There's a lot of good information about why most people do it at this site:
Let's set it straight, though -- there are about one million self-harmers in the U.S. right now of all ages, genders, musical tastes, fashion styles, etc., and only a small percentage of them are the annoying young posers who do it to fit into some BS "emo" stereotype that means nothing. Please don't base your opinion of self-harm in general off your immature little friend(s). Not all self-harmers do it for attention. Most are actually quite ashamed of what they do and hide it.
There are many reasons people self-harm, one of the most common being that it provides an immediate, intense distraction from emotional turmoil. It's essentially like trading in complex emotional pain for easier-to-manage physical pain instead. (I'd rather wash and bandage a cut than try and decode a mess of confusing feelings.) The need to self-harm becomes an urge that occurs when a person who suffers from a condition known as "overwhelming emotions" (look it up) experiences the culmination of their emotional pain. When a self-harmer's not in that overwhelmed state, pain hurts just like it would to any other person and we try to avoid it like they would as well. But once we get into that sudden rush of adrenaline and inundating inner pain, we need to ground ourselves with a distraction like that. Suddenly the pain is a welcomed distraction, one we'd gladly exchange all the other stuff for. It's like this beautiful stinging sensation that's saving me from whatever negative thoughts I previously couldn't get out of my head, even if it's only for a few minutes. Not to mention, eventually your body grows accustomed to the rush of endorphins released by your brain when pain is inflicted on the body, and it becomes a chemical addiction no different than a drug addiction.
I self-harm, but I am currently trying to quit.
· 8 years ago