Lead to abusive relationships, a tendency to self-harm, impulsivity, procrastination, drug use and in some cases, even suicide attempts … The self-destructive person forms a highly harmful and dangerous behavioral profile for himself.
On many occasions, these behaviors can be explained by a latent psychiatric disorder. Conditions such as borderline personality disorder or even schizophrenia, for example, have this trait.
However, it should be noted that not in all cases there is a mental problem. Adolescents or those who have suffered neglect in their upbringing or physical abuse may show unregulated behaviors.
Something that we must understand about this type of clinical realities is that the person falls into this type of behavior because they generate some type of (small or great) relief.
The internal emotional intensity is so intense that they need to turn all that craving into some behavior. However, the relief they find offers a very short pleasure and, ultimately, these practices make it difficult to achieve a full and satisfying life.
What does it mean to be a self-destructive person?
On average, and as we have well pointed out, self-destructive behavior is often a symptom of other underlying psychological problems. In general, they hide behind them a trauma, a painful reality that fragments the internal balance of the person from very early on.
After that, instead of applying coping mechanisms to deal with that situation, what is done is to display a series of behaviors that are clearly harmful to oneself. The reason? What they seek is to somehow channel the accumulated suffering, the anger that does not go away, the sadness that persists and that anguish that is mixed with frustration.
The self-destructive person feels that their entire world is out of control. However, and in the midst of this psychological chaos, one way of feeling that you are in control is by engaging in harmful and unregulated behaviors.
An example of this is self-harm or cutting, something very common in young people between 12 and 18 years old. Cutting, self-inflicting cuts and wounds gives them emotional relief and the feeling that they control the pain.
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Common habits of the self-destructive person
The self-destructive person will never look out for their own well-being. His tendency is always oriented towards chaos, towards that search for pain to extinguish, curiously, another form of pain: a more internal and deeper one.
For example, someone who consumes alcohol as a means of escape knows this, being aware that this habit will end up destroying it, but wanting to do nothing to drift into that abyss. Let us therefore understand what are on average, the habits that define them.
Tendency toward forced incompetence
When carrying out any task or project, the self-destructive person will focus all their attention on their own limitations, in their (apparent) incompetence and failures. They will inflate all their insecurities and voids to show the world and themselves that they are useless.
That self-indulgence leaves them stuck in a comfort zone they don't want to move from. In this way, they are left once again wallowing in their own misfortunes and feeding them continuously.
They do not make an effort, they soon abandon all activity, they resort to victimhood and that negativity that permeates any area of their life. Likewise, are those profiles that devalue themselves constantly and they feed biases like self-fulfilling prophecies. In other words, everything bad that they say is going to happen to them happens to them because they cause it themselves.
Passivity and victimhood
Self-destructive people are devoid of motivations and are passive in the face of any event, adversity or opportunity that opens up before them or circumstance that forces them to act. They slip away, take no responsibility for anything, and don't hesitate to practice chronic victimhood.
Anyone who suffers deeply and constantly has edges. Those who carry the burden of trauma or past abuse, for example, can easily lead to self-destruction. However, on this path of suffering, he does not hesitate to project that internal discomfort on everyone around him.
Friendly relationships don't last long. Couples come and go and usually bring more pain than happiness. They are not easygoing people because they are always mired in ups and downs and They find it difficult to create bonds that they trust: pain is often a double-edged sword that hurts everyone around them.
Poor emotional management
The emotional universe in the self-destructive person is fragmented, chaotic and unpredictable. Its interior is inhabited by a large number of negative valence emotions, such as hatred, grief, anger, sadness, fear, guilt, and shame.
Those realities act like steam from a pressure cooker; They need to get out in some way, but when they do they are like outbursts of anger and violence.
Addictive and risky behaviors
Drug abuse, alcoholism, addiction to sex, compulsive shopping, eating disorders, self-harm … Deregulated and self-injurious personalities almost always show some of these related problems. They appear little by little until in the end, they acquire greater importance and put his life at risk.
Studies like those published in the journal Violent adolescents by Dr. Andrea Scherzer emphasize the fact that this reality is increasingly common in adolescents.
Refusal to receive help
A common feature of this profile is the absolute refusal to receive help. They shy away from family support and, even more so, from the intervention of a professional.
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Tips for ending self-destructive behaviors
The first step in treating self-destructive behaviors is to become aware of the reality of each one. Understanding that those behaviors that they promote and reinforce do not solve anything, but rather increase suffering even more, is essential.
The first vector to work on is the unconscious feelings of guilt and anger. These two realities quietly orbit in every risky behavior. It seeks to silence them, silence them, replace them with pleasure … The first step will be to remove all defense mechanisms and work on those emotions.
The second vector goes through a cognitive therapy in which to work on internal dialogue, irrational thoughts, negative ideas and invalidating beliefs about yourself.
It is advisable in all cases to know the origin of this situation. The self-destructive person can show anything from a trauma to a condition such as borderline personality disorder. In all cases, it is advisable to do family therapy and insert those figures close to the patient in the psychological intervention.
By last, it is convenient to introduce new, healthier lifestyle habits. If we also equip them with adequate coping mechanisms, they will be able to find new interests in which to get involved in a more beneficial and respectful way.
To conclude, it is important that all these types of psychological conditions are treated by specialist psychologists. Destructive habits can sometimes lead to suicide and this is something we must avoid.
It is necessary to put the focus of attention, above all, on our adolescents. They are the population that shows, to a greater degree, this type of harmful behavior.
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