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I know I "should" stop. Why can't I commit to stopping? Why do I think self-harm is OK?

15 Answers
Last Updated: 02/17/2020 at 5:48pm
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Maryna Svitasheva, PhD. RP

Licensed Professional Counselor

Psychotherapy I provide is based on a dialog and your active intention to look for a solution with the therapist's assistance

Top Rated Answers
September 28th, 2015 10:14am
self harm is a coping strategy that people rely on to help relieve the intense overwhelming emotions they experience , by turning that emotional pain into something "visible " to help it go away. But eventually it does turn into an addiction. when somebody self harms the brain released endorphins, a hormone that reduces your perception of pain as well as improving mood and in a sense making us feel better. Your brain acknowledges that feeling as something good every time you self harm.
March 25th, 2015 5:55am
Self-harm is a coping mechanism for many people. The action itself can release endorphins, which can give you a temporary high, or good feeling. Due to this it can be an addicting behavior. Making a plan for other activities you can do to cope may help you commit to stopping. You are not alone. Stay strong.
May 28th, 2015 8:31am
Because it is addicting. It makes you "feel good" like any other drug. You need to go "cold turkey".
May 31st, 2015 5:16am
You think it is okay because you your uses to it. You know how it feels. You can't seem to commit because sometimes it's the only thing you feel like you know and can do.
November 10th, 2015 11:28am
In my case, I led myself to believe that I deserved that punishment. I thought that everything I did was bad, like I couldn't do anything properly. That this world we live in is pure evil. However, that is true, but it isn't my fault. We want to punish ourselves because we think that we did something. It's all in our heads, it's just us. We are worthy of this life, even if it's bad.
December 8th, 2015 4:23am
Self harm is an addiction. It takes a lot to quit, like smoking cigarettes. It is an every day process that takes a lot of work and mindfulness!
December 14th, 2015 5:54pm
because you like so many others have become addicted to it you need to see someone professionally like I did and it might not seem like it at first but it does help if you get the right one
March 21st, 2016 5:33am
In our heads we believe that we deserve this pain. Sometimes, it's the only way for a person to forget about their tough situation because the only focus they have is the pain that they are causing themselves.
May 24th, 2016 10:06pm
Perhaps you didnt find another strategy to deal with your problems yet, which is effective. Self-harm often gives you relief, but this is definately unhealthy. Instead of injuring yourself, you could go for a walk, bake a cake, listen to music you like, do yoga or any kind of sports, calling someone, contacting a listener here and talk about your problems, meet friends, go shopping, take a bath, cook a meal, etc etc :)
July 4th, 2016 6:42am
Your mind has manipulated you to think self harm is ok, when its not. You have convinced yourself that the only way to deal with pain is through hurting yourself and honestly. you have so much to live for. Do things that make you happy, that make you forget about hurting yourself
January 31st, 2017 1:57pm
Self-harm is an addiction, which means that your body produces certain "happiness" chemicals when you give in to the "craving". Dopamine is one of the most commonly spoken of, but there are others. When you attempt to commit to stopping, your body and brain find it extremely difficult to do so. In a sense, your body is working against you. It wants you to do this thing which you are addicted to again-- it craves the release of the chemical which it triggers, and saying no to your body is one of the most difficult things for a human being to to do. Following your attempt to commit to stopping, you experience a craving so strong, you can almost forget that you ever wanted to stop, or thought you should. Your brain is incredibly good at "turning off" the other centers of your brain just long enough for you to trigger the release of the "happy" chemicals. This is something humans normally experience with sexual instinct and drive. All these things and more making stopping so incredibly hard, you want to find any way to justify your addiction, in this case, self-harm. You may find yourself constantly dwelling upon ways that it could be okay, instead of fully admitting to yourself you did wrong, and you need to try to do better. Some people try to blindly decide that self-harm is okay for them in some capacity, even if they would never say so if asked. This is usually so they don't feel obligated in their minds to constantly feel guilty for doing what they can't seem to stop. So thinking self-harm is okay is like thinking any other addiction is okay-- it's a natural chemically and emotionally based response due to your brain's misplaced craving for pleasure hormones-- something which can be healthy, when used in the right circumstances, but when attached to an unhealthy activity, can become damaging.
February 20th, 2017 5:03pm
Self-harm allows you to replace mental pain with physical pain, that feels good doesn't it? Your body thinks of it as pain reduction and therefore it's 'okay'. But it's not, the pain returns after the wound has healed. You should work through your mental problems, not hurt yourself even more.
January 30th, 2018 1:39pm
self harm is a serious addiction when you do it constantly, you begin to rely on it when you become down about something in your life. stopping is a hard painful long process but eventually you'll stop if you believe you can and want to.
September 9th, 2019 3:48pm
Knowing is very limited. People shouldn't smoke, do drugs, drink alcohol, but they do it anyway. why? Because of what's behind that habit - unprocessed emotions. Hiding behind bad habits is a way to deal with whatever you're feeling whether guilt, shame, or just trying to find support that maybe yourself and others weren't able to provide when you needed the most. In your case, committing to stop is not only about ceasing a habit but also committing to staying where you are and deal with your own emotions, your shadow and what you fear the most about yourself. Either way, you think self-harm is okay to the extend that you've been feeding yourself with the belief that it's okay not to deal with your emotions. While it's true that it is indeed a choice you have it doesn't mean it's the best choice you can make for yourself and your life in general. The minute you decide to cry the tears of pain you've been holding inside your heart, then you'll know what true healing is all about. Hurting yourself on the other hand is the façade of someone whos afraid of losing control when life itself is inviting you to ride with it.
February 17th, 2020 5:48pm
As a person who has also struggled with self-injury, sometimes it begins to feel normal, natural even, that it becomes something of a routine. When confronted about this behavior, the reactions people have to these habits seem to be too extreme. “Wait, it isn’t that bad, why are you this upset?” I’ve found myself saying to those who discover my treatment of myself. After some time, pain just feels right. But it’s time to break the cycle. Realizing that this activity has to cease is the first step to stopping. It’s great that you’ve seen this. Things do get better, you are strong enough to stop hurting yourself.