Signs of Self Destructive Behavior

self destruction signsSelf destructive behavior is deeply disturbing to witness in someone you care about. Watching someone you love harm themselves, abuse substances or sabotage their own happiness and success repeatedly is devastating and infuriating all at once. You feel powerless to stop it and emotionally distraught over how senseless your loved one’s behavior is. Self destructive behavior is often a sign of a serious mental disorder, like depression or bipolar. If you are witnessing signs of self destruction in a person you care about, you will want to encourage them to seek psychological or psychiatric evaluation. If you fear their behavior may be putting them in immediate risk, arrange for an intervention. Self destruction can result in death or permanent health problems. The most common expressions of self destruction are:

  • Substance Abuse. If you see someone you care about consistently overusing alcohol, tobacco products, prescription drugs, recreational drugs or even food in a way that is putting them at risk, you can consider them self destructive. If they are aware of the danger to their health but continue to abuse the substance, it may be time for you to intervene and encourage them to see a counselor, or even arrange a professional intervention for them.
  • Self Sabotage. A self destructive person will possess behaviors that sabotage their own well being. These behaviors can be harder to spot than something conspicuous like self mutilation or alcoholism. One has to be relatively close to the individual to pick up on these more subtle behaviors. They tend to take the appearance of ending romantic relationships that appeared promising for seemingly no reason, turning down job offers or quitting high reward jobs for seemingly no reason, or passing up other great opportunities, typically with weak reasoning.
  • Self Harm. One of the most obvious and alarming qualities a self destructive person may possess is that of self harm. This may include suicide attempts or any form of self mutilation. This typically comes with severe self destructive tendencies that commonly indicate a mental disorder or personality disorder of some sort. This is an overt self destructive behavior that can be considered an urgent cry for help.

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