Addiction to Self Harm

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by Fredericks, Nov 8, 2011.

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  1. Fredericks

    Fredericks Well-Known Member

    I keep hearing that self harm is addictive--I hear that more than I hear "self harm CAN BE addictive," which is a separate, though related, claim. I do not doubt that many people do get addicted to it (i.e. wind up self-harming for the sake of self-harming rather than self-harming for some other reason like punishment, control, or self-calming). However, I do doubt the assertion that self harming IS in itself addictive.

    My story: I've been physically self-harming since seventeen: cutting, burning, branding, scalding, scratching, hitting, punching, whipping, starving. I am twenty-four now and have never seriously injured myself, and I do not think I've ever self-harmed for the sake of self-harm. I've done it for the above reasons--punishment, control, and calming--and also sometimes because it's fun or transgressive or pretty. Though there are periods of frequent self-harming and periods of escalation, it hasn't been linear or sustained.

    I'm wondering if others have had experiences similar to mine or if I'm some sort of outlier in this regard.

    Also, here's Hamtaro: :hamtaro:
  2. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    I found my reactions were more OCD like than addictive, although the urges to SH were frequent and seemingly without much internal processing...need to feel alive- cut; not sure if the distinction is clear, however, I am sure the impulse to SH becomes highly connected to the release it brings
  3. Madam Mim

    Madam Mim Well-Known Member

    I always thought that self harm was addictive, in the same way that people can get addicted to painkillers - it makes you feel better so you do it more, and then before you know it you only feel ok (even human/alive) if you've self harmed that day.

    However, I managed to stop for a long time, nearly a year I think, then started again but only have four patches of cuts and haven't harmed for about ten days now. I really thought that once I started again that would be it, but it appears that I'm not addicted and don't HAVE to do it.

    Reading that back, I'm not 100% sure it makes sense and it's just rambling, but hopefully you'll get my gist!

  4. pancake111

    pancake111 Well-Known Member

    I think the addiction comes from the release you get. Someone just doesn't randomly start SH, they start because they're trying to get through something. Then this starts to be the only way they get through something. I think it's just a vicious cycle a problems and no easy solution out of them.
  5. kizzybaby

    kizzybaby Well-Known Member

    i would consider self harm to be one hundred percvent addictive. Every aspect of it can be addicted. Getting your 'tools' and your 'space' set up, the release, the endorphin rush, the caring for it after. Every bit of self harm becomes addictive, just like any other behaviour we repeat because we get a kick, or a relief from it. xxx
  6. Mirikun

    Mirikun Well-Known Member

    I find it quite addictive also. I'm not sure why I do it, but if I don't I just feel kind of incomplete and miserable later. It somehow makes me feel accomplished and feel sad when I go to bed in the evening not having hurt myself in anyway. Weird, haha.

    Also, Hamtaro. <3 :hamtaro: <3

    Have Pikachu in return: :sleepy:
  7. kizzybaby

    kizzybaby Well-Known Member

    I can relate to that. Kind of like unfinished buisness? I actually used to feel gutted when I went to bed and was too tired to go through the whole massivly miserable and dramatic process of self harm. It takes so much energy, and yet If i was tired enough to sleep without doing it, I felt like i was missing out or something. x
  8. sweet_tears

    sweet_tears New Member

    I find the idea of self-harm addictive rather than the behavior itself. I started out self harming in the form of cutting when I was 14 years old becuase I wanted attention - and believe me I got it. Then I got more interested in it and started doing it more often whenever I was angry or stressed or remembered a time in my life that I didn't want to(and trust me in these instances I was no longer looking for attention). Now, I don't feel the need to do it as much as I used to; however, I WANT to and can confess to self -injuring for the sake of self-injuring- i don't know if that makes any sense to people. I'm in love with the idea of self-injury and sometimes feel guilty about it but I like that feeling - it's 100% addictive.
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