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Self Destructive Behaviour

Updated on October 22, 2011

Self-Destruction can be defined as "Actions that harm oneself". They can come from wilful acts, unintended consequences, or physiological causes. Self destructive behaviours can be grouped as under:

  1. Suicide.
  2. Alcoholism.
  3. Usage of drugs.


Suicide is common in all cultures and societies of the world. People who commit suicide are depressed, lack confidence, are mostly poor and hopeless about their futures. Hence, we can say that suicide is a cowardly act.

Causes: Suicides are committed due to some complex and depression. People who commit suicides are mentally disturbed and depressed. They face situations such as failure in job, hard time in school, family problems, fight with friends, divorce, break up with a loved one, etc. Most experts believe that these situations trigger suicidal behaviour.

Scientific facts of suicide: People may inherit a genetic predisposition to certain psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and alcoholism, that increase the risk of suicide. In addition, an inability to control impulsive and violent behaviour may have biological roots. Research has found lower than normal levels of serotonin a substance associated with the brain in people with impulsive aggressiveness.

Prevention: One of the best ways of preventing suicides are treating the victims of depression in early stages through medication and psychotherapy.

Signals of suicidal behaviour: A person who is about to perform a suicidal act talks about death, grave, hopelessness, and love for death. Students shows it by drawing the suicidal act, expressing it in poems, essays, dramas and change in behaviour.

Conclusion: Suicide is not the solution to problems, it is a cowardly act. Life is enjoyable if you are optimistic. Always remember failures are the ladder to success so don't give up, face them and learn to tackle them.


Alcoholism is a type of self-destructive behaviour that slowly kills your body.

Causes: People who are victims of alcoholism are often depressed and sad. Day by day they become more and more dependent on alcohol, as it makes them forget their problems.

Effects: Alcoholism has toxic as well as tranquillising effects on the body. Alcohol badly affects the digestive system and results in ulcers, inflammation of the pancreas, and cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol may also cause damage to the nervous system. Recent observations have shown that heavy and even moderate drinking during pregnancy can cause serious damage to the unborn child - physical or mental retardation or both.

Treatment: In withdrawal states, treatment involves individual counselling and group therapy techniques aimed at complete and comfortable abstinence from alcohol.

Usage of drugs

Drugs are also one of the most harmful self-destructive weapons. Teenagers are the ones who are mostly victims of drugs.

Drugs are also one of the most harmful self-destructive weapons. Teenagers are the ones who are mostly victims of drugs.

Causes: Usage of drugs takes three different forms:
  1. Tolerance
  2. Habituation
  3. Addiction


Tolerance, a form of physical dependence, occurs when the body becomes accustomed to a drug and requires ever-increasing amounts of it to achieve the same pharmacological effects. This condition is worsened when certain drugs are used at high doses for long periods (weeks or months), and may lead to more frequent use of the drug.


Habituation, a form of psychological dependence, is characterized by the continued desire for a drug, even after physical dependence is gone. A drug often produces an elated emotional state, and a person using drugs soon believes the drug is needed to function at work or home.


Addiction is a severe craving for the substance and interferes with a person's ability to function normally. It may also involve physical dependence. Types of drugs:


These include the following:

  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamine
  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine.


  • The heart beat increases.
  • The addicted becomes weak and sleepy.
  • The blood pressure increases.

Opium and its compounds (narcotics):

These include the following:

  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Heroine.


  • The feeling of hunger is lost and one suffers from constipation.
  • There is continuous loss of weight.
  • The nervous system becomes dull by its use.
  • Activeness and the urge to do work is lost.

Cannabis and its derivatives. (hallucinogens)

These include the following:

  • Charas
  • Hash (Hashish)
  • Marijuana.


  • Balance of mind is lost due to its use.
  • The nervous system becomes very weak and dull by its use.


It is very difficult for a drug addict to leave drugs fully in a little span of time so some substitutes with less harmful effects have been invented as treating agents, such as naltrexone. Users of barbiturates and amphetamines may require hospitalization for detoxification.


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