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5/13/2018 0 Comments
Self-destructive behaviour is, at first glance, amongst the most enigmatic and counterintuitive emotional disorders. How is it possible that someone would wish to harm themselves?
It seems to run directly against everyone’s apparently obvious wish to seek out pleasure and happiness. There’s something disturbing about wishing to damage oneself, not protecting oneself, to seek out suffering. People who discover this trait in themselves are often deeply troubled by it. And yet, if we take a step back for a minute, sooner or later we will observe that self-destructive behaviour is far from being unusual.
It does sometimes present itself in very clear and recognisable forms, where the wish to destroy oneself is manifest and conscious (or almost): self-mutilation, certain drug-abuses, or exposing oneself willingly to another person’s violence, are examples of this.
However, these manifestations, so blatantly recognisable, are not by any means the most common forms of self-destructive behaviour. Far more common are all the subtle and compulsive forms of self-sabotage, of which the individual has no awareness whatsoever, and that effectively attack her or his wellbeing.
To be continually self-derogatory, seeking humiliation without realising it, approaching everything from a negative standpoint, going through mysterious and repetitive failures, hanging onto unhealthy situations, or constantly finding oneself in the position of a victim are among the many ways that can be used to harm oneself.
Some examples of Self Destructive Behaviour
If we investigate these situations in depth, we will first discover the relatively transparent incapability of allowing oneself to simply be happy. But we will also find, and much less obviously so, the secret pleasure that is obtained from suffering –– secret because it is unacceptable to our consciousness.
Self-destructive behaviour is a subconscious or intentional, impulsive, or planned action or way of life that can cause physical or psychological harm. It is a complex dysfunctional behaviour that can escalate and lead to death in extreme cases. Early intervention and treatment can prevent this outcome.
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