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Where does the urge for self-harm come from?

15 Answers
Last Updated: 02/20/2018 at 6:07pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Jamitia Wilson, MS, LAC

Pre-Licensed Professional

I believe that true healing occurs when one is able to honestly express how one feels about himself/herself and the world. I would be honored to support your healing change.

Top Rated Answers
July 14th, 2015 8:17pm
One common reasoning for self-harm that I've heard of is the need for "release". When faced with overwhelming experiences or emotions, we often seek to escape them. Allowing for release helps alleviate the tension of the negative emotions that are overwhelming you. Additionally, the urge for self-harm can come directly from particular triggers that inspire these negative emotions.
October 10th, 2016 2:24am
When your mind becomes addicted to a coping mechanism (especially negative) it makes it harder to fight those urges. Self-harm is a tool used to deal with emotional pain. (when you self-harm it sets off endorphins which block out pain) Since self-harm is something that works only temporary, when you experience emotional pain, you can have these urges of self-harm to arise.
January 24th, 2015 7:22pm
I think it comes from hating yourself or feel you are on blame. Or you can just want to escape and the pain stop all thoughts and you are calmed for a while.
January 24th, 2015 9:22pm
Self harm urges can come from many places. Maybe you feel conflicted and don't know how to handle something that has overwhelmed you. Another reason may be that you feel like you deserve to be punished for something.. For me, I always went to this very dark place in the back of my mind and felt like self-harm was the only way to escape that place. Although, as anyone should know, self-harm is a temporary pain reliever. Ten years down the road you'll still have scars and no matter what anyone tells you, it isn't a good feeling looking at them. Self harm is temporary, using healthy coping skills rather than damaging ones, makes you feel a lot better about yourself in the long run. :)
May 22nd, 2015 5:52pm
It comes from if you just give up, so you need to do something for relief, usually it comes from depression, or if your'e just done.
June 11th, 2015 4:48pm
For some of us, self harm is a sense of relief when the emotional pain becomes too much to handle. For others, it is a form of self punishment for doing something we think we ought not to do. And for the rest, it is merely to remind ourselves that we're still here, pretty much alive, and that life has to go on, regardless of how we feel.
June 23rd, 2015 11:30am
The urge to self-harm can come from many different places or feelings. It can be because of the want to feel in control of one's emotions, or it can be an impulse when feeling strong emotions like sadness, anger or feeling depressed.
June 30th, 2015 7:21am
The urge from self harm comes the feeling of being out of control. You can't control your emotional pain but you can control the pain you inflict. It comes from self loathing and feelings of not being good enougb, or worthlessness
October 26th, 2015 7:20am
I think self harm is an escape for people tired from suffering ... Well who wants to hurt themselves ..? No one . But I feel a person hurts him/herself because they're tired .. I know how that feels but you know what ? We're strong and we have to fight it .. It may take some time but hey that's the reason I'm here talk it out .. Loads of love! And I'll try my best to understand you
January 25th, 2016 12:29pm
Some people feel they need to be punished for something that they did or for what happend to them. If you get hurt a hormone is being set free that makes you feel better, and that is the hormone most people get addicted to that.
August 16th, 2016 12:38pm
People who self harm experience this as something that helps and calming down. Its linked to something positive and this can be addicting, which causes the urge to hurt yourself.
December 5th, 2016 3:55am
Sometimes there's either too much emotional pain that they can't control, or even if their life seems out of their control, that they would self-harm in order to get back some of that control. Other times it's the only way people can/allow themselves to feel as otherwise they feel numb. After a while it becomes a habit, one that's extremely addicting and hard to break.
December 5th, 2017 9:32pm
I think the urge comes from reaching a certain level of pressure that we feel inside, wanting to release. Sometimes we all feel that pressure, imagine a bottle of lemonade, being shaken up and being knocked over, after a certain amount of time there is so much pressure inside that when we open the lid, the air blasts out and can be uncontrollable.
January 23rd, 2018 2:58pm
I believe it can come from the urge to control something, often when we feel our lives are facing apart and out of our control, it gives us a way of controlling our pain. I think some people also believe they should be punished, and feel that hurting themselves is a way of doing this. theres many different reasons and every one will have a different experience of this.
February 20th, 2018 6:07pm
The urge comes from wanting a way to relieve yourself from your depression, anger, stress etc. It's important to manage these urges with different coping methods as self-harm has a huge amount of negative effects on you.