• Call Now: 405.341.3554
  • Connect

Edmond Family Counseling Articles

Articles by the Counselors at Edmond Family Counseling

THE ART OF SELF-SABOTAGE

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

By: Belinda Crosier, LPC, LADC

A fascinating, but frustrating, phenomenon that therapists witness much more than we would like is that of the self-sabotage syndrome. You’ve probably observed it in someone you love – or maybe even yourself – even though you may not have realized it at the time. It’s very common in people who have been in recovery awhile, which usually leads to criticism and self-blame, which in turn fuels the downward spiral of shame, self-loathing and attempts to numb those feelings by using drugs or alcohol. Even in people who don’t abuse drugs or alcohol, this syndrome sometimes occurs when things have been going really well in an area that has historically been fraught with disappointment or failure.

To the lay person, self-sabotage makes no sense and can fuel immense anger toward the person engaging in it, especially if it’s a loved one we desperately want to see happy or successful. But for those who succumb to it, self-sabotage is a survival strategy. People who have experienced considerable turmoil, trauma or disappointment learn to expect those outcomes from their endeavors, to the point that experiencing any measurable success can generate significant anxiety. After all, success is a new and foreign sensation, something they’re not used to. It creates discomfort, and may create feelings of not being worthy of success or fear of not being able to maintain the success. Failure and frustration, as the norm, become comfortably familiar and it seems less scary to remain in what’s familiar than to step out into the unknown. The belief that things will eventually fall apart (as they have in the past) fuels apprehension, and the uncertainty of when and how this will happen is stressful enough to push people to subconsciously create a crisis. I’ve heard such things as, “I guess I just got too happy,” or “things were just going too well,” numerous times from clients who, as much as they professed to want to succeed, made sure it didn’t happen.

It's now believed by some experts that people can actually develop an “addiction to chaos” as a result of the hormones and chemicals produced by the brain in times of high stress or intense emotion, similar to those produced by the use of drugs or alcohol. Such a person is driven to repeatedly seek out that same flood of brain chemicals; thus when life settles into stability, calm or (heaven forbid!) mundane, the itch to recreate that excitement overwhelms the rational part of the brain and the self-sabotage cycle begins.

How do we tame this hairy beast? As with many dysfunctional behaviors, awareness is the first step. Noticing, and even writing down, self-sabotaging behaviors can help us own & be more accountable for them. Common cues for self-sabotage to watch for are:

  • negative thinking & self-talk e.g.“What’s the point?” “I always blow interviews (relationships, jobs, etc.”)
  • poor time management/spending too much time on trivial details which can divert attention from important issues
  • self-pity, and rescuing others stuck in turmoil.

 

Self-saboteurs must learn patience, which can be facilitated through mindfulness, meditation or even yoga. Identifying and critically reassessing the chaotic relationships and situations in one’s life may allow for distancing from, or even terminating, some of them. Learning to set boundaries is one of the ways we learn to take care of ourselves, which may be a foreign concept and will require determination and the ability to shake off guilt. A trusted friend who is not embroiled in chaos, or a therapist, may be necessary to provide the objective feedback to recognize and reverse this syndrome, but it can be done! Edmond Family Counseling is committed to improving lives through prevention, counseling, and education. To support us, log on to http://www.edmondfamily.org

 



Comments
Post has no comments.
Post a Comment



Captcha Image

Trackback Link
http://edmondfamilycounseling.org/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=17125&PostID=1495590&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Tags

