Impulsive and Self-Destructive Behaviours
At some stage in our lives, we have likely all engaged in self-destructive behavior, albeit unintentionally and without it becoming a recurring pattern.
Self-destructive behaviour is when a person does something that is sure to cause self-harm, whether that is physical or emotional. There are some obvious self-destructive behaviours such as:
- self-injury – cutting, burning, pulling out hair
- drug and alcohol misuse
- impulsive and risky sexual behaviour
- suicide attempts
- overspending and getting into debt
There are some more subtle self-destructive behaviours, and the person may not realise they are doing them:
- chronic avoidance of people, places or situations
- wallowing in sadness or self-pity
- pushing people away with agressive or alienating behaviours
- changing yourself to please someone else
- being derogatory to yourself – telling yourself you are not smart, attractive or capable enough
For some people these behaviours may be mild and infrequent, in others they may be frequent and dangerous. But they are all self-destructive behaviours that can be managed with appropriate treatment and support.