Lacerations are painful.
A laceration no deeper than a scant few of millimeters is a significant physical pain. That pain sends a message through the central nervous system to the pituitary gland.
The body responds to diminish pain.
Endorphins (endogenous opioid neuropeptides) are released from the pituitary gland. They flood the injured part to inhibit the transmission of pain signals and the brain to create euphoria.
Endo (Endogenous) orphins (morphines)
There are a number of compounds that serve as endorphins. It is possible to become addicted to those pharmacological agents. The endorphins can also be elicited by stress orvigorous exercise.
Self-cutting or injury is not an attempted suicide
Up to a third of all college age persons self-injure and a fourth of all high school-age adolescents do so. This makes it a problem in size but not in severity.
The internal turmoil and emotional pain must be intense.
I can't imagine addiction. I can't imagine stress so intolerable that you must do something so contrary to the laws of evolution. But it happens with extraordinary regularity.
It has a name, depersonalization disorder
depersonalization-derealization syndrome is a mental disorder in which the person has persistent or recurrent feelings of emptiness and disconnection from one's body.
Depersonalization-derealization disorder symptoms
depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, phobias, etc. It can also cause a variety of physical symptoms, including chest pain, blurry vision, visual snow, & nausea
Some but not all causes.
Caused largely by severe traumatic lifetime events, including childhood abuse, accidents, natural disasters, war, torture, and bad drug experiences. It is unclear whether genetics play a role.
There are treatments both pharmaceuticals and counseling.
Cognitive therapy. Pharmacotherapy research continues to explore a number of possible options, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and opioids.
What are the main dangers of self-cutting or injury?
Cutting's principle problems are in accidentally going too far resulting in death or in secondary injuries such as infections or severing anatomically important tissue.
Hysterical frenzy is not helpful nor is inaction.
As the purpose of cutting is relief from unbearable tension, the escalation of emotion is counter-productive. As the tension is self-escalating it is important to intervene.
You are not alone and help is available.
Your parents are the first line of defense, your family, your Dr., your religious leader, your teacher or school counselor, your government health agency, your friends, or their parents.
Although serious, cutting is not usually fatal.
You are not psychotic, suicidal, or evil. Stop panicking about it. It is not unusual to cut. Make sure you don't get infections and make sure you get help. This is not carte blanche to harm