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Why is self harming so addictive?

29 Answers
Last Updated: 06/16/2020 at 4:46pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Kajsa Futrell, RTC


I specialise in respectfully helping people navigate their way through trauma and relationship issues. The adversities in our life can actually transform us.

Top Rated Answers
August 10th, 2015 2:32pm
Self-harming can be addictive for various reasons. This depends on the motivation for harming in the first place. I know for my personal experience people often say that self harm makes the 'feel better'. This can be due to the pain causing a rush of endorphins being released into the body in response to the pain. Endorphins are a hormone associated with elevated mood and feelings of relaxation. One reason self harm can become addictive is that we crave that endorphin rush again and again.
May 5th, 2015 2:21am
Makes you think the pain goes away bc a chemical in your brain is released when you hurt physically.
May 8th, 2015 10:21pm
Physical pain can relieve psychological pain, so when you know there is a way to suffer a little less, you tend to do whatever it takes to feel better, at the risk of becoming addicted to self harm because you'll always need more self harming to relieve new pain, over and over again.
July 20th, 2015 1:03pm
Our attention diverts to the physical pain over the mental, and we find that it's easier to face physical pain. We find out hurting ourselves makes us feel better mentally, so we keep resorting back to that when we are sad because at low points we will do anything to feel alright.
September 14th, 2015 7:20pm
Self harm is addictive because it temporarily stops you from focusing on the pain in your head. Instead you focus on the pain you're actually feeling. Causing some to feel relief so they want to do it more, but it won't do anything than cause more pain.
January 5th, 2016 4:53am
Self harm is so addictive because it's like drugs. When you do drugs, it's usaslly for a reason or an escape. This is the same reason people self harm. For an escape even if it only last for a few minutes. It's addictive because after that escape, you feel down again and the only way you know how to get an escape is to self harm.
January 24th, 2015 9:06pm
There are a lot of factors, I believe. There's definitely the feeling you get from it, that release of endorphins. For some people, it could also be the look of the scars, seeing themselves bleed, etc. It really varies from person to person.
May 31st, 2015 1:25pm
Self harm is so addictive because people try too hard to hide what they have inside and, in the moment they need to "kill that mosters" the only way they find is self harm, because for them it's really difficult to talk to someone about how they feel.
June 7th, 2015 10:21am
Because it can take over your entire being, every thought, every action. You can become entirely consumed with harming yourself. Some people harm to do it as a punishment to themselves, they need to be punished, they need to hurt, others do it because they need the control in their lives.
June 29th, 2015 11:22pm
Personally for me I found self harm addictive because I found it more of a punishment and that I deserved to be hurting.
August 11th, 2015 3:17pm
It can be seen as a control thing, as you know you can only push yourself further... if that makes sense. You play play mind games with yourself over how far you can take it, as you feel it's the only thing you can control. Anorexic's tend to do the same thing, but with the amount of weight they can lose in a week to how many calories they will intake on a daily basis.
September 28th, 2015 8:11pm
It's a coping mechanism and pulls you in to a cycle. Your brain craves any kind of stimulation and the pain from self harm gives that as the brain is so un stimulated it will take any kind of energy as a relief from the nothingness. This is why it's encouraged to watch comedies, eat spicy foods and get exercise when depressed.
October 24th, 2015 8:07pm
It's addictive for me, because it makes me feel good. There are some issues you may get after it, but it makes you feel better and I mean who doesn't want to feel better?
November 9th, 2015 8:49pm
The sencation and the blood. The secantion, that we can feel something other than pain. Blood, in order we don't see only black and white.
January 4th, 2016 3:23am
I guess that it makes the individual express oneself best by claiming that they hate themselves so that's why they harm themselves. It is a method for those who do it to "secretly cry for help" and say, without uttering a word, that they are depressed and need help
January 25th, 2016 7:24pm
Self-harm releases soothing chemicals in the brain like a drug. Eventually, you crave the chemicals more and more and it seems to be a quick fix to feel better in the moment.
January 25th, 2016 11:44pm
Self-Harm is in my opinion the minds way of taking the pain you feel inside and showing it on your body in an attempt to make sense of it. It is so addictive as for the first time in so long you feel something other than numbness and sadness.
February 8th, 2016 12:46am
Because it makes you feel control and on once u start it becomes an addiction, a craving to carry on doing it.
March 22nd, 2016 1:45pm
Its because self harm allows the self harmer to escape from the painful reality of the world by getting ecstasy and numbing feeling. It is addictive as its later develop as a companion when the self harmer is suffering. They feel lonely and self harming is the only way they could feel human again.
June 28th, 2016 2:41am
Why is self harming is so addictive? It's addictive because to the brain you feel less stress and you think you feel better and those scars you left they calm you down.
July 5th, 2016 4:47pm
This is one of those sensitive topics that can easily be answered in many different ways, in my own personal opinion it is so addictive because once you start you feel like youre being controlled over. When you self harm and you release all of the pain that youve been storing in all this time it can be quite difficult to stop. Also because you might be feeling like you deserve this pain, which is not the case at all.
July 18th, 2016 12:32pm
First, it keeps your mind occupied and you don't focus on other things like emotional pain anymore. That can be a feeling that you may need again and again. Furthermore physical pain releases endorphines in your body in order to make you feel less pain which makes you feel better emotionally, too.
February 6th, 2017 12:26am
I think it's because everytime you do it you feel like you need more to reach the same feeling. eventually you'll rely on it too feel good. it's a way to cope and if you don't find others ways to cope with your feelings you might not see another solution.
March 20th, 2017 11:51pm
Those who self-harm often do so because they are surrounded by so much pain and frustration. Their circumstances are out of their control. When they self-harm, they discover a pain that is within their control, something that they can decide the severity and length of. That sense of control and power is what can feel so addicting, and the act of self-harm can also have a numbing or distracting effect that is just as addictive.
August 15th, 2017 3:30pm
People often say that self-harm is addictive because of the relief or sensation of pain that they experience when they self harm. For some people it's about feeling something when they're feeling numb and for others it's about feeling physical pain rather than being overwhelmed by emotional pain. Either way it often doesn't last a very long time and they end up wanting to self-harm again to get the same result
October 16th, 2017 2:57pm
Our bodies release Endorphins when we self-harm. It's a stress reliever for many people, and it makes us feel good & relaxed in the moment. But once that moment is over, the urge to harm again is even stronger, so we do it all over again. It's obviously an unhealthy coping skill, but the chemicals our bodies release when we cut is addicting. It's the same chemical that is released when we eat comfort food, when we're happy, when we connect socially and when we exercise. I recommend using one of these healthy coping skills rather than self-harming. Painting, running, baking, smiling, and spending time with my friends, family or pets are ways I use to healthily cope whenever I feel the urge to harm myself :)
February 20th, 2018 8:40pm
It is so addicting because it makes you feel in control of yourself, it makes you feel something other than all the other overwhelming emotions. It's addicting because when it works once, you need it to work again and again. when it doesn't work you step it up and up until it does work.
July 24th, 2018 12:31pm
Self harm's addictive since the pain you originally felt transferred into a different type of pain.
June 16th, 2020 4:46pm
Self harming behaviors are highly addictive because they release the same endorphins in the brain as some drugs do. Things like dopamine and serotonin are secreted when one self harms. These hormones are someone who is self harming is actually seeking because they alleviate whatever emotional crisis the individual is undergoing. When emotional pain isn't healed it can manifest into something much more difficult to bear than a few cuts or burns. The brain's pain center takes priority over the emotional portion and for a few brief moments the emotional pain is overpowered by the physical one.