Why do people self harm?

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Ok so... i was watching a youtube video about a girl saying she self harmed... and i honestly don't get why people do it. i just can't understand the need to feel physical pain. it's bizarre, completely bizarre and silly to me. all i can think of is they actually LIKE the pain which then again is weird...

and yes... i know.. some people do it because it helps them cope... but how... how does pain, on top of pain help... or release anything it's just silly if you really think about it.

i just honestly want to understand O_O


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Most Helpful Guy

  • because they have shitty coping skills

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Most Helpful Girl

  • There are several reasons why. First of all, yes, it's a coping mechanism.

    1. You're mentally and emotionally in pain, but it's too chaotic to fix, way too difficult to control. So you harm yourself physically, but you're able to clean up the blood, cure the cuts, and bandage yourself up. You're able to fix yourself. It's therapeutic, if you really think about it. Yes, in a really gruesome and sad way, but it's mentally therapeutic.

    2. Sometimes it's to make your brain shut the fuck up. Say someone has depression and anxiety. Hurting themselves physically could be a sharp slap to the face to bring them out of the suffocating mental state they're drowning in.

    Everyone has they're own reasons for their poisons, right?

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What Guys Said 6

  • I don't cut but ocassionally I punch myself a couple of times in the arm or leg if I am started by something or just feeling anxious or sad in general.

    For me it takes the focus away from the discomfort in my chest and moves it somewhere else. So while it makes my arm/leg hurt a bit, it's releaving to have the focus moved away from the tension/discomfort in my chest.

    Also for some cutting might offer a small adreninline rush.

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  • Because for some it helps relieve the pain and stress they are dealing with but Its addicting so they can windup doing it out of hadit when they are only slightly down, I know this because my best friend used to cut and I've even caught him doing it as well, Plus I've come close to doing it as well on a couple of occasions out of stress and sort of out of misdirected aggression so i don't get into fights with people.

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  • For attention mainly. I had an ex who self harmed, made 2 suicide attempts, i attempted myself.
    People who self harm get a kick out of it. The pain it causes is like a drug for some of them, some will say "it makes me feel alive" or "i feel at ease when i do it"... bullshit. They do that because they want people around them to notice, once again I know what i'm talking about : if their goal was truly to suicide they would have succeeded, they wouldn't be cutting themselves again and again

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    • 3mo

      wanting to kill yourself and hurting yourself is really different

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    • 3mo

      There, I agree with you.

  • i never understood it either. there's no benefit, only regret later in life. very immature thing to do.

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  • It is a fad and kids who do it are weak-minded and succumb to peer pressure easily.

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  • I personally do it because it feels good. I did it because of depression, but now I just like the sting and burn.

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What Girls Said 11

  • I think it's hard, almost impossible to understand unless you've been there. It might start as a punishment for some people and then it becomes a crutch. After awhile they can run to it because there is not only control but it gives you a moment of letting the rest of your troubles fall away and only focusing on the pain you are inflicting on yourself. Some people do it for attention because they are lacking it, whether at home or from peers. Some people do it because they feel extreme pain in their life, some just feel so numb they feel they need to do that to know they are still capable of feeling. It is so sad and it's not soemthing to be taken lightly. I know it's hard to understand but the consequences can be so severe, we really need to reach out to those who are harming themselves rather than judging them and wondering what is wrong with them.

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  • I read in a psychology book that they use physical pain to replace emotional pain. And it can be addictive.

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  • It brings your focus to something else. For some, it's a coping mechanism. It can become a habit, and some people are masochistic, which is quite dangerous when you combine those two things.
    Then there are those who do it for attention, but that is probably because they are lacking it? I'm not so sure.

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  • Reminds me that I'm human...

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  • because they can control physical pain not the mental.

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  • Everyone has a different opinion. I used to when I was way younger and the reason for it was that it was painful. So painful that it would make me forget the pain I was feeling from whatever the situation was. I didn't know how to cope with my emotions. I found healthier ways to deal with things like hitting the gym, going for a hike or talking to a friend when it gets too much, but back then I didn't know I had those resources so I resorted to something unhealthy. So it can also be that some people just feel like they have nothing else.

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  • it makes you feel alive

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  • For me it's a release.

    I started when I was young. About 13/14.
    My mother was abusive to me from the beginning. Around that age she started cheating on my dad and only I knew. She was with a paedophile and kept offering me to him.
    I struggled with my weight - again she had bullied me since I was 5. I started to get eating disorders. Every time I wanted to eat I would slap my fresh cuts to remind me I was fat and hunger was nothing.
    Cutting was the only thing I could control, that was mine. Everything, and I mean it, was controlled. What I wore, who I saw, what I ate, when I ate, when I bathed, my bedtime, everything. Cutting was MY thing. It was painful and horrible but it allowed me to release everything. Watching the blood flow was like watching my feelings be released. I cut my hands and my legs. Hell I even overdosed.

    Recently I have done it to try and help deal with my rape. Release the feelings. It's like you get so full of hurt and rage and anger and upset you don't know what to do. I used to punch myself, hit myself, cut myself. It's an internal rage.

    I'm glad you don't understand. It's not a nice place to be in.

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  • Its always hard to explain to someone who isn't or has never dealt with depression or had suicidal thoughts. I used to do it because I was frustrated, angry and depressed and instead of doing drugs, binge drink, or take my frustrations out on others I did it to myself because I felt better and also felt like I deserved to feel actual pain. Its a certain mind set. I dont have it now, Im still not a fan of life to put nicely but I dont want to walk around with scars or cuts. It wpuld also hurt to know if I cut too deep and die I wouldn't want anyone to find me, that would not be fair at all. You and others may find it weird because like I said not everyone gets to that state of mind from lifes stresses and misfortunes. It isn't healthy thats for sure but you any judge someone because you haven't spent a day in that persons shoes.

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  • It's a stress reliever, and gives you something to focus on other than feeling terrible about everything. The primal instinct to recognize physical pain can override feelings for a while. Of course, it's different for everyone.

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  • For me it was this, the emotional pain was so bad that I seriously would feel like I couldn't take another second of it. It was like every nerve in my body was about to explode or something so the physical pain was a "release" or a "focus" even for all of that emotional pain. Instead of my entire body feeling like a live wire, all of that energy was now focused on one specific place where pain had been inflicted. It wasn't that I loved pain, it was that the emotional pain was so bad I needed to feel something else.

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