Self-Injury

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hey, I’ve dealt with therapist and psychologists and psychiatrists about MDD(major depressive disorder) and I’m a pretty happy guy now, where as before i was suicidal and just depressed. The reason i mention this is because i have a problem with cutting myself but i honestly dont feel that theres any other reason i do it other than the fact that i just enjoy doing it. I start off with the first cut hesitant at first because i think its going to hurt and then it doesnt so i just go to town on myself. i think this is becoming a major problem for me, mostly having to hide it from others, i dont know whats wrong with me, i know its not normal to enjoy something like that so i know i have a problem i just dont know what it is any more. it used to be because i wanted to die but now i just enjoy the sensation of watching the blood pour from every slash i make. if you can give me some advice that would be great.

A. You are correct. There is no good reason to engage in self-injury. Though there’s nothing healthy about self-injury, it is unfortunately increasingly common among young adults.

You specifically mentioned that you like the sensation of watching blood pour from your injury. According to research, that is a relatively common desire, especially among adolescents. Seeing the blood, for some individuals, makes them feel “alive.” It may also serve as a self-soothing function.

If you’re not currently in treatment it may help to temporarily resume this activity. It is important to address why you’re cutting and to replace that behavior with something that is psychologically healthy. Generally, someone who is cutting is doing so because they are suffering in some capacity. You say that you are happy but perhaps that is not fully true. Cutting is typically a sign that something is wrong. Something is driving you to self-injure and therapy provides a method of uncovering the reason. Thanks for writing. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 May 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Self-Injury. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/05/29/self-injury-2/