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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
October 29th, 2016 4:41am
Most of the time when people harm themselves is because they are going through a rough time and feel empty and useless. When they cut they feel the need to feel something instead of being empty and the pain just brings back feeling yet you realize what you have done later and realize it wasn't a good thing to do.
November 4th, 2016 6:15pm
Self harm is an addiction that's really difficult to get past. It can temporarily create a false sense of control and ease from emotional pain but afterwards make you feel guilty because you do have people who love you and want to help you cope in a healthy way
November 10th, 2016 2:31pm
Cutting releases chemicals that make you feel good, a type of "high" if you will. And once you come down from that "high" you feel bad. There are other ways to accomplish this, such as ice, rubber bands, or eating cold/hot foods, (my personal favorite is Red Hots). Just try your best, once you break the cycle its hard to keep going but its worth it. And if you do cut, think of it like you're trying to get fit, or trying out a new diet, if you skip a day or eat that donut, its not going to be the end of the world, just keep on keepin on. Best of luck!
November 12th, 2016 3:38pm
Cutting can make you feel better briefly because it causes a release of chemicals that provide a rush. For some people, that rush of chemicals can be a relief -- you are feeling something! Unfortunately, this is short lived and once you go back to baseline there has been no actual change in your mood. This can cause you to feel worse, since you've just come down from what felt like an improvement.
November 12th, 2016 3:39pm
It feels better because your body is focusing on the physical pain instead of the mental pain . You feel bad afterwards because you feel guilty for hurting yourself
November 19th, 2016 12:49am
It is guilt that makes us feel bad afterwards. We might think or feel like we are getting better when we hurt ourselves but then it would just haunt us afterwards, so it doesn't help us after all
November 20th, 2016 11:20pm
Well when you cut if you're using it as a release it does that, gives you a temporary release that can help you feel so much better. And another thing about this is it also forces your body to release "feel good" chemicals as you got hurt, these also make you feel better, but after all of those I guess we'll call 'highs' of feeling good reality takes back over and it's all the same as before you cut. Also you might have the guilt of doing it, and if you have to clean up a lot and it stings a lot that can be a constant reminder of it being a possibly really bad things which would certainly make you feel bad. Overall it just is because it's a temporary release for a more permanent problem, think of trying to use flimsy wood to block up a powerful river, it may work for a while but the waves will always comes crashing through again, so I guess cutting would just be like that flimsy wood, something you really don't want to be trying to use to block up the river but jsut happens to be all you see to do. If you wanted to change this maybe you could try walking away from the twigs next to the shore and find something that'll help you better overall :D
November 25th, 2016 6:07pm
When you decide to self harm, I believe (from past experience) that you are trying to feel the pain that you feel mentally. So you seek to have physical pain because sometimes it's easier to understand. But after, you realise the consequences that you've scarred your body, and you then have to live with the marks forever. Although, that's not always a bad thing, they are a reminder that you have been through tough times and are your battle scars.
November 27th, 2016 4:37pm
Cutting is like a drug, you use it, then after you feel terrible. the reason that is, is because when you cut, you create adrenaline so it doesn't hurt your body as much, and that adrenaline is what makes you want to cut more, to make yourself feel that rush again, and the reason why it feels bad after is because the rush is gone and you're only left with pain
January 4th, 2017 5:23pm
Cutting is a temporary solution to a long term problem. After that short moment leaves, you will realise that the problem is still there and that that cutting only made you feel physical pain. It will also serve as a reminder of the problem, making you feel bad. Because deep down, you know two things, cutting is not the solution to your problem and secondly, your problem is still there
January 8th, 2017 9:47am
When you cut your mental pain gets released but turning it into physical pain. The pain on your skin helps you cope wit the mental pain( I'm not saying it's good for you to cut I'm just explaining why some people do it.) A little while after you cut you then feel bad that you cut I wish you haven't marked up your own skin.
February 5th, 2017 12:09pm
This is my personal experience, it may not be yours. Before, I used to cut because I couldn't handle the emotional pain I was dealing with at the time, but I could deal with physical pain and thus I cut myself. Then, afterwards, I would look down and see my scars and remember the pain I had experienced and how I wished I knew how to deal with this pain. So, once I learnt how to deal with the pain in a less self-destructive manner, and recognised that it was in fact a self-destructive behaviour, I stopped.
May 14th, 2017 5:47pm
Its when you are angry about something, you think of harming yourself and its just hurting yourself at that point may make you feel better but at the end, harming yourself is not an option. It will feel bad for sure afterwards. Its better to share the thoughts and let the anger came out in form of words rather then hurting yourself :)
May 21st, 2017 12:51pm
Because at first you feel like you have let out your emotions and anger as action happened against yourself. But once you have cut yourself then your arm can hurt alot. I've never done it but I can imagine. So basically you do the worst in total for yourself and your health.
May 22nd, 2017 2:52am
It probably feels good in the moment, but then guilt and the 'fire' kick in. Cutting is only a temporary fix and you should get help from everyone you know.
May 27th, 2017 6:45pm
Because you hurt yourself! You're body and mind to be at a healthy equilibrium and that doesn't help, to feel better I'd consult a professional or find alternatives. Those can be found online and I also know some.
