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Why can't I stop self-harming, even when I know it is bad?

19 Answers
Last Updated: 07/08/2019 at 6:58pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Lauren Abasheva, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

A sex positive, and kink knowledgeable therapist with an open mindset and a clear understanding that we are all different.

Top Rated Answers
January 20th, 2015 8:41am
Self-harming can become an addiction to some people that enjoy the feeling, want to show themself or feel depressed, in my case it was a way of transforming psychological pain that is hard to deal with with physical pain that was much easier to deal with; everyone has its own way of stopping, it could be out of shock for a deep wound, by seeing the pain experienced by the people they care about or maybe just because self-harming doesn't help anything, it leaves the problem that is troubling you and it leaves scars that you'll have to carry for the rest of your life
January 24th, 2015 5:50am
Self-harm is really an addiction. It becomes something that you think you need, but trust me, you don't! It can be extremely hard to stop, especially if you have been doing it for a long time; the same as drugs or alcohol. You get so used to it and the feeling that it's hard to quit. There are so many better coping methods out there; you just have to find the right one for you! It will be tough, but you can definitely get through it.
May 29th, 2018 6:28pm
Self harming is an addiction. Just like drugs. Most drugatics know what they are putting into their body is bad but they cannot stop.
February 17th, 2015 5:08pm
There's several factors in self harm. You could find the act of it calming, or could be using it as an emotional outlet. The pain releases endorphins, which could also cause a sort of physical addiction. Substituting healthier behaviors that also feel good can help a lot, and when you get really bad urges, you can hold an ice cube or snap a rubberband against your skin for temporary relief that won't damage your skin as much.
March 12th, 2015 8:23am
Self-harming can sometimes grow into a very scary thing; an addiction. The reason is because it makes you feel better, it takes the pain from your heart and puts it somewhere else. Unfortunately, though we realize this is unhealthy our bodies become addicted to this kind of release. The best thing you can do is recognize that you have a problem, and seek help in trying to stop it. Relapsing is OKAY, do not feel ashamed. It is all part of the recovery process, you might feel things similar to withdrawal symptoms during your recovery. Getting over self-harming can be very difficult, but as long as you keep trying, you'll overcome it!
March 27th, 2015 3:32pm
It's a reinforcing habit where it momentarily draws your attention from mental pain to physical pain. There was a period of time where I found relief through it too. But nothing is worth causing physical harm to myself. With the help of my counsellor, I started practising other techniques like wearing a rubberband on my wrist and pulling it when I felt stressed or holding ice. It gave me momentary relief without causing physical harm.
May 6th, 2015 2:50am
Self-harming is serving a purpose. It gives you relief, comfort and/or maybe is a punishment. to stop self-harming, you need to fill your needs a different way.
June 17th, 2015 7:00am
Because some people find relief in self harming. They know it is bad, but they still do it, Because it's the only solution they found to feel less pain inside.
July 7th, 2015 1:57am
Even though you know it is not good for you, self-harming serves a purpose for you. It may temporarily decrease your feelings of anxiety, sadness, anger, or other difficult emotions. It can be difficult to let go of self-harming behavior when you aren't aware of other ways to cope with your feelings. The 7 Cups Self-Help Guide to Managing Emotions might be helpful for you as a starting point. If you are struggling with self-harm, it might also be helpful to speak with a professional counselor who can help you learn how to cope with difficult feelings.
December 15th, 2015 4:21am
Self-harm begins to become addictive, like smoking cigarettes, or doing drugs. Once you do it regularly, it begins to become a way of life and part of your daily routine. The more you do it, the harder it is to stop.
January 25th, 2016 7:51pm
Self harming can become an addiction rather than just a coping mechanism. When you try to quit self harm you might suffer withdrawal symptoms which make you feel like you need to cut again even though you know it's bad.
February 22nd, 2016 3:16pm
Self-harm is usually a coping mechanism, usually if you're overwhelmed by your feelings it can be a distraction or the rush that follows the pain temporarily makes the feelings go away. Like any coping mechanism, if you try to stop without replacing it with another one, you will struggle. First find other ways to cope with the feelings you're having, if it's possible try and deal with the problem causing those feelings and then you can begin to try and stop self-harming.
February 23rd, 2016 2:48am
Well yes i can stop self harming some times becuase of the mistakes cause i never can blame any person for my problem where i can neither fight them nor harm them hence even knowing its bad to do so I'll just do it to never commit the same mistake again ;(
May 2nd, 2016 10:31pm
Self harming can become addictive. When you keep doing it can becoming comforting or familiar. And you just want to keep doing it. It's almost like getting stuck in a rut. It's very difficult to stop. But it is possible so don't give up. When you feel the urge to cut find help or someone to talk to.
May 10th, 2016 1:28am
self harming is certainly an addiction. Though it is bad, relief related horomones are released and the feelings of it is seminal enough to make the person continue to inflict pain.
June 13th, 2016 12:43pm
Self-harm is an addiction. When you're under stress and you cut, your body releases endorphins to deal with the physical pain, Endorphins are the "happy hormones", so mentally, as a result of this you feel better.
August 29th, 2016 11:59am
Self-harm is additive it is habit forming consider the difficulty of stopping self-harm to the Difficulty of someone who's trying to stop smoking both are challenging to overcome
July 11th, 2017 6:30am
well, you have to find out why you are doing it in the first place, address the cause. Self-harming seems like a symptom while you need to treat the cause.
July 8th, 2019 6:58pm
Self-harm/mutilation is typically used as a coping mechanism when someone else has few or no either ways to let go of some sort of negative emotions. This is because the brain sees the pain; and forgets about the emotional issues; even if it is just for a moment or few at a time. Usually, people know self-harming is bad, but it is like an addiction, almost like a drug. You can’t stop because you feel better when you self-harm. You may somehow feel as if you deserve this kind of pain, but in reality you don’t deserve the pain. If you wanna to stop self harming you can text ‘help’ to 741-741, or speak to a listener on 7cups