why does cutting make me feel better but then bad afterwards?

199 Answers
Last Updated: 10/27/2019 at 11:46am
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Alison Humphreys, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

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Top Rated Answers
August 3rd, 2016 10:03pm
Cutting, or any form of self harm, is a temporary fix. It can feel good to relieve your pain by hurting yourself, but after you're done, you feel pretty bad. A lot of people experience this, and self harming becomes an addiction to them because they don't want to feel bad, and self harming is the only thing that can make them feel good.
August 7th, 2016 1:10am
Cutting releases feel good hormones, but after that you feel the guilt of what you've done so maybe that's why you feel bad.
August 5th, 2016 2:08am
Cutting or any kind of self-harm is good at the momento cause is make endorfine being released on your body, making you feel good for a little time, but then is stops and all come back on the felling before. Most of the time becomes a addiction because of it, you want more time-out of your pain and cut yourself more, What turns it on a really vicous cycle, hope I helped.
August 8th, 2016 12:46am
The cutting that you do releases chemicals from the brain that generate happiness. This happiness lasts for a short amount of time until you realize what you've done to yourself and you begin to regret your actions. At first you enjoy the pain, but then you hate the consequences.
August 11th, 2016 12:56am
It is a temporary relief. The pain allows you to be distracted from how you feel and allows a different sensation to take over you. But you also just hurt yourself so your body is rejecting what has happened to it and you still feel the way you did before cutting. It is a temporary fix, so when the sensation leaves you, you are left feeling how you felt before and with just an aching cut on yourself. You may also feel there is a better way to get through it, but you feel stuck, depressed, helpless to stop it.
August 24th, 2016 1:33am
It releases natural pain modulators from the body making you feel euphoric. These chemicals feel similar to a lot of pain drugs, but the sensation goes away very quickly. Then you're just left with a full cut which can be very painful and quite dangerous. You may also feel guilty for doing this to yourself for the moment of feeling good. The good news is that there are other way to have that same good feeling without hurting yourself. Stay safe.
August 4th, 2016 3:55am
Cutting provides an in the moment relief but you feel bad afterwards because you realize what you just did. This is what I have felt in my experience.
August 10th, 2016 7:29pm
Self-harm is tricky to understand, it gives you a sense of relief but then you feel guilty afterwards for 'giving in'. It's a vicious circle but if you can find just one thing that takes your mind away from self-harm even in the desperate times, that's a big step towards battling it and ending it.
January 7th, 2018 1:01pm
You feel waves of emotions coming towards you. You can't handle it. You feel overwhelmed. So how do you cope up? By cutting. That cutting distracts you from the overwhelming feelings so you feel good but then the reality hits you and you feel bad. It's like drugs...
August 11th, 2016 8:50pm
Cutting is a form of self-harming.. It helps to relieve pain and release a hormone called endorphins. When we are being relieved from a specific emotion or type of mental pain and when we are releasing those endorphins, it can help to make us feel better. Yet after we have cut, it then causes anger and guilt within us. So, cutting makes you feel better right there and then in that moment but then after makes you feel bad again.
August 12th, 2016 1:17pm
Sometimes the immediate pain helps us feel better, like we are releasing everything bad with it, but then afterwards we start to think a little more clearly again and end up feeling bad for various reasons
August 13th, 2016 9:41pm
When you cut, hormones in your brain are released to help deal with the brain (like a self-made painkiller) so you feel better when you do it and it becomes very addictive. You might feel bad about it afterwards because you've realised what you've done and you can't take it back
August 14th, 2016 10:12pm
Cutting yourself releases endorphins which can give you a pleasurable feeling. your body releases endorphins to help relieve the pain. the reason why you feel bad afterwards is because the pleasurable feeling fades and you might feel guilty afterwards for cutting yourself. cutting can be a release but its not a healthy way to get relief. i hope you can find a way to get relief in a healthy way.
August 17th, 2016 5:02pm
some people do self harming because they find it somehow helpful but on the other hand it does not. because self harming is that you're torturing yourself. don't ever think that cutting yourself is a good idea, because there's other people who value you and hate to see you hurting. seek for their company and share your troubles to your family or friends.
August 20th, 2016 6:23pm
your brain releases chemicals when you cut but when your done cutting it will go away. Its like getting drunk when your cutting but then you wake up with a hangover.
October 23rd, 2016 11:37pm
When you cut yourself, or engage in other kinds of self-injury, it is probably a way for you to manage negative emotions. It provides a source of immediate physical pain that focuses your attention and takes your mind off of emotional pain. This can make you feel better - but only for a little while. When the effects of this immediate relief fade, you probably become more aware that self-injury is harmful for you, it does not provide an effective and long-term solution for your negative emotions, and that it would be better and safer to use alternative coping methods. It is probably this realization that makes you feel bad afterwards.
