Self Destructive Behavior – Are We Really Hurting Ourselves?

Let’s learn about self-destructive behavior!

Warning: This article will discuss the self-destructive behavior. If you are the one who is prone to self-destructive behavior, then please avoid reading it. The content may be triggering for you.

Can you imagine someone would wish to harm their self?

Do you know a person who doesn’t want to be happy and have no desire to seek pleasure and happiness?

Why are specific individuals prone to take risks?

Aren’t these questions looking weird to you?

But if you see someone with traits of sabotaging their self are often deeply troubled by self-destructive behavior. Self-destructiveness is the universal part of human experience, and people are ‘’hardwired’’ for the survival and protection of their selves.

A few years back, it has been discovered that there is another mal-adaptive form of behaviors that acts against the personal interest of a person. This is self-injurious or destructive behavior. We hope it is a bit clearer now.

What is self-destructive behavior?

It is a unique kind of behavior and psychology is just beginning to understand that why a person starves themselves or eat to excess, hurt their self without the intentions to die, or use substances despite interpersonal, medical, or legal consequences.

This post by LKKG is an introduction with the most incomprehensible behavior of human psychology. So, let’s dive in and see what it has in it for you.

Also Read: Basic Human Emotions

Self Destructive – definition:

According to the study of human psychology:

When a person causes unnecessary harm to their self either by not protecting their self from any harmful situations or keeping their self away from helpful or beneficial circumstances, it is called self-destructive behavior.

It is a kind of behavior that keeps a person from living a healthy, peaceful, and happy life that he/she deserves. Self-destructive behavior has many forms, and it is also widespread with mental health diagnosis like:

Self-destructive behavior is also referred to as self-isolation, self-punishment, self-deprivation, or self-sabotage in its different forms. According to the initial studies and researches, it is basically linked to the abusing and neglecting childhood experiences.

Self-destructive behavior is different from ‘’Self-Defeating behavior’’ (It will be discussed in next coming articles). In self-destructive phase, people mainly try to meet some need for them, only the way to achieve the goal is unusual. They choose an ineffective or harmful way to fulfill their goals.

Different forms of self-destructive behavior:

According to the psychologists, this is a non-regulated behavior that has several forms that we can observe in a person with destructive personality such as:

  • Self starving or binge eating
  • Misuse of substances
  • Compulsive gaming
  • Constant poor planning
  • Pushing others away
  • Gambling
  • Biting, cutting, or hitting oneself

Also Read: Flooding Therapy

Why a person becomes self-destructive?

According to the psychologists, this behavior is a coping mechanism. It helps to deal with the stress, social demands, pressure etc. Self-destruction is a kind of behavior that is an expression of the dark side or shadow self of a person that bounds the person to stay at the familiar bottom of the social ladder.

All the human behaviors are simply attempts. These are the attempts to meet their physical, social, and psychological needs. For people with good luck, these are instincts to bring improvements and solutions, but everyone is not lucky enough to have an ability that guide them how to help themselves positively.

You cannot say that a person with self-destructive nature don’t want to stay happy, be healthy, or don’t need to get success, but they feel that all these conditions are merely impossible to achieve for them.

Childhood and self-destructive behavior:

Childhood is the mirror in which you can see the future of a person. It is the period in which humans develop their nature, habits, fears, desires, and behaviors. People who experienced physical, mental, or sexual abuse in their childhood are more prone of self-hurting and suicide attempts.

While in people with the more severe childhood histories of parent’s separation and negligence, the symptoms of self-destruction appear more seriously.

Symptoms to Identify Self-destructive behavior:

Here are the everyday habits or symptoms that help you to identify people with self-destructive personality:

  • Self-defeating mindset is the unconscious sign of self-destructive behavior. ‘’I will not survive in this situation.’’, ‘’I am going to lose.’’, or ‘’I knew it, I am a loser, are the examples of self-defeating thoughts, and this mindset never allows that person to get success or achieve their goals in life.
  • Another unconscious form of self-destructive behavior is self-pity. This felling encourages that person to remain inactive and builds a negative approach towards the hurdles and difficulties of life. This condition stops a person from taking any action against something terrible.
  • Moreover, a person with self-destructive behavior portraits him/herself as a looser, unintelligent, or incapable who cannot achieve success in life. This condition snatches the confidence of a person and makes them unable to bear the pressure.
  • Additionally, Self-destructive behavior makes a person more motivated towards the substance abuse. Person gets addicted to the drug and alcohol abuse and connects to soul loss. The person deliberately alienate their self from their peers and commits social suicide.
  • People with self-destructive behavior are in love with their miseries. To feel ‘’noble’’ or ‘’altruistic’’ they make unnecessary sacrifices. Moreover, they refuse to get help.

