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Why does my girlfriend cut herself?

301 Answers
Last Updated: 10/09/2019 at 2:27am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
June 25th, 2016 10:46pm
A lot of the time, people may feel as if they have no other way to find relief from their problems. She might be having a hard time verbalizing her emotions and feelings and cannot find another way to find that "release" that some people may get from talking. I'm glad that you're concerned about her. Always be there for her and try and help her as best as you can!
July 1st, 2016 7:29am
Ask her. She's the only one in the world who could tell you why. You can't trust the answers you get from anyone else because they're not her and they have no idea what she's going through even if they say they do. So ask her. She's your partner so trust her to trust you and be by her side no matter what her reason is.
June 1st, 2016 5:31am
She is suffering from depression and feels as though she shouldn't exist in the cruel world. She rather let herself be broken.
May 15th, 2016 12:08am
Your girlfriend may be experiencing very difficult and painful feelings and self harm is her way of dealing with them . Sometimes people can cope better with physical pain more than emotional pain and actually "seeing" their pain that they have self inflicted feels like they are unleashing some of those painful emotions . Self harm is like a temporary relief , unfortunately it can become addictive and it can become difficult to stop . Can you advise your girlfriend to see her doctor ? She can be referred for therapy . Look after yourself too as seeing someone you love hurt themselves is very difficult .
June 2nd, 2018 10:26am
There are many reasons why one would self-harm. Sometimes, it's to take the mental pain away by making your brain concentrate on physical pain. At other times, it could be because you feel like you deserve that kind of pain. People who self-harm regularly are often depressed and get addicted to it because the brain starts sending endorphins, the happy hormones, whenever they cut themselves as it distracts them from their thoughts. It can be a mere escape from the constant hurricane of thoughts in one's mind. It was a combination of many things for me, but 7Cups helped me in some tough spots, and so did talking to my boyfriend about it. Recovery is always possible if one wants it, so I'd say that, please, talk to your girlfriend. Find out what's making her want to harm herself. Tell her she doesn't deserve to hurt herself, and that she can stop, and she should. Take it slow, but make sure you're there for her when she needs it. Supporting someone through a recovery attempt can be hard at times because their reasoning for cutting themselves can seem 'silly' to someone who hasn't gone through it. It can frustrate you that your words to the person seemingly don't matter, but I promise you, it will help her if you talk to her directly. Perhaps, if she'd like, suggest 7Cups. If she has trouble talking about it, she can try working things out with a listener. Anonymity really comforts people sometimes. I really hope she decides to go ahead with recovering, and wish you the best in helping her. Please feel free to message me about this if you want to as I've gone through this and may be able to help.
July 14th, 2017 4:51am
There are lots of reasons for that, Like to express pain and intense emotions, or to calm and soothe herself. or because she feels disconnected or even to release tension or vent anger. The best way to know is by asking her. Please try to avoid judging her. Listen to her and let her know that you are there for her and support her
May 19th, 2016 2:41am
because shes bren called names or doesnt like the way she looks and by cutting she can comtrol the pain she feels and chooses when and when not to have the pain.
June 22nd, 2017 2:46am
To avoid her own feelings, it's the only way she knows how to numb herself she doesn't want to put her problems on others, this is sort of a stress reliever for her this is coming from experience.
June 24th, 2016 8:29pm
This can be a tricky subject. Usually it's a cry for help. Let her know your their for her and talk to her about getting professional help
June 9th, 2019 4:59pm
it is incredibly hard to watch someone you care about suffer like that, and it's great that you're trying to understand her feelings and struggles. there are a multitude of potential reasons why your girlfriend is cutting herself, but there are generally four main emotions/causes tied to self-harm: some people self-harm because they are in pain and sad, and use self-harm as a way to express those intense feelings. some people self-harm because it is a way for them to calm and soothe themselves. some people self-harm as a way to help them deal with a sense of disconnectedness or numbness (as in using the physical sense of pain as a way to pierce through that numbness), and some people self-harm to express anger and stress. these are general, and may not perfectly encapsulate why your girlfriend is hurting herself, but it offers some potential context for her struggles.
May 20th, 2016 1:02pm
Are may be depressed. Try to be understanding of what is going on for the other person. If you can't be empathetic. Be sympathetic. Show her you care. Ask her what's wrong. And respond with statements like. "Oh that sucks" or "I understand" (but only if you do because she may ask about your experience) and hug her. Gals love hugs when they are sad.
June 26th, 2016 5:30am
There are numerous reasons for a person to cut themselves, the most accurate answer will come directly from your girlfriend - her self-harm could be due to emotionally distress and she may require your support to cope
July 10th, 2016 4:02pm
She may be going through a rough time that she cuts herself to cope with it. She could be feeling stress, pain, hurt. There may be underlying issues such as depression. For a person to self harm, it's very serious and not a healthy way to cope with problems. Ask her how she's feeling and what's going on in her life to find out the reasons behind her cutting.
