There are not a few people who either occasionally or regularly have self-destructive tendencies . Some of these behaviors are more dangerous than others , but what they all have in common is that to a greater or lesser extent they threaten the integrity of the person.

The self-destructive tendency is one that causes damage to the person who carries them out , normally these behaviors are frequent in people who suffer from mental disorders or who have personal problems or trauma. In this article we are going to see in depth what the self-destructive tendency is, how it manifests itself and how to solve it.

What is the self-destructive tendency?

Having self-destructive tendencies could be defined as the series of behaviors that can cause physical, emotional or psychological harm to the person who carries them out . The behaviors that can be had are very varied, there are more serious and less serious but all of them carry a risk for the integrity of the individual.

Often the self-destructive tendency is confused with self-harm , or it is taken as synonyms and this is not the case. Self-injury can be a self-destructive tendency, but a person who suffers from this does not have to self-injure to have destructive behaviors with himself.

Within the self-destructive tendencies there is a whole set of deliberate, planned behaviors, or even the product of an impulse . All this leads us to the fact that self-destructive tendencies are broad and some are more subtle than others, which makes it more difficult to detect and solve.

These behaviors have been linked to schizophrenia- type disorders and borderline personality disorder . Likewise, they can also appear in people with depression, bipolarity or anxiety. They tend to increase and sometimes it seems that the person is not able to control it, causing greater anxiety in those who suffer from it. It is important that we stop thinking that people with self-destructive tendencies try to attract attention since this is not the case, and what they really need is help.

Manifestation of the self-destructive tendency

Normally, it is usually spoken of two self-destructive tendencies, the direct and the indirect. These are related to the danger of death to the person who inflicts it.

    • Direct self-destructive behaviors: People who tend to this type of behavior are characterized by directly threatening their life with those behaviors. Self-harm or suicide attempts would fall into this category.
  • Indirect self-destructive behaviors: These are related to acts or behaviors that do not directly threaten the life of the person but that, if it does so indirectly, some examples could be starting to smoke or take certain drugs that little by little are killing people the person or even perform high-risk sports that could end in tragedy.

People who perform this type of act do it as a mechanism to cope with life’s adversities , especially when the person who inflicts it is going through difficult times, feels alone or overwhelmed with the situation.

Self-destructive behaviors can manifest themselves in many different ways, and they also serve to keep people away . For example, a self-destructive person who is afraid that their relationship may be broken because of him, will try by all means to do something so that the other person is the one who breaks the relationship and thus they do not carry the blame. However, these behaviors are not usually so far-fetched and are normally associated simply with attacking one’s health, such as developing bulimia, anorexia and even sex addiction can be considered a self-destructive tendency , especially if it is carried out taking risks as not put on the condom.

Causes of the self-destructive tendency

Most of the causes of the self-destructive tendency are due to a tough, or unhealthy childhood and adolescence . Normally, people who have more serious behaviors such as self-harm or substance addiction, on many occasions have been victims of sexual or physical abuse during childhood, which has caused the creation of a trauma that in adulthood is manifested in these behaviors.

In the same way, these behaviors have also been associated with insecure or untrustworthy people who tend to have self-esteem problems that lead to eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia or who even sabotage themselves because they consider that they are not worthy of the partner, friends or situation that have.

One of the risk factors in these people is that they do not receive enough attention and care from their closest environment . There are people who perform acts that threaten their life as a way of asking others for help since they are unable to control the situation, this should not be confused with trying to attract attention, and the person who performs should never be blamed. this type of act.

Can it be slowed down?

As we have mentioned before, there are many kinds of self-destructive tendencies, it is not the same to start smoking at 14 years of age than to start cutting your wrists, arms or thighs . However, regardless of the severity of these behaviors, it is always advisable to go to a psychologist .

Many people are not aware that they have self-destructive tendencies, even when they are very obvious they try to justify them . Be that as it may, the best thing is that the family environment and the loved ones of that person intervene so that this person goes to a professional, be it a psychologist, psychiatrist or doctor, so that they can find out the reason for these tendencies and according to the degree of danger act accordingly.

With perseverance and work, absolutely everything can improve, however, it is essential that that person is aware that they have self-destructive tendencies, that they want to stop them and that they find out what caused them to be in that situation. Normally the psychological therapy they receive must be routine and maintained throughout their lives, since it is common for these types of people to relapse after a while .

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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