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Why is self-harm so addictive?

147 Answers
Last Updated: 07/26/2019 at 5:31am
★ This question about Self-Harm was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
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I believe that any issue that prevents one from living life to the fullest or prevents self love is defeating. I am committed to providing support to anyone who seeks help.

Top Rated Answers
December 26th, 2015 7:04pm
Well, people who self harm thinks it can make them feel better rather than facing their problems, that's what people think when they self harm, knowing nobody will care and nothing will change but they just self harm to make their pain run away which wont, I never self harmed but I just know how it feels and hurts and you want to self harm.
December 27th, 2015 5:40am
Self harm is the act of damaging intentionally yourself. It becomes addictive because by feeling bad, you choose to do it, and when you start doing it, it releases some substances that makes us feel good, here is when our brain starts to relate this act with something good, and soon it becomes unstoppable.
December 27th, 2015 4:12pm
for a lot of people it acts as a physical relief from feelings they dont know how to deal with. The feeling of release and letting go is calming and therefore additive. people also find it satisfying to see blood (or whatever effect is caused by whatever they are doing)
December 27th, 2015 5:38pm
Self harm is like a drug. Your mind becomes used to coping through self harm. When you become accustomed to living your life a certain way, any way, that is when it's hard to stop doing bad or even good behaviors.
December 27th, 2015 7:39pm
Self-harm becomes an addiction the way anything can become an addiction. It allows us to feel as if we are in control in one way or another. Just like drinking and doing drugs can allow someone to feel somewhat control of their lives since they are the ones putting the substances in their body, self-harming allows you to be 100% in control of the physical pain that you are feeling. Self-harming, like any form of addiction, can be hard to beat on our own and may need someone to lend a helping hand every once in a while.
December 28th, 2015 9:41am
its a release, it takes pain awaying on the inside by making pain on the outside, once youve found that release its hard to go back
December 30th, 2015 1:31am
It's at least in part due to the fact that, every time you hurt yourself (intentionally or otherwise) your body releases endorphins in order to help deal with the pain. The rush of endorphins can become addictive easily, which is why most behaviors become addictions. On the other hand, it also relieves emotional pain to an extent, and it can become a go-to coping mechanism. Therefore every time something adverse happens, that's what your mind thinks of in order to deal with it. If you're suffering from a self harm addiction, I highly recommend seeking professional help if at all possible.
December 30th, 2015 3:19am
Because they hurt themselves on the outside as a way of coping of what on the inside, to make them feel something
December 30th, 2015 4:13am
I for one have never Self harmed but everyone around me has. I ask them why and they say well it helps the stress. Its addictive i cant stop. then there is me not understanding and now I understand that its addictive because people use it as leverage for attention but that's not everyone some people do this because it makes them feel better about themselves but then people see the cuts and call them attention whores even though they are just looking for away to distract themselves from the world they live in. Even though i believe self harm shouldn't be done i understand why it is and if anyone would need to talk about how to stop i would love to talk to them and help them through this because i know so many people who were able to stop and now they understand that cutting wasn't the only way to distract themselves
December 30th, 2015 4:17pm
I think it's addictive to those who don't like harming others. So they think it's okay if/when they harm themselves because they are simply not harming anyone else. But if they have people in their life who care about them, in reality they still are harming others by harming themselves. I think it's addictive because of the cycles that one goes through. You have the initial rush, and you feel real pain aside from the pain that you feel in the inside.
December 30th, 2015 9:45pm
Self harm releases adrenaline throughout your body which also releases endorphins which make you happy. That's why it is addictive because your body craves that rush.
December 30th, 2015 11:09pm
Self harm is so addictive because people aren't happy with themselves or they hate life it's sometimes use to make people feel bad
December 30th, 2015 11:59pm
I think this is because once you get that feeling, that consumes you telling you it will make things better, when it doesn't work, you want to keep trying until it does.
December 31st, 2015 12:54am
The rush that you feel like you get, its not actually there, but in all reality, it is in you mind. The "adrenaline" that you feel is your brain deceiving you, telling you that this is the right thing to do.
