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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?

151 Answers
Last Updated: 03/13/2021 at 6:09am
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
May 18th, 2018 5:31am
You don't want to stop harming yourself because you believe that you deserve it when you do not. Coping by punishing yourself does not help but rather creates more complications. Remember that you are beautiful the way you are and you do not need to harm yourself to feel better.
May 18th, 2018 2:18pm
I am asking that same question. That’s why I do it. I have no clue why, I think it’s the endorphin release in your brain
May 31st, 2018 8:53pm
that would be an addiction. try to break your addiction with some techniques like watching movies or maybe going out with people more.
June 3rd, 2018 11:48am
We often find ways to take the edge off of things. It is our escape and our way of calming down. Unfortunately, not every way is healthy. There are some alternatives to self-harm, such as drawing on yourself with a marker.
June 13th, 2018 8:32am
This could be because of a self-destructive behaviour manifesting itself as self-harm and possibly other self-defeating, self-destructive behaviours. You may be looking for a way to vent in which case there are far healthier options available. If you feel the need to express it using your body or on your body because maybe you feel like expressing the marks that your suffering is leaving internally externally on your skin etc. You can instead choose to express it by drawing on your hands using something indians call henna or by taking care of your external self by formulating new beneficial habits that are good for your body. With the latter one you could be expressing a resolve to meet every trouble with equal stubborness not to allow it to get the better of you.
June 27th, 2018 8:29am
As someone who has experience with self-harm, I know exactly how you feel right now. Stopping self-harm is difficult because it can be addicting, whether or not you self-harm to feel happy. The fact that you know you should stop is already a big step in the positive direction. Other steps that really help in stopping include speaking with a therapist regularly and finding a less harmful activity to do instead when you feel like self-harming.
July 3rd, 2018 1:04am
You are experiencing pain and you dont know where it's coming from. You harm yourself because you can see where it hurts.
July 5th, 2018 6:20am
Maybe you need to feel the pain, maybe it helps you to feel you are alive, maybe is better having physical pain than emotional pain
July 5th, 2018 2:18pm
You've done it for a long time and even if you don't do it to cope, you still feel the need to do it. You like the pain and maybe that's someting that makes you feel secure. That's one if the only things that stays the same.
July 19th, 2018 5:22pm
Self harm is a very complex thing, and that is coming from myself as a person who used to struggle with it. I wish I could give you, or believe that others could give you, a magic answer. However, because it is so complex and each of us is unique, it may be worth finding a trusted person who you can talk to in depth about what you are experiencing - Perhaps a counsellor or other therapist - So they can help you through your journey of discovering the reason for this and a way that works for you to solve it.
July 22nd, 2018 10:35pm
everyone is different especially when it comets self harm. Some do it for pain release, some do it for the colour, some do it because they like the look of scars and some, like you, like it because of the pain. Because everyone is so different in this sense, you can only ask yourself why because nobody knows you better than you. Even if you can't think of an answer straight away, eventually it will come to you.
August 3rd, 2018 2:06am
you should try to stop mostly because it is not good for you body but I think you do it because you feel like if you are "sick" your family or friends will pay attention to you and understand you need help
August 11th, 2018 4:47pm
honestly, i'm the same. I have no idea, a doctor would say something technical but it doesn't feel that way. Personally I try and keep myself busy, surrounded by tasks which does work. I do get the occasional tattoo. Message me if you would like some-one to talk to about this :)
August 12th, 2018 7:56pm
Your addicted to the pain, and you have found pleasure out of it. There are safer alternatives to this like the pain of a rubber band snapped to your wrist may help.
September 2nd, 2018 11:21am
You don't want to stop because you got used to it. It feels like pain is making you feel or is giving a sign that you are still alive in this world. It is like a drug that if you use it too much, you will get addicted and will continue to use it again and again because it gives you pleasure. I've been there. And I know that someday you will realize your own worth. I know it is hard to stop but trust me, you will get through it because I believe in you, WE believe in you. If I was able to let go then you can do it too, you just need to escape from darkness and reach for the light. You can only save yourself because it's your own battlefield. We are only here to guide you along the way.
