Contains sensitive themes including self-harm.

  Self-destruction is when you purposely harm yourself physically and/or mentally. Self-destruction can be found in binge eating, drinking, impulsive haircuts, self-injury, unexpected self-isolation, and compulsive activities that can worsen your life. Self-destruction is often disguised as ‘being moody,’ or a small one-time act, but once they pile up and become a habit, it can be very dangerous. It is good to understand the possible dangers of simple acts that may seem like nothing, and how to possibly help someone else.

        When people self-destruct, they may not even understand it. Nobody does something with the idea to make their life worse, but it often gets hazy, like crossing a tightrope and not caring if you end up falling. Self-destruction can be as simple as doing dangerous acts all for a slight rush, knowing the conscience. Some people are just adrenaline junkies, but there should be a line for how dangerous you can be before you are enabling harmful habits.

        Some self-destructive examples may be masked as having a good time. Having too much to drink, getting risky with safety, gambling, and even impulsive shopping, but the difference between being irresponsible and having signs of self-destruction is all in your intention. People don’t gamble because they can (unless filthy rich,) they gamble to feel something and have the chance of a reward. You can gamble once and be fine, but if you start going because you feel like you need to or there is nothing else left in the day, it is a problem. You can get risky with activities without harming yourself and others, but once there is an underlying attitude of not caring either way, then there is a problem.

        Having the mindset of wanting to destroy yourself often is caused by anxiety and one’s self-hatred. It may not be at the forefront of their thoughts, but there is often the want to destroy your life little by little. Doing things that actively harm you can often make you feel on top of the world as if you can numb your feelings by being a risk to yourself. Because of the slow progression of self-destructiveness, it is good to catch your harmful habits before they spiral. You should always be confined by someone else if you think a problem is starting to arise because it can slip the rug from under you.

        A self-destructive method that people often label as ‘moodiness’ is isolating yourself. Many teenagers can go through a phase, but you should never assume that is why someone doesn’t want to be around anyone anymore. One of the leading symptoms of depression is the loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, so if someone is suddenly backing away, try not to be pushed too easily. Never pressure them to be around you. You must understand to both give them space and let them know you are still there. You can maybe talk it out with them, ask what they want you to do, and listen, but it isn’t good to make someone feel alone–even if in the end it is just a phase.

        If you catch yourself wanting to distance yourself from people you care about, feeling urges that can actively harm you, or taking risks that aren’t monitored and may lead your life down a bad path, make sure to tell someone. It’s not that you need a ‘bodyguard,’ but it is always good to have someone who understands you, and can recommend good advice, or be someone to listen to. This person should preferably be an adult, but telling a friend is a good first step.