June 4th, 2017 6:18pm
I think it makes you feel better because you're feeling something other than the nothing you were feeling before. It makes you feel aware and alive in that instant. I think it feels bad afterwards because your body heals it. That's what it's naturally engineered to do: heal wounds. It feels bad afterwards because that's when you realize what you did, and that you shouldn't have done it. But then later you feel numb again and crave that flash of feeling, even craving the pain you know it will bring afterwards because at least it's something. That's what makes cutting so dangerous. That's what makes it not okay, because you deserve to not have to harm yourself to feel things.
June 9th, 2017 9:48pm
It makes you feel better as you are turning emotional pain into physical pain--which is easier to manage. You feel bad afterward as you know that it is wrong to harm yourself. Try to keep a diary instead of harming yourself and seeking professional help.
June 10th, 2017 4:49pm
Self harm in any respect can cause a sense of relief in pain, as if you feel like your emotions are let out through pain. Sometimes, guilt can follow, or feelings of stupidity, which is why self harm is not a good answer a lot of the time.
June 19th, 2017 4:41am
Because cutting releases endorphins, which relieve physical and as well emotional pain. You may feel better for a moment, but later comes the feeling of guilt, shame and regret.
June 30th, 2017 4:43pm
That's a good question. Cutting is used as a coping mechanism by people to deal with situations and stress in different ways. Cutting is a means to feel relief through that. And in the moment when someone cuts it releases endorphin's, our body's feel good hormones. This is why cutting can be difficult to break. Afterwards, when the rush or feeling subsides, there are no hormones to make you feel good, you are left with how you were feeling before cutting, and perhaps even in a worse condition.
July 12th, 2017 12:34am
Cutting can dull emotional pain and release endorphins in the body, but the relief is temporary and does not help in the long run.
July 20th, 2017 6:44pm
Your brain releases endorphins, a "feel good" hormone which brings temporary relief. You feel guilty afterwards because you know it's bad for you/you may not be allowed to do it
August 1st, 2017 5:09pm
Cutting allows you to vent and punish yourself. It allows you to release all the guiltily feelings you might have. But once you finish and realize what you've done you think about the repercussions of it, "there going to see this and they're going to blame themselves" you feel you have to hide what you did.
August 10th, 2017 1:32pm
Cutting offers a release for emotions you may be feeling, but after cutting these emotions will still be there which may make you feel bad
August 19th, 2017 1:21pm
Self-harm can be a temporary source of relief but just like all other sort of bad habits it isn't worth it, just like drinking, consuming drugs or any sort of addictive substances it will make you feel somewhat better for a limited period of time but when it's finished and the adrenaline effect is over you'll realize that everything's still the same and the reasons why you did it in first place are still there, that can lead to frustration and push you the edge once again, it's a repetitive circle, it will never actually stop unless you take action, self-harm isn't a coping method and the only way for you to stop feeling bad afterwards is to stop yourself from cutting in first place, explore other options, healthier coping strategies, whenever you feel like hurting yourself do something else, like drawing, writing or go outside for a walk, i'm sure you'll eventually find something that works for you.
August 25th, 2017 6:44pm
When we get hurt our body releases signals to help us cope with that pain. I have found it common that when someone cuts, they are finding a release for something they can't physically place. It's almost like giving yourself a reason for something your feeling on the inside. For others, I think the pain is a nice break from not feeling anything. There's a variety of reasons why cutting can make us feel better. But it's dangerous, and it can turn bad very fast, whether it be because we cut too deep, or too much, or an infection can happen. There's a number of things that can go wrong. And the immediate release you feel isn't going to last forever. It's like when you drink, and you feel great, but then you have to deal with a hangover the next morning. You eventually come down from that rush of cutting, and for a lot of people, the rush isn't enough after a while, and it leaves you wanting more. It can become a vicious cycle. There are so many methods to help you ween off the cutting. The rubber band around the wrist method isn't my favorite, but I've known it to work for many people (where you wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it when you feel the urge to cut). And most importantly, reach out when you get those urges. Find someone to talk to instead of cutting. You don't have to talk about what you're going through right off the bat, but having a conversation can help take your mind away from that urge. And there's no "hangover" when you talk to someone. You're not going to feel bad about it afterwords.
August 27th, 2017 6:05am
The feelings don't last forever. When you cut, endorphins and happy chemicals get released into your body, making you feel better. However, the feeling soon passes and the suppressed feelings resurface. The reasons for your cutting return, as cutting doesn't take away the reason and pain, it simply suppresses it for a little while. Shame and guilt might also be a cause- shame/guilt for many reasons. They include: knowing it's bad but not being able to stop, breaking a promise of not cutting, having to lie and hide them etc. There are many reasons, and there might be more than one.
September 3rd, 2017 10:46pm
Because you know that cutting is not going to fix things in the long run and subconsciously you want to fix things quicker than you can
September 15th, 2017 6:15pm
Because it's not a good thing to do to yourself. It's a form of hatred towards yourself which will not make you feel good for a long time. Love yourself and your body.