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I Want Someone to Hurt Me

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From Australia: I am 17 and recently I have felt urges to do things that make me feel this weird kind of satisfaction. For example, holding objects so that they touch the center of my palm and breathing in deeper than usual (I’ve described this to others as breathing in until it ‘clicks’, almost like yawning but intentionally). These things make me feel good/ satisfied but only for a second or so which makes me want to repeat them or distract myself.

I haven’t got any mental illnesses that I know of but I have been self-harming occasionally for a couple of years. However, lately I’ve been wanting to be beaten up, stabbed, injured in a car crash, become unconscious, break bones or slit my wrists in order to feel that weird feeling of satisfaction. I get excited when I think about being injured like this and I often make up scenarios in my head and I’ve started saving photos of bruised knuckles, blood and black eyes, etc. on my computer. However, after thinking about these things for a while, I start feeling really sad and empty and disappointed because I realize how unlikely it is for these things to happen to me.

Why do I feel like this? Is this common? Is it bad for me to feel this way?

I Want Someone to Hurt Me

Answered by on -


I am very glad you took the time to ask your question. You probably already realize that it is not common and this is likely the reason behind why you have written us. The discomfort you feel that prompted you to write this email is important to pay attention to.

Self-harming, wanting to be punished, and feeling satisfaction from these desires can be brought on by a variety of reasons. However, the fact that this has been going on for a while means that an evaluation by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is warranted. You’ve taken the first step writing us here. Because of your age I suggest you talk to your parents and ask them to arrange an appointment with one of these professionals. I would do this sooner rather than later.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Want Someone to Hurt Me

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). I Want Someone to Hurt Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 22 Jun 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.