• 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

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

Archive

Call Us Now!