We all deal with life in our own ways. It’s not always easy but we make do with our individual capabilities and limitations. While some people go through life with savvy and finesse, some of us take the negative route and harm ourselves in the process. We fall into lies and desperation, unhealthy or dysfunctional patterns, and we slowly dig our own graves. This is self-destructive behavior and many are formed by an individual’s deliberate choice, an acquired or developed habit, or even impulses that can’t be controlled. Here are some common self-destructive behaviors women, and even men, engage in.
1. Eating Disorders
Men and women fall prey to this self-destruction as they become more exposed to media’s lies about beauty. They try to fit into the ideal beauty at the cost of their health and even their lives. These men and women diet and exercise excessively and this habit eventually turns into eating disorders. They develop a fatal addiction to control, to calorie restriction, purging, and over-exercise.
2. Self-Injury or Self-Harm
The truth of the matter is, physical pain is concrete and thus more manageable than emotional pain. This is why a lot of people choose to injure themselves to cope with the overwhelming pain inside. Cutting, burning, skin picking, breaking bones, choking, hair pulling, and stabbing are just some examples of how people injure their physical bodies.
3. Alcohol Abuse
Many people drink copious amounts of alcohol because it numbs the pain, brings down their inhibitions, and makes them forget about their problems in life. And although alcohol seems like an innocent substance because it is legal, it can cause serious physical, mental, and emotional damage to the drinker. The lives of the people around them are also affected.
4. Drug Abuse
Prescription or illegal drugs, it really doesn’t matter. Drug abuse is drug abuse no matter what is used. Much like alcohol, drugs help people cope with the reality of their lives. And again, abusers don’t only destroy their lives, but also the lives of the people who care about them.
5. Failure to Acknowledge Feelings
Feelings are neither good nor bad. They are there and it is best to acknowledge them in the best way we can. Denying or suppressing one’s feelings to the point where you feel stifled is not good for your emotional, mental, and even physical health.
Money is an important asset in this modern world. Overspending may not seem like an obvious example for self-destructive behavior, but it is one. What is it about spending yourself to bankruptcy that doesn't scream self-destruction to you? Shopping may be rewarding and pleasurable, but if you continue to overspend, you can ruin your life in the end.
7. Lack of Self-Respect
When everything you have is taken away, you would still want to have your self-respect and dignity intact. That is why I believe that if you do things that indicate a lack of self-respect, you are slowly destroying yourself.
8. Body Neglect
There are many ways people abuse and neglect their physical bodies. They get inadequate sleep, eat unhealthy food, refuse to exercise, and indulge their vices. Abusing the only body you have will be your downfall. The long term effects may take a while to manifest but they will surely show up.
9. Harsh Self-Criticism
It is true that we are our own worst critics. However, it is a different matter altogether if all you ever see is the negative in yourself. You don’t have confidence in yourself. You believe that you will never be good enough. Anything you do is mediocre and doesn’t deserve recognition. Daily blows to the ego are never a good thing.
Isn't it sad how there are people who can never seem to love themselves? They believe that they are the worst person on earth. They constantly feel guilt, hate, and anger towards themselves, their actions, and their choices. Remember that if you cannot like yourself, many people will not enjoy your company either.
11. Sabotaging Relationships
The positive relationships we form with other people help make life a beautiful and bearable experience. However, there are some people who destroy their relationships because they feel unworthy of love and acceptance. Purposely destroying relationships can bring you nothing but sadness and even loneliness.
While it is easy to identify the presence of self-destructive behavior, it is hard to find a solution. This is because the reasons and motivations for self-destructive behavior vary from person to person. However, no matter how hard controlling these actions can be, we should still try to help. Because even if these actions seem helpful in coping with life and personal problems, they really bring more harm than good. Try to see if you or someone you know exhibits any of these self-destructive behaviors. It may be time for a healthy change.
Top Photo Credit: Ally Jade