About self-injury Why does it happen? Why does it happen? Self-injury can be a way of handling difficult emotions such as sadness, self-hate, anger, detachment or anxiety. It can also occur at times when emotions become overwhelming or memories become very disturbing. The act of self-injuring can act as a release for these feelings leading to a feeling of calm and control, but also may be accompanied by further feelings of self-hate or guilt. The behaviour can have an addictive quality and those who self-injure may be doing so on a regular basis. The whole process is complex, will vary from individual to individual and can be very hard to explain to others. If you are self-harming and would like to think more about why you self-injure try visiting the 'Why do I self-harm?' page. If you you are worried about someone you know who is self-harming try visiting the 'Supporting someone who self-injures' page.