Some people spend their lives dealing with powerful cravings for alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, and other temptations that negatively impact their health or relationships. Often, their motivations and causes are easily identifiable or already known. But when it comes to self-sabotage, the forces tend to be more subtle, making it a difficult problem to overcome without professional guidance. What is self-sabotage? What causes it? And how can Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center help?

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in our lives and interferes with long-standing goals.1 When trying to define self-sabotage, many people think only of self-injury such as cutting. But there are other forms of self-sabotaging behaviors, such as procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, and comfort eating. A buildup of distorted or dysfunctional beliefs can lead people to underestimate their capabilities, suppress their feelings, or lash out at those close to them.

Two identifiers of self-sabotage are, first, that the acts seem comforting at the time, but only end up undermining a person; and second, that the person does not realize the behavior is damaging. For those with a tendency to self-sabotage, there exists a critical inner voice that does not represent a positive sense of self that they can trust. They become overwhelmed by a cruel, harmful voice within — an “anti-self” intent on turning a person against themselves.

Where do those negative thoughts stem from? Often, these feelings relate to our early life experiences. Children called “lazy” by their parents often grow up thinking they are less than useful. Or perhaps parents thought themselves failures, and their children adopt the same feelings, however unjustified, as they grow up. From childhood, our critical inner voices can encourage us to act out our defenses in all areas of our lives; they can hold us back, instill fear, and sometimes lead us to choose partners who play into these old damaging dynamics.2

Part of the healing process is understanding the cause of self-sabotaging tendencies, and Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center specializes in the treatment of self-sabotage tendencies. Our UHELP approach provides healing therapy for those suffering from lifetimes of self-sabotage. Under UHELP, we achieve success by working to Understand, Heal, Educate, Love, and Practice learning a new way to live. 

Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center is the premier extended treatment program in the U.S. for individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse. Our program is focused on providing clients with transformative, nurturing, and individualized experiences, designed to build self-esteem and skill sets needed to live the best lives possible. With Viewpoint, you don’t have to endure a life of self-sabotage anymore.

If you or a family member is struggling with self-sabotaging behaviors, Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center stands ready to help. All calls and inquiries are confidential and our dedicated staff is available 24/7.

Contact us at 877-777-5150 or