in {ask gem} I answer question from people just like you. Want your question answered? Shoot me a note and I’ll do my best to come up with something helpful. 

Why do people cut themselves?

If you check with other professionals, they might tell you something like this: it’s a desire for attention, a way to manipulate, a demonstration of self-hatred, and/or an expression of anger.

I see it differently.

People who cut are sensitive creatures who feel emotional pain very deeply. When these sensitive beings struggle in relationships, they experience an unbearable blend of sadness, guilt, shame, and grief that causes profound emotional pain.

Often we see that self-harm comes right after one of these relational hurts.

On a physiological level, when the physical body is hurt, the pain causes the brain to release a flow of opiates to dull the aching. Because the more sensitive among us experience deep emotional pain, they try to numb themselves by tricking the nervous system into releasing opiates to make the pain more bearable.

However, there are other ways to release these opiates.

Warm, genuinely loving human contact can magically release the goods as well to dull the pain.