The self-poisoner is more willing to place unreasonable demands on himself and to let one particular need dominate his well-being at the expense of other important needs. It does not matter at all whether he is aware of what he is doing to himself or oblivious to his self-poisoning processes. Generally, the self-poisoner lacks awareness of how toxic his attitudes and behavior are to himself. Yet lack of awareness does not lessen the reality of the toxic process—just as a person who is suffering from a terminal disease will die, whether he knows he is ill or not. Self-poisoning on the emotional level is frequently quite subtle, and often a person is unaware of its deadliness, but like a constantly high noise level or polluted air, it saps his strength little by little. A continuous self-induced toxic pattern must inevitably erode one's health and wellbeing, however gradual the poisoning process may be. The only unpredictable aspects are when the breakdown will become obvious and what form it will take.


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