Self-destructive behavior is an act that depicts one’s own suffering, both emotionally and physically. Some behaviors are more obvious or dangerous than others. For example, binge eating, compulsive activity, and drug or alcohol use are signs of self-destructive behavior.
An analysis of self-destructive behavior in more than 40 countries shows about 17 percent of all people self-harm. Additionally, about 50 percent of people seek help for self-harm, but only from friends, not mental health professionals.
Self-harm is on the rise. According to emergency room trends, there has been a 50 percent increase in self-harm reported among women since 2009.
With the right tips, individuals can earn the best way to recognize and dealing with feelings of self-harm.
Depression and Pessimistic Beliefs
One of the main signs of self-destructive behavior is feelings of depression and overall negativity about future events. Individuals who experience this also experience great sadness and loss of interest with various physical symptoms.
Note that feelings of guilt and low self-esteem leading to self-harm are major signs of depression. Often, physical signs of depression include scratching, pulling hair, burning, or even hitting or punching objects.
Seeking Help for Depression and Pessimistic Beliefs
There are several suitable treatment options for depression as a symptom of self-harm. One of them is taking medication prescribed by a professional to help fight depression.
Examples of these drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
Therapy can also be very suitable for depressive feelings and pessimistic beliefs. Appropriate treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), talk therapy, and behavior therapy.
Mental health professionals can also suggest support groups as a source of help.
Lack of Self-Control
Oftentimes, the behaviors associated with self-harm are more common in individuals without an internal sense of control over their lives.
Another name for this is external locus of control. Individuals without a sense of self-control often exhibit self-destructive behavior through substance use or even irresponsible spending.
Lack of self-control that causes addiction requires professional help such as a Miami drug and alcohol rehab. Mental health professionals in treatment facilities may use treatment options such as detoxification, cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, and contingency management.
Seeking Help for Lack of Self-Control
Increasing self-control is a gradual process and usually begins with finding motivation. Individuals may need to find out what motivates them to achieve their personal goals.
Other helpful methods for increasing self-control include:
- Improve sleep patterns
- Self regulation
- Set SMART goals
- Understanding emotional intelligence
- Avoid decision fatigue
Significant signs of self-destructive behavior does not put effort into personal relationships or sabotage them. Certain behaviors such as manipulation, jealousy, and passive aggressiveness are associated with self-destructive behavior because they represent a relationship of sabotage.
Other subtle behaviors that can sabotage relationships include those related to seeking reassurance, approval, and recognition.
Subtle behaviors that threaten relationships stem from past experiences, trust issues, or poor relationship skills. Some signs of self-sabotage in relationships include gaslighting, jealousy, avoidance, promiscuity, criticism, resentment, and low self-esteem.
Avoiding Self-Sabotage Relationships
The first step to avoiding self-sabotage in relationships is self-reflection. After self-reflection, some practical styles to follow to avoid self-sabotage in healthy relationships include:
- Fixed attachment style– The ideal attachment style is “secure attachment.” With this style, individuals believe they can trust others and remain unique, even in close relationships.
- Take responsibility– To overcome relationship self-sabotage, individuals must understand their role in damaging the relationship. Addressing those issues will help individuals recognize their challenges and easily seek help.
- Learn about triggers– It helps a lot when someone knows what triggers their fear, which leads to self-sabotage in the relationship. These triggers can be places, actions or even words.
Refusing help or refusing support are major signs of self-destructive behavior that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. Failure to seek medical care or mental health support can result in severe consequences, including loss of life.
It is very important to get help, regardless of fear, anxiety or disbelief. When a person notices signs of refusing help or pushing others away, it is important to do some self-reflection.
After self-reflection, try reaching out to a loved one or mental health professional as a reassurance step. Understand that there is no shame or sorrow that comes with seeking professional help.
Take Steps to Overcome Destructive Behavior
Self-destructive behavior has many signs and causes. There are also several suitable treatment options for this behavior. For example, a mental health professional might suggest cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy.
With therapy, individuals can change how they feel about their lives, which is a major part of CBT. When triggers arise, it’s also important to adopt healthy coping mechanisms to feel better.
Contact a trusted mental health professional today for help.