I don’t know if anything can be gained out of cutting oneself. Years ago I’d barely break through the skin. But it isn’t something that I touch now and I never plan on starting. However, I do know that the drive is real. For example, I can be empathising with a fictional character and feel a desire to run a knife under my skin. Such behaviour is not in anyway desirable and it is totally illogical. So WHY do I have the reoccurring impulse?
The emotion initiates the association. The emotional pain of a break up, disloyalty or abandonment summons an associated physical pain; cutting. Maybe it is because I can’t see how to easily deal with the emotional pain. The initial pain is intangible, it lacks a clear climax, there is no obvious result. It is difficult to digest. Immediately and unconsciously I consider substituting for a physical pain. Cutting is clear, it is defined, it is understood and it provides an end point, a point of relief. It seems a more attractive way to process the emotion.
But it is illogical and instead of being a solution to a problem it will only create more. It is destructive. It screams exhibitionist. It’s addictive tendencies suggest it would be unsustainable. It is not socially acceptable like drowning your sorrows or smoking. Like most taboos it is difficult to comprehend from the outside.