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Self-destructive behaviors are intentional actions likely to cause harm physically or emotionally. Examples include substance abuse, engaging in risky behavior, including sexual behavior, or general risk-taking, such as gambling, where there is little chance of controlling the outcome. In 25 years as a sex crimes prosecutor, I have repeatedly seen more severe forms of self-destructive behavior. They include cutting/self-mutilation and other types of physical self-harm to relieve the “pressure” of intrusive traumatic memories and thoughts.
landmark study of adverse childhood events (ACEs) in 1998, we have known that childhood trauma is common and has lasting effects. In that study, among a sample of around 10,000 individuals, over half of all the people surveyed experienced at least one traumatic childhood event, and one-quarter experienced multiple. Experiencing these traumatic childhood events increased the risk for mental and physical health problems.
The perfect day for anxiety to spike in anticipation of the work week. It is hard not to think about work when it is looming only a few hours away.
Let’s be honest–work is stressful. You might be walking on eggshells dealing with a critical boss who micromanages your every move. Perhaps you are stuck with difficult coworkers who you wish you never had to work with. Maybe you feel burned out from the constant barrage of emails and phone calls.
Many people report feeling disconnected from the world around them sometimes, feeling “flat,” or feeling like life is on autopilot. Perhaps events and people seem muted, or less colorful somehow.
It can also be described as chronically running on empty, feeling ungrounded, having a hard time focusing, or losing track of time throughout the day. Feeling numb can make it hard to connect with others, which creates loneliness or a sense of isolation in your experience.
The brain is constantly churning out thoughts, emotions, sensations, and perceptions, meaning there is a lot of information competing for attention. We focus on things that are important to what we want to do, spending 46.9 percent of our waking hours thinking about something other than what we are actually doing (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010).
We are living during emotionally challenging times. Recently, there has been widespread discussion of the mental health pandemic. More people are seeking mental health services now, and a shortage of providers is hindering their ability to get the help they need.
The negativity bias is our tendency not only to register negative stimuli more readily but also to dwell on these events. Also known as positive-negative asymmetry, this negativity bias means that we feel the sting of a rebuke more powerfully than we feel the joy of praise.
This psychological phenomenon explains why bad first impressions can be so difficult to overcome and why past traumas can have such long lingering effects. In almost any interaction, we are more likely to notice negative things and later remember them more vividly.