September 9th, 2018 4:49pm
When we end up giving in to self-harm, sometimes it becomes a subconscious habit. It buries itself in our brains and becomes our preferred method of coping. And if we let it gain too much power over us, it may become an addiction. Addictions are very difficult to give up. But not impossible. You reached out, which means you care about getting better. You obviously care enough to want to do something. That's your first step. It's okay to talk about it. It's okay that you reached out. And most importantly, you will be okay. If you need someone to talk to about it, I'm here. I want to help you through it, and I can refer you to good coping methods for that issue specifically.
October 24th, 2018 3:48pm
Well, you need to question yourself that when did you start harming yourself?Rewind into your past, and find out what compelled you to harm yourself. And then see, if the reason is worth harming your beautiful body and soul. because each time you hurt yourself, the scar is not left on the body alone, but also on your soil. Maybe, you don't want to stop it because your body has become used to the pain and you have develpoed a habit. Habits, are difficult to overcome but ofcourse not impossible :) Finding alternatives to keep yourself distracted might help! and you are saying you like something on your body, why noy the good things? for eg tattoos, or jewellery or whatever that pleases you
October 27th, 2018 1:14am
Sometimes, I feel that we mark ourselves because we want recognition, not from other people but from ourselves. It’s like our minds way of recognising that we’re not okay but in a visual way. We don’t want to stop because then we no longer have physical evidence of our pain. Sometimes you gotta listen to your head before you act. Think about the thought you have before every time you feel like self harming, write your thought down on a piece of paper and throw it away, keep distracted. The mind will always be more powerful than a blade, remember that.
November 7th, 2018 2:15pm
First of all- Thank you for your honesty and sharing this with us at 7cups. Like you said, for some people this is a coping mechanism. This may or may not be true for you, but for some people self-harm is a way to externalize their pain inside and make their pain visible and controllable. I would suggest seeking help, even though you do not want to stop, because self-harm can be very dangerous to your health and safety. This may be a way to help you better understand what self-harm is doing for you and healthy ways to move forward.
December 12th, 2018 4:26am
There are lots of reasons why people engage in self harm, and they don't always make sense to us or those around us. Everything we do in our lives plays some role in the story of who we are, and we get some form of gain from it. Even things which we have classified as bad or unhelpful give us something. So when thinking about why you might be harming yourself, think about what might be happening beforehand, and how harming yourself changes how you're feeling. Then, think if there is anything else that might be able to fill that same role. Talking to a professional therapist might be a good way of unpacking what might be going on for you. Ultimately, you have demonstrated incredible insight in asking this question, and vulnerability in sharing this with our community. Well done you. Best of luck with your journey.
June 27th, 2019 1:21pm
Self harm is a way to release the pain you are going through. You may not do it to cope but instead let out some of your anger at yourself. I use to do it as well, I found when I stopped and that I felt mods confident within myself. It is difficult to give up as self harm can become an addictive thing. I used to harm myself on purpose as well, I have been clean for over 12 months and have tattooed over the areas where I hurt myself. It has made me more confident in the long run to have art instead of scars.
August 4th, 2019 4:37am
It is likely that you're experiencing an addiction to the pain. Self harm can often cause the release of endorphins, a chemical the helps with stress. The important thing in stopping self harm is to identify what triggers this behaviour, and then to find alternatives. There are many other activities that may cause positive pain, eg. exercise. It is important to find something healthy that you can undertake instead of self harm. Doing this may mean trying a variety of activities that may not work at first and that's totally okay. Have fun with it and take it as an opportunity to try new things!
August 16th, 2019 10:09pm
If you were to meet with a lot of people in my family or circle, you'd see that many of us have multiple tattoos. And its just that! Tattoos can be addictive in some ways. So I think for someone to enjoy that kind of pain, maybe you can channel it into a healthier outlet like tattoos. Otherwise I've noticed that enjoying hurting ourselves can stem from actual self-hate and are trying to find some way to feel.. well anything.. intensely. If that is the case with you, I'd recommend talking to one of the therapists here at 7 cups about how to feel your genuine emotions again!
