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Why Am I Obsessed with Pain?

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From a teen guy in the U.S.: I started liking blood and its effected my sex life I started to like blood when i used self harm but then started to become more addicted as i grew up and now i like pain for some reason and often exercise my obsession through asking my partner to scratch my back up during sex or purposely getting into fights and letting myself get hit why do i have this obsession?

Why Am I Obsessed with Pain?

Answered by on -

A.

People develop obsessions because they “work” in some way. Apparently, self-harm distracted you from emotional pain. That’s a powerful reinforcer. So is orgasm. Put the two together, and you have inadvertently trained yourself to get off on pain. It’s effective, but it isn’t healthy. You know that. That’s why you wrote to us.

Either you still think you need the distraction or you have developed an unfortunate habit. Either way, if left untreated, the obsession will set you up for inviting more pain and will shadow your sexual relationships for a long time, maybe forever.

The good news is that obsessions can be stopped with therapy. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be especially effective if the desire for pain is a bad habit.

If, however, you are still avoiding something you shouldn’t avoid, then psychodynamic therapy is probably more helpful. If you are avoiding something to do with a traumatic experience, look for a therapist who specializes in trauma treatment.

I am very glad you wrote. The behavior hasn’t been going on for so long that it will not respond to treatment. You made a positive step in self-care by writing to us here at PsychCentral. Now, please, take the next step and get yourself into some therapy. Your school counselor can probably give you the names of counselors who specialize in teen issues. If you think you can’t afford it, think again. Many therapists offer a sliding scale. Group therapy is often cheaper than individual therapy. And there are often community agencies that provide services to teens. Check it out.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Why Am I Obsessed with Pain?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Why Am I Obsessed with Pain?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/02/17/why-am-i-obsessed-with-pain/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Feb 2020 (Originally: 17 Feb 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Feb 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.