Are You Doing Self-Destructive Behaviors?Mar 16, 2023
Self-destructive behaviors are often difficult to spot. We may be so used to them that we don't even realize how harmful they can be. This blog post will discuss some of the most common self-destructive behaviors and how to overcome them.
You may be doing self-harm with your habits.
Some of our habits can be bad and only adversely affect our health and well-being despite giving us some form of pleasure and fulfillment. Of these bad habits, some can be classified as self-destructive behaviors, and they can have serious consequences if left unattended. We may not notice it, but some actions of ours can be different forms of self-destructive behavior. Therefore, we must see them ourselves or by others before they damage our physical and mental health. Some of these self-destructive tendencies can be in the form of the following. If you notice any of these in yourself or others, it's time to take action before it becomes too late.
1. Negative self-talk
Talking negatively about yourself is a form of self-destructive behavior. It can include saying bad things about yourself, even if they are exaggerations or false assumptions. One may also say hateful things about themselves or think they can't do something because of low self-esteem. The result is that you create a bad image of yourself for others and stop taking any initiative for chances of growth because of how low you look upon yourself. Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate negative self-talk, and you can start turning any of them into habits to counter the negative things you say about yourself.
2. Resorting to addiction
Any self-destructive behavior can be a coping mechanism to fill the gap or address something. You might be blaming yourself for causing a problem, even though you may not, or perhaps you can't find a solution to your predicament. You may also find it hard to be happy and often feel down and frustrated by situations, so you may already take the initiative and make yourself feel worse before anything or others do it to you. Such feelings can cause one to be addicted to various activities, such as binge eating, substance abuse, drinking too much alcohol, overspending, etc. Recovering from addiction can be challenging, but it's doable, and one can replace them with healthier coping mechanisms instead.
3. Lack of financial discipline
It may not be obvious, but it can be a sign of self-destructive behavior when somebody doesn't seem to care about how they spend their money. Money is valuable, and we need it for many things, from our needs to things that give pleasure. Therefore, we need to be smart about spending money, as it may not be easy to acquire. So when somebody spends their cash haphazardly, it can signify that something might be wrong with them, and overspending may fill some void they can't get elsewhere. It will be good to talk with someone about their spending habits if you notice it is starting to affect their lives and ask them if something is bothering them to cause them to spend that way. Some budgeting tips and how not to get into debt may also help.
4. Not pursuing any goals or any chances for growth
Some prefer not to move outside their comfort zones and stick with the familiar. This can mean repeatedly doing whatever their current job demands and not moving up the career ladder or exploring any other opportunities outside of work. However, this can cause one's growth to be stagnant. It can be self-destructive behavior in terms of sabotaging yourself because one may not be optimistic about the future or think they don't deserve anything good to happen to them. So, somebody with this behavior may decline any opportunity for growth or limit their activities to only meet the minimum standard of living. It is essential to change such a mindset by getting help from others or taking the initiative yourself; otherwise, self-sabotage activities will continue to pull somebody from achieving what could benefit them.
5. Not caring about the consequences of their actions
Some actions can have adverse effects if we don't think carefully about our plans and how to execute them. The results can be accidental or deliberate due to a lack of preparation or haphazard behavior. People with self-destructive behavior patterns may not care whether something terrible happens to them. They may exhibit reckless behaviors, such as reckless driving, excessive spending, or engaging in actions with low chances of success or are guaranteed to harm them. They may even pick the worse options despite knowing they will fail or get hurt because they may think they deserve them or as a response to being angry with themselves.
6. Committing social suicide
Social suicide happens when one starts to distance themselves from others, such as doing things that will make others think badly about somebody or cutting off relationships for no apparent reason. Somebody may stop communicating and reaching out to their friends and family, resulting in alienation. They may also stop trying to meet new people so that they won't have good relationships. The lack of people in one's support system means there will be fewer chances for help and support during trying times, making a situation more complicated. Somebody with self-destructive behavior would want this, and somebody needs to reach out to them to stop.
7. Physical self-harm
Doing anything deliberately to injure your body and damage your physical health is most likely the most dangerous self-destructive behavior. Somebody who wants to sabotage themselves may start indulging in self-mutilation, such as cutting one's skin. A more subdued version would be not doing any exercise and leading a sedentary lifestyle in hopes of lowering one's resistance to ailments and hoping to acquire one. Suppose you or somebody you know is doing acts of self-destruction to the physical body. In that case, it is vital to reach out for help quickly from a mental health professional before things escalate into something worse, like suicide.
Know the reasons for self-destructive behavior and seek treatment.
One would not indulge in self-destructive behavior if it weren't for certain circumstances that led them to do it. For example, it can be because of childhood trauma or a recent unfortunate event that makes someone blame themselves for the problem. Self-destructive people may also become one due to overwhelming emotions they can't control or do anything about, or perhaps they can't find a solution or get help from anybody to solve an ongoing problem for a significant amount of time. Hopelessness and pessimism can fuel more self-destructive thoughts that can lead to mental health issues that further make one engage in destructive behavior to themselves.
It is essential to get to the root cause of self-injurious behavior and have people reach out to the ones doing it. Then, it can be possible for the victim to overcome it by themselves. Still, they may not develop the awareness that they are doing something terrible to themselves and may even refuse to stop once they acknowledge that they have self-destructive behavior. It will be best to get help from a mental health professional to identify what's causing someone to act in such a way and prescribe the necessary treatment. As people who may know somebody with self-harming behavior, we can reach out to them and have a more open mind to understand what's causing them to do such things and help them overcome self-destructive behavior.