August 18th, 2019 6:21pm
I am not medically qualified to diagnose anyone and for that reason it would be best if you spoke to a health care professional. However it sounds like an obsessive compulsive disorder from the untrained eye. If you need to do something and cannot prevent yourself from doing so. Also liking the feeling of pain is worrying as to why you are doing this. There is always a reason behind self harm and it may be of benefit for you if you speak with a therapist to identify what your trigger was. If you know you should stop that is a good sign, maybe speak with your doctor about getting support.
August 29th, 2019 7:50pm
People self- harm as a coping mechanism for whats happening in their lives as its the only way they believe thats the only pain they can control and feel helpless. There are many alternatives which are much safer. For example Snap a rubber band against your wrist or Use a red marker pen to draw or write words on the place where you want to cut,Write down exactly how you are feeling in a diary – or if you’d prefer to, just scribble everything out,Take part in high-intensity exercise; like circuit training, boxing, running or swimming,Find somewhere isolated and scream as loudly as you possibly can (alternatively do it into a cushion) whose are just some examples but you should really reach out to a loved one or friend or teacher or parent and tell them how you feel not to hold in in.
September 12th, 2019 3:42pm
I’m not a doctor to know the exact science, but as someone who self-harmed for many years, I feel like it has to do with the feeling you get as it happens. It’s almost like an adernaline burst, like it activates parts of your brain that bring you a quick and very temporary euphoria. If you dissociate, it also can be a harsh and harmful coping mechanism to “ground yourself”. It really could be a few things, probably. But regardless, you deserve to live a life where you are safe, even from yourself. ♡ Please always reach out for support because so many of us have been through this, there’s no judgement. ♡ And if you feel comfortable, seeking professional guidance would also be very beneficial!
October 9th, 2019 2:56am
When someone cuts themselves, it causes the brain to release a chemical. This chemical is called dopamine. Dopamine gives you a "feel good" rush that you can also get from food, music, s*x and drugs. It is an addicting chemical, so in result of this you can get addicted to cutting. You can get yourself to stop, by slowly replacing your cutting with something else that releases this chemical (but not drugs. Don't do drugs, kids). Luckily, this means that you can quit if you try to put in the effort that you need to to kick this habit.
October 16th, 2019 5:15pm
There are many reasons for people to self harm. However the dangers of self harm are pretty much the same despite the motive. You might not feel like stopping because it is giving you something that is very valuable to you at this specific point in your life. And also the dangers don’t feel quite real, when they haven’t happened yet. However keep in mind that what you are doing can cause more harm to you than you would imagine right now. The sense of control you might feel, isn’t as trustworthy as it may seem. As you find that you need to go further and further to get the same effects as you did in the beginning, the control will slip away. Starting to fight against self harm is not easy but it will certainly be worth it. There are many practical tips and alternatives that can help you overcome the urge to self harm. I wish you all the best.
October 23rd, 2019 6:18pm
Theres a variety of reasons people wouldn't want to stop self-injury. It could be it's calming, or it helps them feel something other than dread. A main reason however is they feel that, in a way, the object used understands them better than anyone else. It helps them and encourages them to keep them going on. Of course, this may not be your intent, but it's just a small list of reasons. Self-injury is a tough thing to grasp when it comes down to the enjoying pain factor. A reason we DO have however is dopamine is released during a burn, cut, or bruise formed, which can make self-injury an addiction just like heroin or cocaine.
January 23rd, 2020 12:49am
The fact that you like the pain probably means you are a masochist, someone who likes when pain is inflicted on themselves. If you are a masochist, and like to feel pain, it probably isn't too bad if it makes you happy. However, if you ever feel the urge to try something drastic, you should make sure to tell someone, because that's very dangerous. If you really do feel the need to hurt yourself, try to keep it small. As for why you don't want to stop, you probably just feel good when you feel the pain. It's hard to stop doing something you like, just like any other thing. If this becomes a problem, and you do feel the need to stop, then you should try and seek professional help.