Table of Contents
- Self-Destructive Definition
- Self-Destructive Behavior Signs and Effects
- Self-Destructive Behavior Examples
- Self-Destructive Tendencies and Causes
- How to Stop Self-Destructive Behavior
- Lesson Summary
What is self-destructive behavior? The definition of self-destructive behavior is any behavior or lack of behavior that actively contributes to negative outcomes. Self-destructive behavior is caused when a person inflicts harm on themselves or puts themselves in a risky situation where harm may occur. There are many different forms of self-destructive behavior, as its definition is very broad. This type of action can be emotional or physical. It has long-term effects on the individual that can impact various areas of his or her life.
In some cases, a person may be unaware they are even performing a self-destructive activity. They may be succumbing to a strong urge or may not understand the consequences. In many cases, self-destructive behavior is a stress reaction or a maladaptive coping mechanism. At the moment, it brings relief and pleasure to the person. However, it is harmful in the long run.
Individuals who partake in self-destructive behavior display signs and symptoms in their lives. Self-destructive behavior signs include:
Self-destructive behaviors can cause many long-term effects. The most obvious effect is the physical toll this type of conduct takes. A person may develop permanent scarring, as well as a host of diseases due to their risky behavior. Sexually transmitted diseases may be acquired through risky sexual behavior. HIV, hepatitis, liver failure, and kidney failure can be associated with long-term drug and alcohol abuse.
The mental health of a person can also be affected by their self-harming tendencies. Long-term drug abuse from self-destructive behavior can cause mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. Constantly talking negatively about oneself and isolating oneself from others can also cause negative effects on mental health. Self-destructive behaviors can also destroy a person's social system, which can further isolate a person and perpetuate the cycle of self-destructive tendencies.
Loss of economic status or capital is another effect of self-destructive behavior. An individual may have a loss of control over their finances, coupled with an increase in compulsivity. This can cause an increase in spending and a loss in capital. Avoidance of responsibility may also cause a person to be fired from their job.
Self-destructive tendencies are best understood through the use of examples. Self-destructive behavior can also include self-destructive thoughts.
The following is a list of self-destructive behaviors that an individual may partake in:
Self-destructive behaviors can also include self-sabotaging behaviors. This includes purposely engaging in maladaptive behaviors, such as procrastination and being passive-aggressive towards others. Changing one's own beliefs and actions to better fit in with others is another sign of self-destructive tendencies. Any action where an individual purposely causes harm to themselves is self-destructive behavior.
There are many causes of self-destructive tendencies. The reasons why someone develops self-harm tendencies are personal and vary on a case-by-case basis. However, there are broad reasons that are common amongst many people.
The following is a comprehensive list of possible causes of self-destructive tendencies:
Teenagers and young adults are the most likely age groups to develop self-harm tendencies. If a person displays one type of self-destructive behavior, they are more likely to develop a secondary type of destructive behavior.
There are different methods a person can utilize to replace self-destructive tendencies with positive coping mechanisms. Self-destructive behaviors can be negated with the use of therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are useful forms of talk therapy that can aid in reducing self-destructive behavior.
CBT focuses on reframing an individual's thoughts to create a healthier pattern of thinking. DBT is also used to negate self-destructive behavior. This type of therapy focuses on linking CBT with the behavioral changes needed to replace self-destructive tendencies.
For those who suffer from mental health issues, medications can be used in conjunction with talk therapy to reduce the symptoms an individual is experiencing. Medications can also aid those who are suffering from addiction. Medications can be used to curve cravings from some substances. They can also be prescribed to help maintain abstinence from certain substances.
Stress reduction is another method to reduce self-destructive behavior. Self-destructive behavior is often used as a maladaptive coping mechanism when it comes to stress. Although the behavior brings short-term relief, it can be destructive. Forming healthy coping mechanisms and focusing on stress reduction may reduce self-destructive behavior. Building self-care habits can help in stress reduction, as can meditation and mindfulness.
Fostering meaningful social connections can help reduce the isolation that may be a risk factor for self-destructive behavior. Those who are isolated are more likely to display self-destructive behaviors. Creating meaningful relationships with others can build a person's self-esteem, reduce isolation and create a safe environment for the individual who has self-destructive tendencies.
Self-destructive behavior is any deliberate act that causes damage to a person's body and mind. Depression or pessimism, being consistently late for work, and a constant desire for approval are all indicators that an individual may have self-destructive behavior.
Self-destructive behavior may be caused by childhood trauma. Lack of hygiene, bruises and scars, and substance abuse are all examples of self-inflicted injuries. Financial difficulties and unemployment can be caused by self-destructive behavior, as can deteriorating health. Divorce or a loss of a relationship is another effect of self-destructive behavior.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) are useful forms of talk therapy that can aid in reducing self-destructive behavior. Stress reduction is another method to reduce self-destructive behavior.
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There are many causes of self-destructive behavior. The causes depend upon the person, but some examples include:
There are many different types of destructive behavior. Excessive gambling, drug use and self injury are three types of destructive behavior.
The definition, or meaning, of self-destructive behavior is any behavior or lack of behavior that actively contributes to negative outcomes. This is caused when a person causes harm to themselves or puts themselves in a risky situation where harm may occur.
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