December 31st, 2015 4:01am
When you are hurting emotionally, it takes up a lot of mental space and can be overwhelming. But, once your body feels pain, it is a natural response for your brain to switch off all of the 'background noise' and focus on surviving. So it mutes the chatter and in that instant you feel a physical release. That 'release' makes you feel more relaxed. And it is that feeling that we remember ... once our emotional pain resurfaces, our bodies quickly remember "self harm 'worked' last time" and we feel a strong urge to do it again. Unfortunately, the true issue isn't being addressed by using self harm ... so it may take a while for us to even realize that it has become a cycle of coping for us that is getting us no where. It has helped me to read articles on finding other coping mechanisms that could 'stand-in' for the less healthy ones , i.e. self-harming ones.
December 31st, 2015 6:17am
It creates a short-term sense of relief. In the moment, you know it is the only sense of a release from the overwhelming thoughts that you experience. In some cases, you may have a feeling of regret, which results in self-hate and ultimately, self-harm - this is a sort of vicious cycle.
December 31st, 2015 12:39pm
Because usually it's the only way to feel something. Depression can numb people and self harm makes them feel something.
December 31st, 2015 8:38pm
The short feeling of relief that blocks out all of the emotional pain is part of it. You feel good for a quick amount of time.
December 31st, 2015 9:15pm
Because it makes you feel pain. It makes you feel alive during a time where all you really feel is numbness or emptiness.
January 1st, 2016 5:04am
Because it releases a chemical in the brain called endorphin. Endorphin relieves emotional pain and its extremely addictive.
January 2nd, 2016 5:03am
Self harm takes you away from the mental pain and torture that you feel powerless about and turns it into something physical that you can see and control as well as distracting you from the horrible pain in your head.
January 2nd, 2016 10:29pm
I cannot answer for everyone that has self-harmed so, I am answering for myself. For me, I would get these feelings of deep depression, anger and frustration. I would not know what to do. I'm thinking really hard about this and I think it was the fact that I felt so much emotional pain, rather than overcoming it, I wanted to feel physical pain instead. It might sound crazy but the physical pain took away from my emotional pain and thoughts and it made me feel better. I felt like cutting myself was like making wounds on my body to let the stress under my skin escape. The same way popping a hole in a balloon lets the air out, I felt the same way with my body and my pain. Feeling like this, I continued doing it because in these situations I cannot control myself, so, it became addictive. I hate myself for it because now I have scars that I don't want forever but currently are reminding me not to self-harm. After hurting myself with consequences I learned to try really hard not to hurt myself. Although, it doesn't have to be like that for you, if you are thinking or doing self-harm please, try not to. Causing pain to yourself is definitely not a good thing, it's generally taught not to hurt other people so please try to fight the thoughts. Maybe find something that is cathartic for you whether it's building, painting, singing, writing etc. and maybe try that. Okay, bye.
January 3rd, 2016 3:50pm
Self harm is so addictive because the brain chemical called dopamine is released so there for you have that chemical being released and thats what causes happiness. Unfortunately you feel happiness when ever you commit self harm
January 3rd, 2016 9:04pm
Self-harm is addictive because the person uses that pain to cover up their emotional pain which causes it to be an addiction.
January 3rd, 2016 10:10pm
Self harm can be addictive because it becomes a coping mechanism. When negative feelings arise, the only wat we know how to ease it is harm. The harm induces guilt and the we continue to use harm as a way to cope.
January 3rd, 2016 10:12pm
Self harm is addictive because it is a release of endorphins. These make you feel better and then you constantly need the feeling.
January 3rd, 2016 10:45pm
Self harm is so addictive because it can feel like a way out. It gives the harmer an aspect of control over a certain area of their life
January 6th, 2016 3:29pm
because it can help you in the moment, and the pain, the blood it's soothing for people, when they have nothing else to do
January 6th, 2016 10:21pm
I'm not sure, it just becomes a way of dealing with your emotions when you have done it for so long - just like drinking ect.
January 7th, 2016 12:38am
I believe that everyone is addicted to something that takes the pain away. We're all addicted to our own self destruction