What young people have said:
- Distraction - the physical pain takes the focus away from the emotional pain.
- Self-punishing - some experience self-hatred or blame and use self-harm to punish themselves.
- Cleansing - may be a way of symbolically ridding themselves of contamination, often as a result of abuse.
- Control - may be a way of regaining control, by being in charge of their injuries.
- Communication - as a means of letting people know something without using words.
- Comfort - a release of tension, or a means of seeking care and nurture from others,
- Making themselves unattractive - to keep someone away, fear of sexual abuse.
- Feeling real or alive - pain can be a way of breaking through feelings of numbness and of actually experiencing something.