We’ve probably all done something a bit self-destructive at some point. Just about everyone has. Most of the time, it’s not intentional and doesn’t become a habit.
Self-destructive behaviors are those that are bound to harm you physically or mentally. It may be unintentional. Or, it may be that you know exactly what you’re doing, but the urge is too strong to control.
It may be due to earlier life experiences. It can also be related to a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety. It can also be because of your being gay.
Self-mutilation. Some gay people resort to cutting their arms or legs with razor blades and other sharp objects to cope with emotional pain. Self-mutilation of this type is an unmistakable sign that something is wrong. So gays are not immune to this behavior.
Self-destructive behavior is when you do something that’s sure to cause self-harm, whether it’s emotional or physical. Some self-destructive behavior is more obvious, such as:
compulsive activities like gambling, gaming, or shopping
impulsive and risky sexual behavior
overusing alcohol and drugs
self-injury, such as cutting, hair pulling, burning
There are also more subtle forms of self-sabotage. You may not realize you’re doing it, at least on a conscious level. Examples of this are:
being self-derogatory, insisting you’re not smart, capable, or attractive enough, that you’re gay and not straight.
changing yourself to please others
clinging to someone who is not interested in you
engaging in alienating or aggressive behavior that pushes people away
maladaptive behaviors, such as chronic avoidance, procrastination, and passive-aggressiveness
wallowing in self-pity
The frequency and severity of these behaviors vary from person to person. For some, they’re infrequent and mild. For others, they’re frequent and dangerous. But they always cause problems.
You might be more prone to behave in a self-destructive manner if you’ve experienced:
alcohol or drug use
childhood trauma, neglect, or abandonment
emotional, sexual, or physical abuse
friends who self-injure
social isolation, exclusion
gay feelings and/or gay sexual acts
If you have one self-destructive behavior, it may result in the likelihood of developing another.
Studies show that self-harm is common in both people who have and do not have a mental health diagnosis. It can happen to anyone of any age, although teens and young adults are more likely to engage in physical self-injury.
Self-destructive behavior can stem from a mental health condition, such as:
Characterized by debilitating fear, worry, and distress. Being gay and Christian can cause severe anxiety.
Overwhelming sadness and loss of interest. It usually involves a variety of physical symptoms, as well. Being a gay Christian can cause severe depression.
Conditions like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.
Inability to relate to other people in a healthy way. The stigma of being gay.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that starts after you’ve experienced a traumatic event. Studies show that PTSD and impulsive personality traits, like being gay, may put you at risk of self-destructive behavior. The rate of self-destructive behavior is particularly high among gays who have been exposed to trauma.
What can you do to stop self-destructive behavior?
Self-destructive behavior is when you repeatedly do things that will harm you physically, mentally, or both. It can range from mild to life-threatening.
If you think you’re engaging in self-destructive behavior, you probably are. You don’t have to live this way. You deserve better.
See your doctor or find a qualified mental health professional. In therapy, you can work through the cause and effects of self-destructive behavior. You can find new coping skills and practice alternate behaviors. Get confidants, confide in trusted people, like us here in this gay Jehovah’s Witnesses community. You can live a happier, less self-destructive life of self contentment, and, above all, a life pleasing to Jehovah.
Notice in this image the two gay Jehovah's Witnesses holding hands.
We're here to offer support!
In Africa, for example, touch is very customary.
The article “In Africa, Men Hold Hands and How Boys Become Men Response”,
Author Bill Batson tells us about his experiences
with how males behave in South Africa and further explains how
there is no weakness in showing brotherly tenderness.
It is believed Batson wrote this piece to show the rest of the world
that performing acts such as holding hands with another male