Mervin Smucker. Self-defeating Behaviours and Mood Disorders.

Self-defeating thoughts and behaviours are frequently targeted for identification and modification in psychotherapy, especially with individuals struggling with mood disorders. Below is a list of self-defeating behaviours commonly linked to depression and related mood disorders:

  • habitually putting the needs or wants of others ahead of your own
  • repeatedly entering into relationships with people who are cold, rejecting, or unavailable
  • being a perfectionist (intolerant of your own flaws or shortcomings)
  • habitually being either passive or aggressive in relationships rather than assertively expressing your needs
  • approaching problems as insurmountable obstacles rather than as opportunities for growth
  • allowing your mood to be determined by the emotional states of others
  • ignoring your basic physical needs (e.g., sleep, good nutrition, exercise)
  • being addicted to the approval of others
  • depending on alcohol, drugs, food, or other addictive substances or activities to elevate your mood
  • being a workaholic while not taking adequate time for yourself or to nurture important relationships
  • overreacting to the „minor bumps“ of daily life (poor emotional shock absorbers)

Mervin Smucker Ph.D. is an international trauma consultant and author of numerous articles and books on trauma and cognitive-behavioural therapy interventions.