College Campus How prevalent is domestic violence Prom guidelines for teens Movies for Teens Independent Living Legalization of Marijuana Political bias Working Parents Drinking in high school ADHD Emotions Teen Parenting Community Suicide Prevention Programs Summer Plans for Teens Exercise treatment for depression Edmond Municipal Court Teens and cell phones Scapegoating Tetra-Amelia Syndrome Support Group Newsletter How to control panic attacks Discipline Opiods Feldman and Kravetz Mayme White Miller Grandparents as parents Bullying Fear Holiday stress Risk taking Andy Weir Self Investment Annie Sullivan Chad McCoy Negative Thinking Panic attacks Medical Use of Marijuana in Oklahoma Organization Entitlement Syndrome Disasters list How common are panic attacks Ridley Scott How to detect signs of depression What Really Matters Unemployment and depression Codependency Call of Duty Waxing Brain Research Consequences Impact of Suicide Happiness Back to School non-verbal communication Edmond Family Counseling Terrorism and children Schedule 1 Drug bucket list Social Media Sheila Stinnett What to do when you are laid off Sanjay Gupta Positive Thinking Cell Phones Suicide Anxiety Disciplining Teens Disability Grounded Hope Mental Health Positive Illusions Jay Asher Child Abuse Will counseling work quickly HB 2249 Prevention Presidential debate Teens Use of Technology Bias and memory Speaker Listener Technique Chores for Teens School Communicating with your child Relationships Addiction How to talk to your kids about terrorism The Miracle Worker Death Aggregated News for Teens HK pen Confidentiality Teenagers How do children process trauma Retirement Retirement Planning What is domestic violence Depression Communication Twenty Somethings Learning Disabilites Domestic violence resources Teens and Smartphones Time Management Ben Carson Fidget Spinners Supersurvivors World Health Organization Prom Stress Choices Communicating with your teen Prom safety Hanna Baker Holidays Teenage Boys Gender Roles Adult Children The Golden Years Marijuana Gun violence and mental health Depression and social media Substance Abuse Food Allergies Captain of Your Ship fads Belinda Crosier Grandparent Initiative self-sabotage Darcy McConnell Marriage James Dobson How many sessions do I need high school Underage Drinking Divorce School Dr. Ben Carson 13 Reasons Why NOT Links between unemployment and depression Microagression Peers Edmond drug use What Matters Most Program Drug Use 13 Reasons Why Parenting and Cell Phones Donald Miller College Transitions Teen Safety Changing Problem Behavior Self Image Oklahoma drug use Emotional Development Freshman Year David Feldman Parenting with purpose Butane Honey Oil gadgets Enabling Adult Children Self-Esteem Heroin in the Suburbs ADA Unemployment Apps for Teens Personality Test Parenting Teenagers Suicide Prevention for Teens Limitations of counseling Isolation in teens Alcohol Culture College Help for panic and anxiety Setting Boundaries for Your Teen Family Theory Detox Diet Girl Strong Co-Parenting Child Development New year’s resolution Is therapy forever Goal Setting Golden Child Affluenza National Drug Threat Assessment Summary Parent peer pressure Spanking Great Depression Summer 710 Divorce Bong Therapy Instagram United States Drug Enforcement Agency Parenting Children Character Development Audrey Woods Summer time parenting Millenials Al McCormick Panic Disorder Michael Jackson John Goetz Funding Strong Willed Child Parenting through Divorce Misconceptions of Smoking Marijuana Early Treatment of Depression Quinton Ellis The Martian Book Teenage perception of drug use Childhood depression Learning How long should counseling take Young Adults The Amazing Race Why did the system fail Butane Hask Oil AARP Helen Keller Lee Daniel Kravetz The Martian Movie Social anxiety Prescription Drugs Tumblr Drug Abuse Americans with Disabilities Act Role Models Trauma Boundaries Teens and Time Management Positive Reinforcement Amanda Percival 5 Love Languages Teen Jobs personal growth Marriage counseling Oklahoma Department of Human Services goals Setting Boundaries with Adult Children Panic Bias When Teens Should Get a Cell Phone Seniors History Procrastination Political Correctness Teen Drug Use Decision-Making Parkland Shooter Co-Parenting Class Normalcy spring Family Roles Family Systems Theory Edmond Jackie Shaw Elizabeth Loftus Micro-aggression parenting college age kids Technology Conflict DIY Marriage counseling College Age Children Joshua and Rebecca Weigel Dating Communication techniques for couples Facebook Mild-Depression Reading Nutrition and stress Suicide Prevention Recommendations Oklahoma Statute on Marijuana Heroin Crisis GirlStrong Twitter How to recognize domestic violence Dr. Rhonda Patrick The Butterfly Circus Wax How to manage anxiety privilege Siblings in Conflict Developmentally appropriate strategies for grief counseling Managing substance abuse Edmond Character Council Grandparenting Snapchat Teen Suicide Drugs School Anxiety Teenage Development Divorce with minor children Anger Sexual Abuse Eating Disorder

Archive

Call Us Now!