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

246 Answers
Last Updated: 02/17/2021 at 2:05am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jannise McKamey-Bruell, LAPC


I am a nonjudgmental counselor that employs transparency, trust, honesty and integrity in her practice and in the therapeutic relationship.

Top Rated Answers
April 1st, 2017 10:24am
Cutting feels good at first because it helps to engulf your real pain and suffering for a time being. But after sometime you'll get addicted to it and you would want more. I felt bad afterwards because I was in pain and hurting myself as well as bringing myself down while whoever or whatsoever made me into this is growing. I felt scared and weak when I saw my healed scars. It is unhealthy, I realized; so I put on my shoes, and walked to gym. Started working out, and I never stopped. It helps, physical activity really helps you through a depression
April 23rd, 2017 8:07pm
It probably feels good at first because you are in control. You are doing what you want without anyone to tell you not to. It's like a power high. But then afterwards you realize what you've done. You realize that what you did made you feel good, but it wasn't what you really wanted deep down. You may want control. You may want happiness, or success. Cutting isn't the answer and you know that. Which is why you feel regret afterwards. Don't continue down this path. Keep your head up and control what you can, just not in the way of self harm. Message someone if you feel the urge to cut again. Talk it out. Please. Be safe. Stay safe.
May 10th, 2017 4:48am
Cutting happens on an impulse. Most impulsive things feel good at the moment, but you regret them later. You should take some time to think before acting on an impulse. Try to replace cutting with something else like reading, taking a bath/shower, taking a walk, drawing, exercising, etc.
May 21st, 2017 1:52pm
Self-harm makes the body feel good because the injuries trigger the fight-or-flight response, so your body releases adrenaline and dopamine: hormones that spike your energy levels and make you feel good. However, contemplating self-harm afterwards can often induce guilt, shame or anger. I suggest that you seek help from a counsellor or someone that you trust - these behaviors can threaten your life and are short-term ineffective solutions to deeper problems. Stay safe.
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 :)
February 5th, 2020 4:28am
When in that state, life is tough. It becomes difficult to find solace or enjoyment in many things you once did. Cutting is what many will turn to. For me at least, it felt like I deserved it. In addition the pain became something I was addicted to, like how a kid will wiggle and wiggle their baby teeth until they finally get it out. It hurts, but there is a strange satisfaction from it. Cutting "put me in my place" and made me feel not worth it. It sucks afterwards because you end up regretting it and disliking yourself more. It is a vicious cycle, but it is so worth it to break through it.
February 7th, 2020 11:27pm
Cutting is basically turning your emotional pain into physical pain. It is a coping mechanism. This is why you feel relieve because you put your pain somewhere. Afterwards you feel bad because of the shame and guilt that you experience. You have gave in to your addiction so you feel weak. Also you now have to hide the skin that you cut in otherwise your friends or family would find out. Your constantly scared that people find out and it becomes this huge burden on your shoulders. But because its so addictive its really hard to stop and you feel like you fail yourself everytime you give in.
May 2nd, 2020 3:20am
Cutting makes you feel better in the moment because it is a temporary relief since the pain releases endorphins (which are happy chemicals) into your body. But, you end up feeling bad afterwards because you just hurt yourself and you may feel guilty about it or upset. Plus, it's only temporary relief, meaning that feeling of peace will go away. Thus, it is best to find better coping skills than cutting (and I know this is not easy; I am a self-harmer myself). Every single time I cut, it feels a lot better for those few minutes, but I regret it after and go back to my worse-off self. This is why I strongly urge you to search up other coping mechanisms or reach out for help (even if that's anonymously online) or look at the 7Cups guide for self-harm.
September 6th, 2020 4:40pm
I had been in this position once. In my case, when i felt bad, i had some kind of tunnel vision that cutting was the only thing to relieve me from my negative feeling. It did, like i finally got the punishment i deserve for being that way. But hours after that when i had some time to breath, i realized that it didn't solve what made me feel bad in the first place. Instead it left me with stinging pain, and a pure look of sadness from people close to me, which made me feel bad even more because others had to suffer a collateral damage
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.
August 11th, 2016 10:21pm
Cutting yourself can often lead to complex or conflicting emotions. When you first cut, it can have a wave of relief from all the intense emotion that you may have been feeling. You may then feel bad as you may feel you've given in to it or feel it's a sign of weakness or even that you feel bad as you realize how it may affect others or you may feel guilty about causing harm to yourself. Self harm can be very challenging to go through but there is help available to you if you are going through this.
August 12th, 2016 12:08am
Whenever we are doing something we barely think about the end results. We only want to please ourselves. First of all you don't see anything wrong with cutting yourself so it makes you feel like you are doing nothing wrong and rather doing good thats why you feel better. But once you are done, you realize the impact and notice what you are actually doing to yourself. Feeling bad after doing something is always a sign of regret
August 12th, 2016 11:03am
Think of it like your sadness is an ocean. You keep walking deeper and deeper until you cant see the surface. You need help. Then a life raft comes along. That's cutting. It feels good, you can breathe again. But there is still some water on your body. The sadness still lingers, and that's why you feel bad again.
August 12th, 2016 12:12pm
The want to harm oneself is to punish. You feel good because you feel it is right to punish yourself but when you feel bad afterwords it us guilt. You may feel guilty because you might be upsetting others by harming yourself. Remember to hold on to the thought that you do not deserve this and the guilt reminds you of it.
August 13th, 2016 5:34pm
It does because at the moment, you are releasing endorphins in your brain that make you feel happy. But afterwards, you see them and in comes the guilt factor.
August 14th, 2016 9:15pm
Cutting makes you feel better because you're feeling a physical pain and it takes your mind off the emotional pain you're feeling but when that physical pain starts to fade then you feel you're emotional pain that you felt before you cut yourself.
August 18th, 2016 1:43am
After cutting, you experience hormones that make you feel relief, but the effects are generally short.
August 24th, 2016 7:46pm
As a former self harmer, it has to do with the chemicals that are released and the feelings it gives you. When I used to cut, I felt like it "grounded me". Pain was one of the only things that I could feel. It reminded me that I could feel. I could calm my anxiety, which I have kind of figured out comes from the chemicals that the brain releases to deal with pain. But after the fact you know this isn't an acceptable way to deal with your problems so you feel guilty.
August 24th, 2016 11:55pm
I think (from what I read a while ago) that cutting causes your brain to release a bunch of neurotransmitters or hormones that makes you feel better. So you get this rush of positive emotions, and then you regret what you've done because you know you shouldn't be harming yourself.