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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

Zeina Ghoul, LLPC

Pre-Licensed Professional

I help guide clients to create positive change in a non-judgmental and supportive atmosphere.

Top Rated Answers
February 9th, 2017 5:00pm
This is hard to answer. Many people cut for different reasons. Self harm usually means someone wants to feel that they are here. That they exist or it can be a coping mechanism. Having been on the other side of this and been that girlfriend where a guy has asked the same question, all I can say is don't beat yourself up. You can be an amazing support to her, but make sure you look after yourself too and talk about how this makes you feel. It can be hard to understand why someone cuts. If you can communicate and talk about this it will help you both. Don't apply pressure to yourself to change what she is going through. Be the excellent support that you know you can be, love helps and heals more than most people realise.
February 12th, 2017 5:13pm
It could be for a variety of reasons. Some people do it because they feel numb (almost like they are detached from the rest of the world) and they just need to feel something; almost as if to make sure they are still alive. Others do it for the opposite reason. They are overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions. Their minds are constantly going at 90mph and they have reached their breaking point and just want it to stop. The cutting offers temporary relief. There are other reasons, but these are the 2 most common as far as I know. Cutting is not a healthy coping mechanism and needs to be addressed. Try talking to your girlfriend about it. If she is not receptive, try talking to someone else you are close with.
February 15th, 2017 12:13am
Probably to cope with the pain inside of her. Physical pain helps some people to deal with their mental problems.
February 19th, 2017 3:26am
Look at her sitiuation, is she stressed out? Is there a bug change in her life? Is she dealing with anything? Don't point out her scars or make fun of her. It's going to make things worse for her and you. Try talking to her first and ask her if she's okay. Don't bother her about it because it may make her feel uncomfortable.
March 7th, 2017 11:02pm
Maybe you should ask her. It's not my place to say anything for her as I do not know her at all, you should ask her if she's okay and let her know your supporting her every step of the way
March 18th, 2017 10:47pm
She may be going through a lot right now. People hurt themselves because they feel it helps relieve their anxiety and sadness. Self harming may be something she is relying at this point in her life right now.
March 26th, 2017 3:16am
There are many reasons that people cut, including low self esteem or body image, insomnia, an ED, anxiety, depression, or even habit. I would suggest lightly bringing it up and communicatingly openly with her, as she's the only one who can really tell you
March 26th, 2017 9:56pm
Your girlfriend might be going through a tough time try sitting her down and asking her what had been happening and be very supportive
March 29th, 2017 4:12am
It could be from a range of feelings, experiences, or emotions. Try asking her with gentle, open ended questions while stressing that you care. Coming across as judgmental (even if by accident) could cause her to shut down and not want to talk about it.
March 31st, 2017 3:31am
There are many reasons why someone may harm themselves. I'll list a few possible reasons. She might want to punish herself for perceived wrongdoings. She might feel numb and pain releases endorphins which cause her to feel something. On the other hand, she might struggle to cope with her emotions in a positive way, and the self harm may temporarily reduce the severity of her emotions. Thank you for supporting her. Feel free to chat with a listener to get some help for you. You deserve support too :-)
April 2nd, 2017 10:31am
Self-harming is a mental illness as well, though it is also common to be associated with depression, anxiety or any other mental illness. Is your girlfriend depressed or anxious or does she have any other mental illness? This could be the reason. Another question is, does she cut herself to kill herself? Many people self harm because they feel like they need a punishment or they want to clear their mind or let something out. There could be a lot of reasons.
April 2nd, 2017 7:38pm
Cutting yourself isn't always a conscious decision. Sometimes, you feel really hurt and angry at yourself, and you take all your anger out and the pain sort of relieved it. It can be hard to understand when a loved one wants to hurt themself. If she is causing herself extreme harm, contact a professional.
April 5th, 2017 4:46am
It could be because of what she's going through, she may be having a bad day and that could the topping to everything else she's been going through. She could be scared of the relationship ending in a very bad way or she is worried about being alone.
April 16th, 2017 10:37am
It's different from person to person. Some start because of anxiety, stress, depression, self-hatred, a new development in life which they feel that they can't handle, etc. Again I say that it's different for all people, so it could be different for her. Even after the extenuating circumstances have finished/become better, people still find it hard or even impossible to give it up. Cutting is like alcohol or drugs in the sense that it is addictive and hard to stop when once started as well as being very bad. Cutting could offer a sense of release for some, like it fixes something wrong in their lives. However, even if a person successfully stops then there is always a danger present of them doing it again at times of difficulty. What your girlfriend needs is support. It's the best thing you can do, to support her. She should see someone about it if she isn't already and get treatment somehow. I don't know if this properly adressed the question you asked but I hope that it helps somehow.
April 22nd, 2017 3:01am
