Your stress level has increased and thus you needed something to relax. You gave up cutting and needed something else. As you have noted, you resorted to a new set of self-destructive mechanisms to cope. You’ve been diagnosed with a number of mental health disorders, but you didn’t mention anything about treatment. Had you been in treatment, it’s unlikely that your cutting behavior would have shifted to some other form of self-destructive behavior.
You asked about whether or not it is typical to trade one self-destructive behavior for another. For some people, especially those of whom are not in treatment, the answer is yes. Had you been in treatment, you may have had a more favorable outcome.
The solution to this problem isn’t necessarily becoming more aware of your behavior but rather finding healthy replacements for unhealthy behavior. There are adaptive ways to deal with stress and there are maladaptive ways to deal with stress. Currently, you are utilizing the latter; consult a therapist who can help you develop healthy ways to deal with stress. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle