Why do people cut themselves?

+16 votes
asked Mar 30, 2015 in Health & Wellness by Roianna (1,070 points)
I had always though it was merely a fad gone wrong. Why would anyone ever hurt themselves that way? It never occurs to me that so many of my friends have been doing it, until lately. Cutting my own body on purpose feels wrong, yet so many people seem to do it, and they even enjoy it?! What makes them cut themselves?

2 Answers

+26 votes
answered Apr 2, 2015 by Kaitlynn (700 points)
Self-cutting could actually form an addiction, just like drugs do. And like drugs, it gets people high. Self-harming releases endorphins that our body enjoys and yearns so much for.

Some people start it because their friend do so, and since everyone else is doing it, one might as well give it a try instead of getting kicked out of the group. Some started initially to punish themselves, they are angry at their own life and failure, and cutting gives them that distraction away from the emotional pain, directing it to physical pain.

The brain eventually develops a tolerance to it and requires you to cut yourself more and more. What started as a coping mechanism slowly turns into a life ruining addiction. Similarly like drugs, trying to quit gives withdrawal symptoms and makes quitting so much harder. It’s a compulsive behavior that is difficult to stop once hooked.

My suggestion is don’t ever start to think about trying, and if you found your friends addicted to cutting, they need your help.
+9 votes
answered Apr 9, 2015 by Jean (710 points)
People cutting themselves is not a recent fad. It always exists and only made controversial with all the fear mongering from the media. The media loves it. An “emo” teenager reportedly cut himself to get attention and everyone panics. It’s immediately seen a scary youth trend. It doesn’t help with the problem at all when it’s not just the teenagers that do it. It’s an addiction, adults do it, but they hide it. It’s rarely done to get attention, it’s done in secret as an emotional outlet.

What all the media do is make the matter worse by stigmatizing these people, making people who cut themselves shameful and fearful to look for help. These people don’t want to die, they just want to get by another day, though the way they do so is destroying themselves. If you ever come across a friend that does so, don’t ignore them, they need all the help and time from you.
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