Self destruction

Lakshmi Sree Sivagurunathan

We all are humans. As a human, we may possess both good and bad qualities. We might be addicted to several things. And some of us may also possess some habits which are really self-destructive in nature. Starting from the anger management issues to the most lethal and a very serious action, like suicide, comes under self-destructive behaviour or action. But before getting into the topic, we must be cognizant of what is a self-destructive behaviour and the symptoms for the same.
When a behaviour is potentially harmful to the person engaging, such behaviour can be called the self-destructive behaviour. Most of the time it has a negative impact in their body and minds. And it is often associated with mental illness. The common signs of these behaviours begin with depression or pessimism, avoiding responsibility, emotional numbness, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or addictive behaviour. In this article, we’re going to discuss about some of the self-destructive behaviours that is commonly seen among the people.
All of us get angry at some point. But when one’s anger goes out of control, making them say and do things that they regret, it is then we can identify that, that particular person is having issues regarding anger. Anger can also be a symptom of depression and OCD. Drinking alcohol increases aggression. Also, one would experience anger on the happening of the death of a loved one, a divorce, a break-up or losing job.
Self-harm helps a person to express their melancholy and pain, especially when someone deals with deep distress or emotional pain. Whenever a person feels the pain, they feel the urge to hurt themselves. It includes anything one does to knowingly harming them. The common symptoms include:
Scars (in patterns)
Fresh cuts, scratches, bruises, bite-marks
Not letting a wound to heal
Excessive rubbing of an area to create a burn
Frequent reports of injury; and
Behavioural and emotional instability.

“Smoking causes cancer. Smoking kills.”
“Liquor drinking is injurious to health.”
This is what we see in the movies. The government keeps on educating people on the harmful side effects of smoking, alcohol and the use of drugs. Yet, we still can see some people addicted to it. The extent of people addicted to it is, even if one day they fail to use it, they start behaving mad! Many-a-times, they harm themselves and sometimes the addiction that they develop, makes them commit suicide.
Every one of us play games online. But have we ever found that to be destructive? The World Health Organisation (WHO) has formally added “gaming disorder (GD)” as a mental health condition in its 2018 manual on diseases. Playing games in our free time is different from being addicted to it and prioritising it over other activities. We should know that anything that kills our time, creates a negative impact and makes us addictive is harmful and self-destructive. Given are the symptoms of video game addiction:
Thinking about gaming most of the time.
Feeling bad when you can’t play.
Longing to spend more time gaming.
Giving less importance to other hobbies.

People with Binge Eating Disorder (BED) may eat a lot of food in a short amount of time, even if they aren’t hungry. People with emotional stress or distress, often binge eat. A person might feel some relief during a binge eat. But experience the feeling of shame or loss of control afterwards. The symptoms include:
Eating much more rapidly than usual.
Eating until uncomfortably full.
Eating large amounts without feeling hungry.
Eating alone due to the feelings of embarrassment or shame.
Feelings of guilt or disgust with oneself.

Bulimia Nervosa, commonly called bulimia, is a serious, potentially life threatening eating disorder. People with this condition, binge eat. Then they take steps to avoid weight gain. Most commonly, this means, vomiting (purging). But it can also be excessive exercising or fasting. One of the most well-known people to have suffered from bulimia was Princess Diana.
Depression and binge eating are shortly linked. Many binge eaters are either depressed or have been before; others may have trouble with impulse control and managing and expressing their feeling. Low self-esteem, loneliness and body dissatisfaction may also contribute to binge eating.
Than addiction, watching porn is a compulsion. There’s a thin line of approach between compulsion and addiction. According to, “Compulsions are repetitive behaviours with no rational motivation, but are often engaged in to reduce anxiety. Addictions involve an inability to stop the behaviour, despite the negative consequences. Both involve a lack of control. Simply viewing porn and enjoying it doesn’t make us addicted to it”. One may start watching porn because they like it, they enjoy the rush it gives and want that rush more often. If they try to stop, they simply can’t do it. And this is how behavioural addiction sneak up on people. The porn addiction may lead to: poor relationship quality, lower sexual satisfaction and lower self-esteem. And the symptoms are:
Unable to stop using or viewing pornography.
Ignoring responsibilities.
Craving to view more of it.
Losing interest in real sex.
Develop unrealistic ideas about sex.
Having unrealistic expectation of the beauty of the partner.
Suffering from physical pain.
Losing money watching porn.
Distracted from different aspects of life.
Easily irritable without porn.


Our body and mind gets affected if we suppress our emotions. There have been numerous studies showing that when we regulate or ignore our emotions, we experience short term mental and physical reactions. Provisional Clinical psychologist, Victoria Tarratt says, “Suppressing your emotion, whether it is anger, sadness, grief or frustration, can lead to physical stress on your body. The effect is same, even if the core emotion differs.” Avoiding emotions can also lead to problems with memory, aggression, anxiety and depression.

In accord with Wikipedia, “Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Mental disorders, inclusive of depression, bipolar disorder, autism, schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety disorders and drug abuse including alcoholism are risk factors.” It may seem like there’s no way to solve a problem and that suicide is the only way to end the pain. But the point is, every problem has a solution and it is we who should search for it. We should know that suicide is not a solution to solve a problem. Symptoms for suicide or suicidal thoughts are given below:
Talking about suicide.
Getting the means or the equipments to take one’s own life.
Wanting to be left alone.
Having mood swings.
Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence.
Feeling trapped or hopeless.
Giving away the belongings.
Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again.
These warning signs differ from person to person. Some people make their intensions clear. Whilst some people, keep their ‘thoughts’ secretive.

On the report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.” Sadness, feeling low, lacking interest in the day-to-day activities are familiar feeling for all of us. But if they affect our lives significantly, then the issue could be depression. Below given are its symptoms:
Mood swings
Dwelling on negative thoughts
Recurring thoughts of death or suicide or suicidal thoughts
Difficulty in thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Sleeping too much or too little
Change in appetite
Lack of interest
In order to get a cure for the above given problems, we need to first move on from the depressed mood and the negative thoughts. And only if we’re ready to move on, we can actually make it. Below given ways are the results of surfing in the internet.
 Break the cycle:
Albeit it is difficult and pretty challenging to break the behavioural cycle, we need to do it in order to move on. Replace the harmful with healthy.
 Speak out:
By talking to your friends and family, even the impossible will become possible and the insolvable will have a solution.
 Listen:
Listen to the elders and your grandparents. They carry loads knowledge and life experience, and who knows? Probably you could get a solution from them!
 Be yogic:
Being yogic means, living in the moment. Enjoy the moment that you’re in. Connect yourself with the nature. Don’t worry thinking of the future. Prepare for it. Don’t stress yourself for petty issues. Just hope for the best and do your level best.
 Always be happy:
Be deaf to the negativity around you. Whenever you face a problem, wear a smile on your face and face it. Because, a simple smile can do wonders in your life. Last but not least, every time, everything may not be ‘good’ to us. But if we try, we can very well be ‘happy’ for everything, every time.


  • Very well said about self destructive behavior la !!!

    Sri Kiruthika
  • This article throws enough light on self management avoiding which leads to self destruction.


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