When we talk about the term self-destruction, these behaviors are typically defined as acts that hurt or harm oneself. Self-destructive behaviors also go hand-in-hand with addiction and substance abuse.
The idea that some people will knowingly engage in these risky behaviors is troubling. More so the fact that these decisions will most likely cause the person to fail in certain aspects of their life, as well as bring them lots of trouble immediately or down the road. Deliberate self-destructive actions create all sorts of negative impacts not only on the person doing them, but their immediate family, roommates, and friends as well.
Over the years researchers have created many theories as to why certain people behave in this manner. One such theory, the Freudian argument, proposes that “people have an innate death drive that impels them to pursue their own downfall and death.” The Freudian argument also suggests that some people act in self-destructive manners deliberately, even though they might not be aware that they are actually doing it. “Self-defeating behaviors are especially common when people feel that others view them less favorably than the people desire.”
Psychologists all agree that there are three models of self-defeating behaviors. These include primary, trade-off, and counterproductive strategies. Below we take a closer look at these three.
Three Models of Self-Destruction
Primary Self Destruction - This is the first model. It includes people who deliberately and intentionally hurt themselves. This group will typically and purposely choose to do things that they know and understand will bring them harm. An example here would be people that cut themselves.
Trade-Offs - This model is somewhat self-explanatory as those that fall into this category will knowingly make a trade-off in certain situations. These trade-offs will usually provide some benefit to the person but also has a high risk of causing them harm as well. A good example here would be someone addicted to meth. Meth is a powerful drug that can consume its users. Some meth addicts will try to "cook" their own toxic batches. Cooking meth is a very dangerous process and many people have been killed, or severely maimed and injured, trying to do so. These addicts understand the dangerous risks involved yet will see this as a necessary component in achieving their goal.
A different type of trade-off is also known as “self-handicapping.” In this instance, a person will choose to do something that they know will harm them as to protect them from a failure in the future. This way they can always use their previously bad choice as an excuse.
Counterproductive Strategies - The third model represents people that are not necessarily trying to do harm to themselves, yet they choose strategies that typically produces negative outcomes. This group will usually have a positive goal in mind, but the way they try to accomplish it backfires and creates the opposite of the desired results. We typically see young adults fall into this category.
Over the next few posts we are going to be discussing self-destructive behavior with a little more depth. In our next post, we will be discussing habits of self-destructive people.
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Drug addiction, alcohol abuse and other forms of substance abuse are controlling diseases that go hand-in-hand with a self-destructive lifestyle. That's why you can depend on Legacy Freedom to personalize your treatment services to meet your needs, and not the needs of the group. The lives we've changed are a direct result of our care and concern. Call Legacy of Columbus today to learn more.