“A List of Common Self-Destructive Coping Behaviors”
Denial • Oversleeping • Procrastination • Stuffing Our Emotions
Walking Off – Leaving • Withdrawal – Isolation
Flight into Activity (staying too busy to think about our troubles)
Anorexia • Bulimia • Overeating • Comfort Eating
“Harmless” Jokes • “Forgetting” (forgetting on purpose!)
“Accidents” (accidently doing something on purpose!) • Sarcasm
Procrastination • Talking Behind Someone’s Back • Gossiping
Towards People, Animals, and Property
Suicide Attempts – Gestures
Self-Mutilation (cutting, burning, scratching, hair pulling,
and other forms of self-inflicted body damage).
Substance Abuse / Dependence / Self-Medicating
Alcohol • Illegal Drugs • Prescription Drugs
Taking Revenge (getting even…or ahead!)
Saying Hurtful Things to Others • Hostile – Threatening Remarks
Screaming Fits – Temper Tantrums • Threats to Harm/ Kill Ourself
Telling People Off • Bluntness – Speaking Our Mind
Gambling • Habitual Lying • Codependency – Enabling
Rebound Relationships • Promiscuity (sleeping around) – Affairs
Overshopping • Being the Drama King or Queen
Getting Involved in Other People’s Problems
Criminal Acts (stealing, property damage, setting fires, etc.)
High Risk – Reckless Behavior (driving too fast, “playing chicken,”
road rage, “taking chances for the fun of it,” etc.)
How many of these things do you do?
Most of us do MANY of these things…and we end up with a lot more problems to deal with!
This list is excerpted from the DBT-CBT “Out-of-Control” Therapy Workbook by Melanie Gordon Sheets, Ph.D.
DBT is Dialectical Behavior Therapy and CBT is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.