Less Harmful Signs:

Some common and less harmful signs of self-destructive behavior are:

  • Spending too much
  • Physical negligence (refuse to exercise, poor sleep, unhealthy food)
  • Mental negligence (avoiding, refusing, or failing to confront mental health issues like depression)
  • And, overeating or under eating
  • The extreme physical expression of self-destructive behavior is self-harm. The desire to cope with the emotional pain naturally with low self generates the emotions of self-harm.
  • A very complex symptom of self-destructive behavior is destroying the beauty of relationships. Self-destructive behavior in relationships is poisonous that generates the feeling of possessiveness, violence, jealousy, neediness, emotional manipulation, and so forth. Person with self-destructive behavior feels unworthy for love and manifest this feeling in their relationships also.

Also Read: Mental Health Crisis

How can we overcome it?

We all are humans with so many good and bad qualities and habits. To deal with any physical, mental, or emotional condition the most important thing is the ‘’Proper realization of the situation’’. We accept our physical health conditions, try to find a solution for it, follow the advice of consultants, and try our best to get better.

Mental health or psychological issues are similar to the physical health issues. So, we need to accept it and then need to approach mental health professionals to deal with these issues in a positive and effective way.

Usually, we are programmed negatively by the family and society and unconsciously adopt negative or harmful behavioral responses to cope with emotional and mental pain. So, it’s not a fault of a person to have such an attitude and there is no need to blame you.

This condition is a psychological issue, and being a victim of self-destructive behavior doesn’t mean to get disappointed, frustrated, or broken. It is very essential to realize that it is entirely ok to have most of the symptoms mentioned above of self-destruction. After all, you are a human, and all of us face these kinds of situations in many phases of our life. But when these signs become a permanent part of your nature, it’s alarming.

Stop Being Self-Destructive:

There is no magical cure for the issue of being self-destructive. You need to develop new habits, produce better ideas, get inspiration, and follow few tried and tested paths with consistency to deal with self-destruction tendencies.

If you think that realizing someone that their self-destructive behavior is stupid or crazy is going to work, then you are entirely wrong. As a friend, family member, or a well-wisher if you need to help people with self-destructive behavior than:

  • Try to communicate with the person in a more friendly way. Don’t show pity towards them, but let them know their pain is valid. Support them to make their pain out to you, a professional, or anyone they trust.
  • Try to involve them in a collective activity with you and distract them from self-harm impulse.

You might also like: Things to manage self-care

Practices to deal with Self-Destructive Behavior:

These all are the activities, tried and tested to cope with self-destructive behavior. According to the research, it takes around 65 to 66 days to establish new habits. To deal with the self-destructive behavior positively, a person should stick their self with at least a few of these habits for two months.

Get professional Help:

It is good to treat inner negativity with courage and will power, but seeking help from professional make it easier and effective. A professional counselor will aid you with continuous support and tools to manage the condition. Their expert advice will help you in a better way to face the inner fear and disappointment.

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Walking meditation, Yoga, color visualization, chanting mantras, and mindful therapy are the practices that might spark your positivity and interest. You can also download some meditation apps to perform the process in a better way.

Love yourself and be Focused:

Loving people around you is good. But self-love is too good. Self-love is an attitude of kindness towards yourself. Taking care of your physical, emotional, and social needs is not just about being devoted to yourself, but it is the first step to play your part effectively in the society.

We can help others when we feel our self healthy and strong. Moreover, eating correctly, taking adequate water, exercise, enough sleep, and giving sufficient time to your own self are healthy habits that encourage a person to love their self and to avoid negativity and feelings of self-destruction.

Just refuse negative Self-talk:

Breaking self-destructive habits is not an easy task, especially when you often self-talk. Considering yourself a weak, useless, and fail person are the feelings that increase self-talk. People start telling their self that they are losers, fool, and stupid. So, it is necessary to identify negative self-talk and stop considering it worthy.

Change the way of your thinking like instead of thinking ‘’I am a loser’’ try to rephrase it as ‘’I am feeling unsuccessful, but I know how to turn a failure into success.’’

Failure is part of Life:

To move forward, you need to accept the failure first. Everyone faces failure in their life, but taking it as your fate is the sign of self-destructive behavior. Develop courage in you to bear the hard times and taste failure too. Use this collapse as a lesson to learn and move forward with the new passion.

The attitude with which you face the failure decides the ultimate outcome. It is better to make plans before working and try to follow the procedures in the best possible way. But it is also essential to get ready for something unexpected always. It is life, and it’s not so predictive.

Also Read: What Personality type are you?


This post by LKKG was not purely related to a severe psychological disorder called self-destructive behavior, but it is also about a general behavioral practice. All of us feel lost, and useless at a certain point of life. That particular time becomes the turning point of our life.

Of course the self-destructive behavior roots with the childhood experiences, but being extraordinarily pessimistic and not accepting the defeat are also the reasons of becoming self-destructive.

The only solution to deal with self-destructive behavior is changing the thinking patterns that we developed already.

Sometimes, it’s okay to be last in the race.

It is also ok to walk in the heavy rain without an umbrella, and there is nothing terrible to accept your own weaknesses. We hope this article will help you to see your life from a new perspective. Please do share with us your thoughts about self-destructive behavior in the comment box.

Log Kya Kahein Gay: Log Kya Kahein Gay provides a platform to discuss ideas and opinions about the culture and social ethics of our society.
Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies.