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Why is cutting so cathartic?

9 Answers
Last Updated: 11/08/2016 at 4:56am
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
February 22nd, 2015 8:28pm
Biologically speaking, it's because your body releases a flood of endorphins to combat the injury. It's your body's natural painkillers meant to stop your mind from panicking at the injury and more easily go into fight or flight mode. But the feeling is only temporary, those chemicals will stop when your brain perceives the threat to be over and that heightened cathartic state will return to normal. Cutting is a temporary emotional distraction but the physical scars it leaves are very much real and very permanent
April 25th, 2015 10:52pm
Psychologically, it releases endorphins to your brain. Emotionally, it allows you to focus on a physical pain, which minimizes the mental pain.
April 21st, 2015 2:13pm
It is a real, vivid, tangible representation of a pain that is hidden. The pain in cutting itself can validate one's own inner pain although sometimes people use it to 'punish' themselves for a variety of reasons-typically, and ironically for their own feelings. The cuts themselves are, again typically hidden, and if pleasurable viewed by the person cutting as a badge of.....honor. "My pain is real. I have suffered." The act itself can release pent up negative energy and can satisfy an urge. People cut for different reasons. However, they all want their pain to be valid.
February 22nd, 2015 8:11pm
because most cutting it's in a panic in a moment that the person feel in control and having control of the blade gives the individual something to let the person feel in charge of.
May 30th, 2015 11:38pm
In my personal experience cutting at some point was metaphoric to cut out the emotional pain I was feeling, it was also to help me feel something due to certain medication causing my body to feel numb. It never alleviated the actual problem but was momentary relief.
August 30th, 2015 6:07am
cutting is so cathartic because not everyone knows what its like to be in so much pain that you need to hut your self.
May 23rd, 2016 4:27pm
It allows the affected person to feel a noticeable sensation they otherwise feel like they lack or require/need.
November 8th, 2016 4:56am
Because the act of cutting helps express emotions you are otherwise unable to express. The pain helps you feel something other than the emotional distress you are experiencing, but in the long run, this will only have a negative effect. This cathartic feeling can be replaced with things that do not harm your well-being. For example; talking to someone.
September 28th, 2015 11:27am
Cutting works as a negative coping method. That means that it is something that can genuinely help you cope with something difficult in the short term, but that it has negative effects on your life on the whole.