Why does self-harming feels comforting when it is obviously damaging myself?
Last Updated: 03/06/2018 at 2:09am
Maryna Svitasheva, PhD. RP
Licensed Professional Counselor
Psychotherapy I provide is based on a dialog and your active intention to look for a solution with the therapist's assistance
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When a person self harms, their bodies release endorphins which causes a feel good sensation even though pain is being inflicted. Physiologically it makes sense.
Self-harming feels comforting because you give yourself control over an area of your life when you feel like you are out of control elsewhere. It is a misguided recognition that you are responsible for your actions and you can immediately see a consequence. However, self-harming is reflective of a deeper problem and is not a viable solution.
Self harm releases endorphins into your brain, which are 'happy hormones'. It's almost like being addicted, people often crave self harming. When someone does hurt themselves, it's almost a relief - like craving a cigarette and then finally having one ❤
Well for me, it is something I can control. I felt like I deserved the pain and it was like a punishment of sorts, on my own terms. I hated myself and how I felt and self-harming made me feel better for a while. I started craving that feeling.
Because it's the first and easiest way out you see to escape your problems. But the easiest way is not always the best. It can take time and a lot of effort, but at the end you'll find the right way out. Self harming is bad, and it's good you know it, because you know that you should stop. Talking about your problems or writing them down is a way of letting things off your chest. Personally i revomend writing because you can say anything you want, and there's no wrong way to say things, because it's how you feel.
It gives you a sense of control, as well as getting your adrenaline going. In the moment it feels right, but the regret usually comes afterwards when it is too late
There are a lot of reasons why someone might self harm. For some, the ritual of it is calming, and the sensation of pain provides a distraction. It can also be a means of emotional expression for those who have bottled up emotions. Also, there's a physical bit to it, too, because the pain actually releases endorphins. Luckily, there are other ways to create these effects in less damaging ways. Self-Care (long baths, cooking nice meals), exercise, and writing or art can help people cope in healthier ways.
Self-harming feels comforting because you're relieving emotional and mental pain through the wound you've given yourself. Or when you've gone numb, this can re-emote you into reality.
Harming or cutting yourself often feels comforting because of the immediate release of emotions that follows self destructive behavior.
by self harming, you release a flood of endorphins or "feel good" hormones. these are meant to reduce the pain you feel from a cut but can become addictive
Self harm helps dissociate from the emotional pain.. and the emotional pain for a short time period. Also, physiologically, brain releases pain relieving hormones in response to a physical injury.
For me personally, in the moment I was not thinking about the effects that harming myself will might on me physically. Inside I was in intense pain and feeling very out of control. Harming myself was simply the best way i knew of regulating these emotions. When people feel the need to self harm it usually means they feel emotionally disregulated and the act of harming helps to bring the body's emotional arousal down to a more tolerable level. One of the keys to understanding how to gain control over self-harming behaviours is to increase the number of different coping strategies you have available to you.
Self-harming feels comforting because it provides a reprieve or "blanket" from the outside world. It also may be a distraction so you don't feel, but these are observations, because the exact reason it's comforting varies.
It is an addiction. It feels so good as a release and a few minutes of a break from everything. You barely feel it in the moment but then you may realise that it isn't satisfying when you are terrified that people will find out
Usually it is because it serves a purpose. It is destructive, but you need to find a new coping mechanism to replace it. It probably won't go away completely unfortunately.
I think it has a lot to do with control. It was a way to turn my pain into a physical and tangible thing. It enabled me to turn my mental pain into physical pain and feel a temporary release, but it's just that. Temporary. I used to look back and feel ashamed of myself afterwards. Exercise, for me, has been the best alternative.
The pain from the cutting, burning etc. converts the emotional pain into physical pain which is much easier to haandle.
It partly feels comforting because its often a release of emotions, its almost like wearing to tight jeans, its uncomfortable, but you take them off and its a release, a comforting one. But please remember that you are harming yourself, there are people to talk to, who even through just talking to can help release those emotions. The person you talk to could be anyone, a parent, a friend or a teacher/collegue your doctor, or even someone on here, Their part is to listen, and it might help you tell them this at the beginning. Try to find another way of releasing those emotions. I hope this has helped.
It feels comforting because our body is releasing chemicals to counteract the pain from self harm. However these cemicals wear off quickly and leave us wanting more which is what give us the continuous need for self harm. Its essentially a drug. Because your body acts the same way.
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