How to Avoid Self Destructive Behaviour in College

Going to college and university is a stressful time so it's hardly surprising that some students can fall victim to self-harm, eating disorders or other self-destructive behaviour. The student may have a history of such behaviour or this may be the first time it has occurred. Either way, self-destructive behaviour can quickly develop into a serious problem.


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    If you have, for example, self-harmed in the past, be aware that the stress of a new environment could cause you to relapse. A relapse is nothing to be ashamed of - it happens to the best of people. However, you can take steps to avoid this by thinking of signs that will indicate that you may behave in such a manner again. If any of these things occur, be on your guard.
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    Take the time to be organised about what work needs to be done. If you know what needs to be done by when, it will avoid stressing out about forgotten projects. Basically, set yourself up to avoid stress.
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    Take time out to chill from the stress. If you are living in dorms or shared accommodation, remember that your flatmates will probably have the same sort of stresses on their course. They will be able to relate to you if you need to talk to them.
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    If you are getting seriously stressed to the point you are worrying about your physical health being affected, talk to your campus counselor or doctor. It is incredibly rare that a university or a college doesn't offer medical support and these services have the same policy on confidentiality as a regular doctor.


  • Many colleges and universities have student counseling centers. They have professionals that can sit down with you and talk. They have seen many cases and can help you. By law, they are required to keep your information confidential (meaning your parents won't find out) unless you give permission.
  • If you feel that taking a few days out from college or university would help, talk to your personal tutor about missing a few seminars. Most are very understanding if you tell them you may need to go back home for a little while and you needn't disclose the exact reason why if you don't want to.
  • Self-harm and eating disorders are not uncommon. Chances are one of your flatmates either knows somebody who has or has themselves engaged in the same activity you are worried about. If you are feeling brave, you may find that confiding in somebody helps.


  • Be extra wary around exam times when stress will be at its peak.
  • Remember self-harm and eating disorders are serious problems. They are not to be taken lightly and must be treated as soon as possible.

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Categories: Campus Life