She hurts herself because she feels as if there is something she can't control so she controls her pain instead, she is having trouble saying how she truly feels so she hurts herself to find relief or she feels the need to punish herself. Hope this helped these are only a few reasons to this situation.
April 22nd, 2017 1:41pm
It may be because she's insecure, or she has something going on in her life. Maybe an old situation has come back to her and it seems like the only solution. Maybe she feels nobody is there for her. Whatever it is, please just try and be there for her. Don't force her to open up, don't get irritated if she can be quite stubborn or distracted, but be there to support her if she asks for it.
May 10th, 2017 6:33am
People self-harm because they feel numb, and sometimes that is the only thing they are able to feel. It can also happen when we are not equipped with enough healthy coping mechanisms to combat certain emotions we feel. It is not 'attention seeking' as many people believe, and they deserve a lot of love and support to overcome this.
May 15th, 2017 11:34am
To cope with all the pain she is in or she's cutting herself because she wants to feel the pain; she feels as if she deserves the pain.
May 17th, 2017 12:35am
The reasons for someone self-harming differs from one person to another. Someone might do it in order to punish themselves because they constantly feel guilty. Other may self-harm because they hate themselves and find it hard to accept and embrace who they are, or simply because they are holding so much pain and do not know any other way to fix it except by inflicting physical pain on themselves. Try to support your girlfriend and give her all the help she needs. She just needs your love right now.
May 25th, 2017 6:06pm
Cutting and if self harm is really hard to understand if you've never experienced it personally (be grateful!). Everyone self harms for different reasons but in generally it's a way of coping with extreme emotional pain. Some people use it as a physical expression of inner pain, some do it for control, or punishment, or to get the release "high" from endorphins that happens when one self harms or all of these. I would just ask her directly not out of judgment but out of love trying to understand. I would love for some one to care enough to really want to know what's going on. Don't critique her reasons though validate and love her without supporting her behavior. Message me if you'd like to talk. :)
June 10th, 2017 6:12am
Your girlfriend may be using self harm as a way to cope with trauma she's undergone. She may feel unnoticed, or unloved. Try talking to your girlfriend in a respectable manner about this. Ask her why, and try to see from her point of view.
June 10th, 2017 10:40pm
Even though you don't know why she did, in times like this, it is important to not blame yourself. There are 101 reasons why she might have done it, and just because you are in a relationship with her, doesn't mean you are the reason why. You need to comfort her, and let her know that you love her and that you are there for her. In time, she will open up about it, but if she doesn't want to know, respect that.
June 11th, 2017 8:17am
People have different ways to cope and sometime they're unhealthy, the best thing you can do for her is be there to listen.
June 11th, 2017 8:36am
This is, perhaps, a conversation you should have with your girlfriend. There are millions upon millions of reasons why she could be harming herself, and we cannot guess it. Find the right time, sit her down and talk to her about why she's been pressured into harming herself.
June 11th, 2017 5:54pm
To self harm is an emotional response to overwhelming sadness, stress, and anxiety in life. When one inflicts pain upon themselves, it releases endorphins that dull out other pain for a time, both physical and emotional. It is an unhealthy coping mechanism, as we call it.
June 11th, 2017 7:56pm
Possibly as a way to feel something, maybe she feels numb because of something which is negatively impacting on her life. Self-harm can sometimes be a way people try to punish themselves if they feel that they deserve to hurt. But mostly it's a coping mechanism and the best thing you can do is help her find less dangerous coping methods such as drawing on her skin, going for a walk, writing down her feelings and then tearing up the paper as a way of destroying any negative feelings etc. Just try to be supportive and there for her
June 15th, 2017 5:16am
Your may need to ask your girlfriend why, but do so in a very calm and understanding manner. It may be due to mental illness or injury of some sort. Understanding why is always helpful. Never be judgemental when conversation about the subject. Suicidal intent may be possible as well. It is hard to say but it can be caused from stress, anxiety, anger, depression, loneliness, hopelessness, etc..
June 21st, 2017 5:54am
Your girlfriend may be struggling with some issues, try talking to her about it or talking to someone else about it to get her help if you are concerned for her safety.
June 22nd, 2017 6:30pm
Self harm happens for a lot of reasons, Some of the reasons that people self harm are; to distract themselves, alter the focus of their attention, or regain control over their minds when experiencing pressing, unavoidable and overwhelming feelings or thoughts. Release tension associated with strong emotions or overwhelming thoughts. Feel something physical when they are otherwise dissociated and numb. Express themselves or communicate and/or document strong emotions they are feeling and cannot otherwise articulate. Punish themselves. Experience a temporary but intense feeling of euphoria that occurs in the immediate aftermath of self-harm.
June 28th, 2017 11:57pm
Self harm can be complicated but normally stems from needing a release of all those emotions she has. Normally it's not a suicide attempt, the pain can help her release those emotions she doesn't know how to release any other way! It's important to be there for her! Tell her how much she means to you and never make fun of her cutting! If she needs help have her message me! I specialize in self harm!