4 Self-Guidance Tips for Recognizing Destructive Behaviors

4 Self-Guidance Tips for Recognizing Destructive Behaviors

Self-destructive behaviors are actions that depict the infliction of self-harm, either emotionally or physically. Some behaviors are more obvious or dangerous than others. For example, binge eating, compulsive activities, and drug or alcohol use are all signs of self-destructive behaviors.

An analysis of self-destructive behaviors across over 40 countries shows about 17 percent of all people inflict self-harm. Also, about 50 percent of people seek help for self-harm, but only from friends, not mental health professionals.

Self-harm is increasingly prevalent. According to emergency room trends, there’s been up to a 50 percent increase in reported self-harm among females since 2009.

With the appropriate tips, individuals can get the best ways to recognize and handle feelings of self-harm.

Depression and Pessimistic Beliefs

One of the major signs of self-destructive behavior is the feeling of depression and overall negativity about future events. Individuals that experience this also have overwhelming sadness and loss of interest with various physical symptoms.

Note that pervasive feelings of guilt and low-self worth that lead to self-harm are major signs of depression. Often, the physical signs of depression include scratching, pulling out 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 medications prescribed by a professional to help against depression.

Examples of these drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Therapy can also be very suitable for feelings of depression and pessimistic beliefs. Suitable therapy options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), talk therapy, and behavioral therapy.

Mental health experts may also advise support groups as a source of help.

Lack of Self-Control

Many times, behaviors associated with self-harm are more frequent in individuals without a sense of internal control over their lives.

Another name for this is the external locus of control. Individuals without a sense of self-control often exhibit self-destructive behaviors through the use of substances or even irresponsible spending.

Lack of self-control leading to addiction requires professional help such as a Miami drug and alcohol rehab. Mental health experts at the treatment facility may utilize treatment options like detox, 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 typically starts with finding motivation. Individuals may need to figure out what motivates them to achieve their personal goals.

Other helpful methods of improving self-control include:

  • Improving sleep patterns
  • Self-regulation
  • Exercising
  • Set SMART goals
  • Understand emotional intelligence
  • Avoid decision fatigue

Sabotaging Relationships

A significant sign of self-destructive behavior is not putting effort into personal relationships or sabotaging them. Certain behaviors like manipulation, jealousy, and passive aggressiveness relate to self-destructive acts as they depict sabotaging relationships.

Other subtle behaviors that may sabotage relationships include those relating to seeking reassurance, approval, and recognition.

The subtle behaviors that threaten relationships stem from past experiences, trust issues, or bad relationship skills. Some signs of self-sabotage in relationships include gaslighting, jealousy, avoidance, promiscuity, criticism, grudges, and low self-esteem.

Avoiding Self-Sabotaging Relationships

The first step to avoiding self-sabotage in relationships is self-reflection. After self-reflection, some practical styles to follow in avoiding self-sabotage in healthy relationships include:


  • Improving attachment style– The ideal attachment style is the “secure attachment.” With that style, individuals believe they can trust others and remain unique, even in close relationships.
  • Taking responsibility– To overcome self-sabotaging a relationship, individuals must understand their role in damaging relationships. Tackling those problems will help individuals recognize their challenges and easily find help.
  • Learning about triggers– It’s helpful when an individual knows what triggers their fear, causing self-sabotage in relationships. These triggers could be places, actions, or even words.

Rejecting Help

Refusing help or rejecting support is a major sign of self-destructive behavior that may significantly impact one’s life. Failing to seek medical care or mental health support may result in severe consequences, including loss of life.

It’s crucial to get help, regardless of fears, anxiety, or distrust. When someone notices signs of rejecting help or pushing others away, it’s important to self-reflect.

After self-reflection, try reaching out to a loved one or mental health professional as a step of faith. Understand that no shame or sadness comes with reaching out for professional help.

Take a Step toward Addressing Destructive Behaviors

Self-destructive behaviors have a variety of signs and causes. There are also several suitable treatment options for these behaviors. For instance, mental health professionals may 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 crucial also to follow healthy coping mechanisms to feel better.

Reach out to a trusted mental health professional today for help.

Editorial Team
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One Comment

  1. Vignesh says:

    I would like to say thank you so much by my heart. Such a nice post is given by you. explained very well with the proper image. I got an idea from the post and improve my knowledge and keep tough with us

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