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Why is it so difficult to stop self-harming?

17 Answers
Last Updated: 05/09/2018 at 7:22pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Collin McShirley, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

I love helping people overcome challenges with food, depression, and anxiety. My work with clients is nonjudgement, supportive, and kind.

Top Rated Answers
January 30th, 2017 2:11am
Self-harming, becomes an addiction. One of the quotes I use to describe it is, "we become addicted to the thing that takes away the pain." People use it as a way to escape reality, and as a result a 'happy' chemical is released and our body likes that chemical, just not the way it's produced. Take care! With love, Breathe Breathe
August 17th, 2015 11:51pm
It is a an addiction after a while. It's something you always resort to because you have in the past sadly.
May 20th, 2015 10:13am
Self harm is an addiction, and just like any addiction it's a very difficult habit to break. And that's okay! You wouldn't expect a smoker to be able to quit smoking with the snap of their fingers, and you can't expect that from a self harmer either.
September 1st, 2015 1:47pm
It is dificult because it's really something like an addiction. It's actually an addiction. You start thinking that you'll do it to see how it feels, if it makes you feel better and free. Then, you end up wanting it all the time, and you end up cutting deeper and deeper as time passes, because you just can't get enough. That's it.
May 9th, 2018 7:22pm
You can get into a cycle with it. As others have said, it is an addiction. It releases endorphins, which can make you feel good. Breaking the habit is very hard - when you're feeling very low sometimes it is all you can think about, but then when you're on an 'up' you may regret it, feel ashamed and embarrassed. You have to try out new methods of coping and it can take a while to find the right one for you, be it simply talking and being open and honest, meditation, exercise or being creative in some way. Also, if you can recognize, while in low mood, that you are going to regret it (as you usually do) when you're feeling better again, it can help you adjust to better methods of coping.
July 7th, 2015 3:15pm
its like a drug to some people
April 18th, 2017 3:24pm
Scientifically speaking, self-harm releases endorphins which cause you to feel happier. Speaking from personal experience, people seem to help quicker if they see marks. It also seems that it is a lot easier to show that you need help if you actually show it.
August 8th, 2016 11:09pm
When you start self harming its like one pain is taking away the other, but it is only making it worse. When I started self harming it was like a saving grace until you realize the amount of cuts you have put on your body. You get addicted to the feeling of pain being taken away.
December 19th, 2017 2:31pm
It is hard to stop anything that has became our "normal" activity. When we feel accustomed to certain things, it becomes a habit and our brain considers it a routine. When a person self-injures the brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers, and have a somewhat calming, soothing effect, which explains the pleasure from self-harm. We humans naturally want to feel good so it becomes sorta like an addiction over time :')
May 1st, 2015 10:37pm
Because it can get addicted to do that everyday and your use to it. It is safer if you use one of the other methods instead of cutting.
June 22nd, 2015 4:55am
Self-harming is to distract our mental pain, by inflicting ourselves with cuts. Basically, we prefer physical pain to mental pain. Physical pain is mostly temporary, while mental pain lives a scar on our live and it will affect our future decisions. The more we self-harm, the more difficult it is to stop because it feels "good" in a way that we are distracting ourselves from the pain we feel in out aching hearts. Emotions and feelings is what makes us human, and we shouldn't try to stop the flow of pain by slicing our wrists. There are certainly better solutions to that.
November 9th, 2015 6:27am
Self-harm is so hard to start because, like alcohol and drugs, it is addicting. When you self-harm the body releases chemicals that make you feel good. Once you feel good, you want to keep feeling good. You get hooked on doing what you can in order to get the same good feeling you have before.
January 11th, 2016 4:24am
Because it can become an addiction, when you do it regularly. It can be sometimes the only thing that will distraction you from your emotions.
August 9th, 2016 11:40am
I think it's just, the feeling of just feeling "free" that does it everytime. In my opinion, when people self-harm, they don't tend to think about the consequences until later on.
August 16th, 2016 11:47am
Because, once you have done it enough, it becomes an addiction, a part of you and it will feel like it is all you've ever known, so it is a difficult habit to break
October 3rd, 2016 2:39pm
We except the pain we think we deserve. It's the only thing that makes us realize that we aren't completely numb. We choose not to feel positive things, but we choose the negative over them.
May 6th, 2018 8:20am
Self harm is an addiction, just like drugs or alcohol. We can get so addicited to not only the endorphin rush but that feeling of relief after we engage in self harm