June 30th, 2017 5:45am
Self-harm is a way to quickly flood your nervous system with endorphins and adrenaline. This will cause changes in your breathing and heartbeat as it clears your mind. Physically, you should feel calm and focused, maybe even happy or relieved. This is because of the increase in endorphins and adrenaline. Both of these are not lasting or sustainable in your body. Biologically speaking, they are useful when you are in danger, since they are what help you stay conscious and aware when you are threatened or injured. They numb physical pain and turn off the rational-thinking parts of your brain. But once these chemicals subside, reality is able to set in, and you're left with the physical pain of your new injury. Plus, whatever caused all the stress before you harmed yourself still exists. Nothing has changed your circumstances, and on top of that, you're now feeling physical pain, as well as emotional pain and stress, again. Self-harming is a coping mechanism we use to try and gain relief and control in the moment, but there are no types of self-harm that can actually solve any of your anxieties or eliminate your depression. Whatever is causing these will be there after the adrenaline and endorphins go away. So it's best to get professional help to address the underlying causes, and medical attention for your injuries, if needed. Good luck, and take care.
January 13th, 2018 4:29am
Cutting is a temporary release of frustration, fear and depression related to something so horrible in your life that you have to replace with something which causes severe pain. Unfortunately, the relief you feel is only temporary until such time as the pain in life once again becomes unbearable.
January 13th, 2018 7:18am
That's a question you should ask yourself more often. Cutting can sometimes be a distraction or an addiction, which makes you feel better but after seeing what you've done, it makes you feel bad about it.
April 8th, 2018 4:13am
cutting is often used as a form of "freedom." at least, for me it was. we inflicted pain on ourselves because others' hate and negativity made us numb. but, the reason we feel bad afterwards, is because we have a reminder of pain and loneliness with us forever. we ruined our bodies by this, and therefore, we feel guilty.
April 28th, 2018 3:51pm
Cutting would make you feel better initially as the physical pain it causes would numb the emotional pain, but after the pain has subdued the emotional pain would return along with the physical pain and potentially extra emotional pain or worry
June 6th, 2018 8:54pm
I used to cut myself. I guess the momentary physical pain helps in numbing or atleast reducing the mental or emotional pain we are feeling. But it is not healthy and like our conscience regrets doing what is not right i guess same what you feel afterwards you cut yourself. It means i guess that this is not the permanent solution to your issues and makes you weak and put your health at risk.i got rid of this habit soon.
June 21st, 2018 9:09am
Maybe because when you cut yourself, your body naturally produces endorphins to help you deal with stress and pain. But since nothing last forever, so does this chemical compound. Then, maybe, after your endorphins doesn’t last, you have already become calmer and you now can think normally. You realize that what you did wasn’t right plus your problem is still there though you have cut yourself, which is why you feel bad afterwards. Anyway, that’s just my opinion. However, it’s better to love yourself, right? So if you feel like cutting again, please find a professional for help. You deserve to feel better and to be treated well.
July 29th, 2018 12:43am
Because at the moment, you’re letting all the built up frustration out, afterwards you realize what you’ve done.
December 27th, 2018 1:49am
You feel bad after getting a euphoric feeling after cutting, because when you cut yourself, certain hormones get released into the blood that make you feel better. These hormones are a natural painkiller made by your own body. Scientists also refer to it as the strongest drug on this planet. It makes you feel happier. However, when your body is done making those hormones, you don't get that "happy" feeling anymore + you feel bad because you cut yourself. That's double. It doesn't matter how much you think cutting is a good solution, you will actually feel worse after cutting than you did when you wanted to cut.
January 3rd, 2019 9:19pm
Cutting is a way of translating emotional pain into physical pain. Individuals who cut often say, “I just wanted to feel something. I’ve felt numb for so long!” or “I’m hurting so bad emotionally. I just wanted to feel the same kind of pain physically”. Physical and emotional pain are really quite similar. Both types of pain are processed by the same areas of the brain: the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex. In a 2010 study published in Psychological Science it was even found that taking Tylenol reduced emotional pain. The reason for feelings bad after cutting is because the emotional pain is still there! Cutting is only temporary relief. It is important to address the cause of the emotional pain and seek help to address it.
January 5th, 2019 11:17pm
Well, in the moment of self-harming, we feel frantic. We are overwhelmed with emotion, sometimes to the point of total numbness. Self-harm alleviates that pressure. It silences the mind. It makes you feel only one thing. In a sense, it can be soothing. But afterward, the feelings come back, AND you’ve done something to yourself that you can recognize wasn’t done out of love. It becomes a mark of that moment that you wanted so badly to escape, but now can no longer forget. If you feel like self-harming, there are ways to cope until you get to a clearer head. And some will work, some won’t... but never give up on figuring out what works for you, knowing each moment- you might need to try something new, if old techniques effectiveness fade. And you’re ALWAYS welcome to talk to me about this. Always. And there are other Listeners too who would be able to support you through these times also. Best of luck, all my love - Jaali.
May 31st, 2019 2:06pm
For me, cutting made me feel a sense of relief from my mental pain for a short while. While it was worth it at the time I felt bad about it afterwards because I had nasty cuts that would remind me of when I was feeling bad. It was a trigger to see the cuts/scars and would bring me back to that same state of mind. If you cut, don't feel bad about yourself, just take the time to find out new healthy ways to make you feel that sense of release from your state of mind. Try some grounding exercises or meditation :)
August 4th, 2016 9:07pm
Some people say it is a visual fix. They can visually see blood or markings on their skin. Since it is not possible to visually see feelings, it provides them with a sense of relief. Bear in mind this is not a safe practice!
August 7th, 2016 4:45pm
Maybe you're so depressed that hurting yourself makes you feel good. However, this isn't a right thing to do, You might feel bad because somewhere in your mind you're aware of this fact. I would request you to consult a therapist for better counselling.