Ian Keefe 253888

They must enjoy it

It feels nice

Everyone - whether you self-harm or not - has a different pain threshold. Some people can endure the most extraordinary levels of pain, while others may have a hypersensitivity to even the slightest injury or ache. When someone has the urge to harm, they may feel as though they are numb and not able to feel pain; this is because of the emotional intensity they are experiencing in that moment.

Once the act of self-harm has taken place, the person realises they are not numb, and the physical pain can suddenly feel almost unbearable. Let’s get one thing straight right here: self-harm doesn’t feel nice, it just sometimes feels better than the emotional pain it’s trying to hide. In reality, it doesn’t even do that; not really. Self-harm isn’t nice, the person you care about isn’t hurting themselves because it feels good, whatever they may say.

If someone requires medical attention for an injury, consideration needs to be given as to whether or not there is a need for pain relief. There have been cases of people having stitches without being offered a local anaesthetic, after professionals assumed the process of having stitches would be 'enjoyable' for a self-harmer. This shows a complete lack of compassion, and a total misunderstanding of self-harm.

Everyone hurts, young people who self-harm included. It's not an enjoyable way to cope, but for some it may feel like the best option they have at times.


Alumina is a free, online 7 week course for young people struggling with self-harm. Each course has up to 8 young people, all accessing the sessions from their own phones, tablets or laptops across the UK. The courses take place on different evenings of the week and are run by friendly, trained counsellors and volunteer youth workers. You don’t need an adult to refer you or sign you up, and no-one will see or hear you during the sessions – you’ll just join in via the chatbox. We want to help you to find your next steps towards recovery, wherever you are on your journey.

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