to figure out why you are abusing the body that protects you. It seems that you may have underlying issues. Please seek help or at the very least; speak with a listener.
July 30th, 2016 10:37pm
You may not want to stop because by harming yourself you are feeling something - maybe try a different method in which you get the same satisfaction but one that is not putting yourself at risk such a flicking a rubber band against your wrist each time you feel the urge to harm
August 6th, 2016 5:26am
I completely understand that as I'm in a similar situation myself, I'd suggest either having someone you could always talk to about this or perhaps even getting professional help.
August 10th, 2016 12:52pm
Because you are so use to hurting your self that its a normal reaction for you to hurt your self, you need to attend help so you can stop.
August 26th, 2016 1:23am
I can relate having come over this myself. It's truly an addiction, you re getting high off it, that's why you don't want to stop. It takes time, and it will be like a withdrawal. I suggest you get some help, this is not something you can do alone. Support especially through a time like this is so important. I wish you good luck and I know you can do this.
August 31st, 2016 6:48am
Maybe talking to a therapist may help you with this issue. You may feel like you deserve this cause you dont have control over other parts of your life so you use this to control to pain you feel
September 1st, 2016 6:41pm
When it was like that for me, i did it just to feel something, and feel alive, and the feeling of not being alone. I have alternative ways now. It helps.
September 7th, 2016 1:41am
You may be using pain as a form of punishment which is very common. I'd suggest weening off of it by delaying the pain then by stopping all together. You could when you want to hurt something, punch pillows or if you want something on your body, doodle on your arms but it really depends on you as an individual and what would help you.
September 15th, 2016 9:09am
Because when you cut it takes away or covers the real issue or pain we can not deal with.Love yourself
September 17th, 2016 4:24am
Cutting is an addiction. Seeing your scars is tragically beautiful to you, whether you see it like that or not. Addictions are hard demons to fight; but with the right weapons, they can be defeated.