7 Steps To Slay Self-Destructive Behavior

There is a subpersonality within each person that has a self-destruct theme. This is not unnatural because it can be found all over the animal kingdom. A scorpion surrounded by flames will sting itself in the back and kill itself rather than be burned to death. Human beings will do likewise in their own way if they sense that the alternative to dying at their own hands is much more painful. Humans readily choose death for political reasons, for principles, for values, or to save the lives of others.

In most people, this perfectly natural self-destruct subpersonality sleeps unless extreme conditions call it forth to influence events. In people with control problems, the self-destructive personality has garnered this subpersonality for its own twisted purposes.

Your challenge is to set this subpersonality free to act in a normal way and to drive out the self-destruction dragon. Here are seven steps that caused you or those you love to develop self-destructive behavior, and seven steps to conquer the problem once and for all.

The Seven Steps of Development for Self-Destructive Behavior
Step One: The children are abandoned.
Step Two: The abandonment results in loss of structure.
Step Three: Emotional and physical abuse occurs.
Step Four: The children turn against themselves.
Step Five: The children fear loss of control.
Step Six: The children learn that gaining control is vital to survival.
Step Seven: The children no longer value life. Death seems better.

Seven Weapons to Slay Self-Destruction
Weapon One: Realize that life is sacred and has ultimate meaning.
Weapon Two: Admit you are out of control and ask for help.
Weapon Three: Admit that being in control is the big issue.
Weapon Four: Set your sights on realistic goals.
Weapon Five: Clean up the messes in your life.
Weapon Six: Admit and face your abuse of yourself and others.
Weapon Seven: Admit and face the issue of abandonment.

Adapted from Transforming Your Dragons, by Jose Stevens, Ph.D. (Inner Traditions, 1994). Copyright (c) 1994 by Jose Stevens. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from Transforming Your Dragons, by Jose Stevens, Ph.D. (Inner Traditions, 1994).


Elaya Raja
Elaya Raja5 years ago


Dale Overall

Not all self destructive behaviour comes from abandonment, there are many things that can lead to this.

Of course there are the sociopaths whom are extremely destructive to both themselves and others and very little can be done to treat them except for having the rest of us on guard for this particular trait in a person.

David Nuttle
Past Member 5 years ago

Based on some of the above comments, this article needs to be further developed to be helpful.
I agree.

Roxanne N.
Roxanne N5 years ago

Maybe the book is good, but this outline doesn't tell me anything. Its just what it is, an outline. And "abandoned" is such a vague term. What does it mean? Being abandoned in the physical sense, or emotionally, or a combination of the two? Does it encompass children who are abused, or just neglected, or what? Self destructive behavior doesn't always arise from childhood issues, it can come later in life, ie, such as a teen who starts to go with the wrong crowd, or a traumatic incident occurs, etc.

The 7 steps are nice, but way too simplistic, and doesn't give any info how to do all this. Basically, this article reads like a bad infomercial, only no product is being advertised. And it certainly doesn't compel me to go and read the book. What a waste of space.

Faith Billingham
Faith Billingham5 years ago

thank you for this article

Electra T.
Past Member 6 years ago

This is a terrible article. It doesn't have any particular tasks or steps to overcome destructive habits. It's easy to tell someone to get over issues but another thing to write exactly HOW

Josh A.
Josh A.6 years ago

I don't think positive thinking helps, nor does telling others to think positive, it is a sure way to become pretty annoying and in denial about how the world really is. Weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice (Romans 15:12) is probably the best way to approach anyone, just being with the person right where they are, not expecting them to be anything they aren't. Just accepting them for who they are, where they are.

Becky B. I do understand where you are coming from. I go to a church where everyone is all smiles and don't want to get too personal, no one wants to truly be like Jesus and reach down to someone in need, on their level and ask what He asked, He said, "what can I do for you?" (Mark 10:51) or wash their feet, (John 13:1-17). That is what a true follower of Christ does because that is what Christ told His followers to do. Why do you call me, Lord Lord but do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)

Faith O.
Faith Oglesby6 years ago

This article makes a lot of sense; but as one other person posted previously, what do you do if you have asked for help "repeatedly", tried a few techniques to minimize the self-destructive habit(s) and yet they come back to haunt me at times? I dislike the "automatic pilot" response that my mind and body get into whenever I feel threatened, intimidated and the like - which seem to cause the ugly, self-destructive behaviors to come forward. The behaviors have caused me intense pain professionally and socially. Any advice or referrals to a website just for starters, would be great!

Becky B.
Becky B.6 years ago

This all sounds great, but what if you have admitted it and screamed for help and no one will help you? NO ONE will help. They just say "I'm praying for you" and walk on by.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you