May 19th, 2016 4:58am
Many reasons. Some people do it because they feel taking their inner emotions on their outer selfs would help, and it does somethings, just not in a good way. Just remember it is not for attention and it is a serous problem, with proper support and care she can get over it and eventually stop.
May 19th, 2016 2:09pm
It isn't her fault. Always remember that. She may be going through a lot right now. That's her way of ccoping. Try to talk to her about what's causing her to feel this way. She may need someone to reach out and help her. Never get annoyed at her for this.
January 13th, 2019 6:47pm
Self harm is addictive. That’s the simplest way to put it. It’s also a very deep hole that’s is almost imposssible to climb out of however if you stand by her, offer you support and make it clear you care, you have all the foundations needed to help her feel better. Having dealt with depression my self, I know that it takes strength and determination to overcome something as serious as self harm. Everyone can do it some just don’t have the motivation. Help her understand that she’s not alone by talking to her and if the issue continues maybe consider therapy as In some circumstances a professional really can help.
May 29th, 2016 7:43am
You obviously should talk about it with her in the most accurate and tolerant way as possible. She may be reluctant to give honest answers, but besides being gentle and caring be firm too as you should know exactly whats happening. She may be unhappy in your relationship, she may have problems in her family, she may have tough situations at work. Remember, that only being in a really hurting situation will lead someone to cut himself. Have compassion and show her that you are the bright side of her life.
June 1st, 2016 11:18am
Because there's no one to hear her problems. Go and sit next to her, tap her shoulder and listen to what she's going to say.
June 15th, 2016 3:39pm
She is probably suffering some form of depression and feel that she is unworthy or insecure about herself.
June 15th, 2016 6:58pm
Everyone cuts for a different reason. The best way to find out why she is cutting is to ask. Usually people will tell you why.
June 30th, 2016 12:17am
People resort to self-harm for a lot of different reasons. If you want to understand what she's going through, you should talk to her.
September 28th, 2016 2:17pm
Your girlfriend must be having a tough time during this stage of her life. Self harming releases endorphins, chemicals that are also released when you are happy. Thus, she believes that harming herself makes her happy, so she does it more. Self harm is also a coping method that may help her feel like she is "getting what she deserves".
November 9th, 2016 1:13pm
She is obviously having a very tough time at the moment. I feel like you just need to maybe read up on any mental illnesses that she may have, aka Depression, anxiety.. any others that could come into this. Self-help guide may say a little more of how your girlfriend is feeling and why she does this. Encourage her to stop :) and think of other solutions.
July 20th, 2018 1:52pm
There are a lot of reasons why someone self harms. It could be a coping mechanism, or a self inflicted punishment. It all depends on the person.
August 22nd, 2018 9:50pm
There’s always at least one reason why someone cuts themselves. Whether it’s self hate or low self esteem. Or even just blaming yourself for something that has happened. Once you start it feels awful and you can’t exactly quit, even if you know it’s wrong. It’s hard to open up and get help. But, in the end, we all need to realize it’s okay to cry out for help. Once we do so we might not feel so better as soon as we’d like but we know we’re at a start. And starting doesn’t mean quitting. But anyways. Maybe try to ask her yourself to see what’s wrong.
May 15th, 2016 4:39am
Everyone has different reasons for self harm, but the common factor is inner chaos or dysfunction. The important thing is that you remain supportive of her, while emphasizing that you want her to be happy and healthy. If you don't quite understand it, a discussion about it might be helpful to both of you.
May 15th, 2016 9:34pm
She may cut because of school stress, or feelings of worthlessness. Show her that you are there for her often!
May 17th, 2016 7:01am
There are a lot of reasons that people cut. It's usually not very simple. Oftentimes, cutting is a distraction from emotional and mental pain. It can be a sort of release, sometimes it makes people feel something when they feel numb and sometimes it makes people feel numb when they feel too much. Make sure you let your girlfriend know you're there for her, that you're always there to listen. She may or may not open up, she might not be ready, but she will know that you are there for her. If you are afraid that she could seriously injure herself, I would help her to get help.
May 18th, 2016 5:03pm
Cutting is a way some people try to cope with the pain of strong emotions, intense pressure, or upsetting relationship problems. They may be dealing with feelings that seem too difficult to bear or bad situations they think can't change. Have you asked your girlfriend why?
May 19th, 2016 3:35pm
probably because she's going through something bad, maybe at home perhaps. Have you talked to her about it? She might explain, and there's a chance that you might be able to help her. I'm sure she'd appreciate some help from you:)