Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Why do I want to self harm?

23 Answers
Last Updated: 12/10/2019 at 1:06am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Monique Bivins, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have a real passion for helping my clients to overcome life's obstacles . My work with clients is nonjudgmental, supportive, and interactive.

Top Rated Answers
February 14th, 2015 12:54am
Self harm can be difficult for people to understand. Sometimes we don't know how to deal with our emotions when they become overwhelming, and emotional pain is hard to deal with. So people try to make that pain physical instead of emotional so that it can be dealt with easier.
January 5th, 2016 1:55am
You want to self harm because you're scared. You want to distract yourself from the internal pain you're feeling and replace it with physical pain, as if it might dull your feelings. You want control. You might think that it's your final resort, but it's not. We have plenty of people here, always willing to help.
January 13th, 2015 5:36pm
Often people who self-harm are looking for a way to express their emotions in a physical way. A common response for people when they are asked why they self-harm is because it's a way to physically express the pain they are feeling. Also the act of self-harming releases "feel-good" neurotransmitters because of the pain it produces.
May 13th, 2015 12:29am
The desire or drive to self-harm can be caused or triggered by numerous factors. To some, self-harming is a rewarding act, meaning that the person finds a level of pleasure in self-harming and such level of pleasure feeds on and reinforces the behavior. On the other hand, some individuals self-harm as a coping mechanism. In such cases, events or circumstances in the person's life become the trigger to the behavior. In all, when the person is faced with a challenge, the person engages in self-harm to cope with the life event. Lastly, there are individuals who self-harm with the intent to end their lives. Such cases are extreme ones, but are important to consider when asking why is it that you want to self-harm, especially because those who self-harm are at a higher risk of suicide intent and engaging in suicidal behaviors. If you believe that you may be engaging in self-harm with the intent of ending your life, call the national suicide prevention lifeline and a person will be available to assist you (1 (800) 273-8255). If you believe you are engaging in self-harm as a coping mechanism, you could try talking to a trusted adult/individual to help you vent. However, if your need to self-harm is intense, I would encourage you to seek assistance from a qualified individual, someone who can not only hear you but help you cope effectively/safely. Lastly, if you are engaging in self-harm because it feels rewarding, you can find alternate activities that can mask your need to self-harm. In doing so, you can progressively extinct your behavior by removing the reinforcement. Needless to say, seeking help form a qualified professional is always something I will recommend. There is nothing bad about doing so. On the contrary, I see it as a sign of strength for seeking improvement and self-growth. Also, please consider that there are many other reasons why a person may engage in self-harm. The examples above are just a few reasons to why people may engage in such behavior. You can overcome all of your problems.
September 27th, 2016 3:49am
you may feel stuck. you may feel unable to cope with an emotion. you may feel addicted. you may not know what other options are out there. try holding ice cubes in your hands or engaging in an activity you enjoy.
December 10th, 2019 1:06am
from my own personal experience, self harm can be something that you do for a multitude of reasons ranging from feeling numb to an attempt on your life. I self harmed for many reasons, to feel something, to hurt myself instead of others and eventually it lead to an attempt on my life. Everyone self harms for different reasons. The sooner help is received for self harm the sooner the issues for the self harm are addressed. I was always very ashamed of my scars but I no longer hide them or feel ashamed, I am somewhat proud of my white lines as they are proof that I survived and proof that recovery is entirely possible.
March 15th, 2015 8:26pm
It could be for multiple reasons. it could be a singular one of these or even a couple at the same time. it depends if you want to do it to numb emotional pain or to feel something more than numb. in my experience there are three main reasons why; to either numb overwhelming emotion, because of guilt and punishment or to feel something when you don't think you can.
May 27th, 2015 5:47am
Sometimes, people just want to be in control of their own pain rather than be hurt by others uncontrollably.
August 24th, 2015 1:04am
There are many reasons why you want to self-harm. In many of the times, you want to punish yourself for something. Self harming also is a message from your mind that you don't respect your body. Not respecting your body, means you don't love yourself. And how can we stop this cycle? We can stop by trying to control our minds as much as possible. Look for therapy, things that distracts you, don't stay alone in places you can do it and also... look for help! Come talk to us. I can help you get through this.
April 25th, 2015 10:37pm
That's a very complicated question. There are so many different reasons that people feel the need to self harm. It may help to see a therapist or psychologist about your symptoms so that they can help you determine the source of your desire to self-harm and develop coping skills to replace it.
May 30th, 2015 3:23am
From my experience I have found that people self harm for many reasons personal to the person dealing with that issue. In some cases people self harm because they suffered a trauma and they want to control the pain that is inflicted on them. Other people self harm because they do not have healthy coping skills to deal with the stressors and triggers that they experience in their lives.
May 31st, 2015 3:43pm
Because its a coping mechanism and an addiction that is really hard to break, it will take hard work and a lot of effort but you have to meet people half way
June 22nd, 2015 1:43am
A lot of people self-harm to distract emotional pain by creating physical pain. It's something to take away the emotional pain that seems to be worse than self-harm.
July 27th, 2015 12:22am
Self-harm is an addicting form of coping, it acts as a release and provide relief, or as self-punishment. Everyone has their own reasons for self-harm, and it can become an addicting cycle, just like a drug.
November 30th, 2015 7:35am
I want(ed) to self harm because I felt the need to feel alive. To feel loved. To feel understood. I self harm(ed) because the scale between pain and strategies to cope with pain is tipping slightly too much to the "pain" side. Self-harming does not equal to suicide; I just want(ed) an anchor to this world to remind me and cope with the pain I was going through.
December 14th, 2015 5:23pm
I'm addicted to it. The cutting makes me feel. Point blank, it just makes me feel something at a time when I feel nothing.
March 15th, 2016 6:15pm
Because sometimes i can feel nothing, so i hurt myself to see if i still have feelings.I may hurt myself because i become so depressed and start to hate myself.
May 17th, 2016 2:05am
Because you might feel like whats going on is too much and need to let it out on yourself .dont hurt yourself over something that wont matter later on
September 19th, 2016 10:59pm
Self harm is a bad coping method that is most commonly used by people with depression and symptoms of numbness, hollowness, and emptiness. The self harm is used when people want to feel something and know that they are alive, similar to when someone says "pinch me" in movies when they are joking about being in a dream. there are many alternaatives to dealing with these issues rather than self-mutilation and i strongly suggest you find something positive to do.
September 20th, 2016 11:08pm
From a scientific standpoint, self harm is pleasing to many people because, like when being happy, the body releases chemicals called endorphins when it is hurt. The endorphins that are released when you harm yourself make you feel happy, causing you to want to harm more often, in order to feel like that again.
November 27th, 2017 6:46am
Usually, depression. You start blaming yourself for everything and by time you'll be getting annoyed of your existence >> you'll start hating yourself and that causes you to harm yourself... or then you just let the mental pain by focusing on physical pain.
April 17th, 2018 4:41pm
Usually self harm is a way to cope with feeling numb. It's because you haven't found a positive coping skill that has worked well for you.
June 5th, 2018 12:57am
you may think that it's the only way to express what you're feeling, that it's the only way you can feel pain. it isn't. there are other ways you can help yourself. talk to someone. be open and find alternative ways to cope. hugs!!!