Chances are that most people have at one point done something marginally self-destructive out of anger, fear, hopelessness, or other emotions that cause people to knowingly harm themselves. While this may be a commonplace human psychological reaction, some people tend to gravitate towards self-destruction more than others, but the cause is rooted far deeper than a personality trait.
Much like the myth of an “addictive personality,” the propensity for some individuals to exhibit self-destructive behaviors stems from certain emotional, social, and environmental triggers that are connected to trauma. With these internal and external forces at play, many find themselves misusing substances to cope with their unresolved issues, potentially leading down a dangerous road of addiction.
Those who struggle with addiction regularly exhibit one or more of these forms of self-destruction. It’s important to identify these behaviors as part of something bigger and acknowledge the risk of addiction in individuals who show symptoms.
It’s not uncommon for people who engage in self-destructive behaviors to suffer from untreated mental illness and substance use disorder. Addiction is often linked with anxiety disorder, depression, eating disorder, personality disorder, and PTSD – all of which can cause someone to harm themselves while also seeking solace in misusing substances. The criteria for diagnosing non-suicidal self-injury may include:
Psychiatry is an advanced science, but there is considerable overlap between various disorders and behaviors that may fit into specific categories. This makes self-awareness and observation essential to correctly diagnosing substance use disorder connected to a mental illness that drives these harmful propensities.
Self-destructive behavior and substance misuse often go hand-in-hand, making seeking help impossible. Many people exhibiting these behaviors often don’t want to stop because their goal is to continue a cycle of self-abuse. These low feelings of unworthiness and self-hatred need to be attended to assist them in believing they are worthy of recovery.
It’s difficult to understand what drives self-destructive behaviors in some individuals, but those who bear witness to their loved ones suffering should not feel hopeless. Medication-assisted programs at Middlesex Recovery offer professional medical care by specialized providers who understand that addiction is a chronic disease with many facets. Patients are treated with respect and dignity as they work with staff, including substance use counselors, to manage their symptoms and work towards long-lasting recovery. To learn more about the treatment programs available at Middlesex Recovery, message or call a nearby location today.