All of us have probably acted against our own self-interest at some point in our lives. For some people, it’s feeling sick after eating a bag of candy or drinking too much, while for others it’s self-mutilation and mental self-erasure.

The concept of abuse is complicated. It’s simple on an abstract theoretical level: abuse is a type of behavior that is harmful. But it’s much more complicated on a psychoemotional level because people tend to justify or...
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