Some people with ADHD have patterns of behaviour which are self-destructive, self-sabotaging, and self-harming.
This is very similar to a disorder called dysregulated behaviour or Self-Destructive Personality Disorder which may stem from childhood abuse or sustained trauma.
Many of us from infancy feel that we don’t belong, and this is reinforced by the attitude of parents and family, and teachers who criticize us for not performing to their expectations. At the same time, we have a desire to be lived, and so we unconsciously imitate and take the side of out critic and become self-critical so as to be like them and, we hope, loved.
We end up believing that we are disappointments and failures, and unconsciously act in a way that will confirm this. We are unconsciously harming or destroying ourselves to comply with the pattern we learned was us.
Some of the self-destructive behaviours are: procrastination in many areas, withdrawal from others, complaining, not working, persistently late, mismanagement of money, hurtful relationships, not finishing tasks, insomnia, over-sleeping, drinking excess alcohol, overeating, smoking, drugs, gambling, risky sex, cutting yourself, hair pulling, false guilt, violence, suicide. Etc. The technical name for all of this is SHIT (Self-Harmful Intention Traits) (or are these words a part of my ADHD unregulated behaviour? Or self-destructive? I may be seeking your disapproval!)
Much of this is familiar to those of us with different types of ADHD. The problem is made more difficult when self-destructive behaviour is overlaid onto existing ADHD symptoms. Most of the behaviours provide some immediate satisfaction even if the person is aware of long term bad consequences. But the behaviour is repeated again and again as the unconscious does what it learned to do, which is to maintain the person as normal, which in this case is an ongoing disaster.
There are medical researchers who believe that many diseases are unconscious self-destruction.
WHAT DO WE DO?
The first thing to do is recognise that the bad stuff is all SHIT that has been dumped on us by other people. Underneath is a wonderful beautiful person, you. Other people, usually but not always with good intent, gave you all the stuff, and being a little child, you (your unconscious mind) decided to live up to the pattern and destiny handed to you.
Dump it. It was all lies, untrue, mistaken and misunderstood.
You may need help; a history of abuse may be hard to deal with by yourself. You may need help finding ways to reorganise your mind so that you have a reasonable income, complete tasks, overcome addictions, etc. This is part of my work as a Hypnotherapist.
Use effective future focussed meditation such as Dr Joe Dispenza’s Space Meditation on YouTube. Resolve that you are going to affirm yourself and build up your self. It is probably best to tackle one problem at a time, though inevitably some will be interconnected.
An important move is to create in your mind a very powerful concept of your future. For many people this will be pictures (they don’t have to be photo quality) and words, but some people are barely aware of pictures and more aware of feelings. The future may include specific goals but will largely be the type of person you want to be – all the characteristics that make up your ideal self.
SO WHAT IS THE SELF-CONSTRUCTIVE LIFE?
My provisional definition.
I am here to be everything that I can be, and then more. I am here to express myself fully and to achieve, to be curious, to learn and be adventurous – ADDventurous. I am here to create, to bring order and create a future for me and others. I am here to love and be loved. I am here to make life good.
I think that a by-product of this is happiness. People who come to me saying that “I just want to be happy” are usually trying to avoid dealing with problems and will never be happy.
Other material is available on this site and online.
This over-laps with self-punishment.
© David Townsend 2014