woman in desperate and anxiety sitting alone

Negative Coping Skills

When dealing with the lows of our mental health challenges, some of us tend to cope a bit more negatively. But, of course, at the time, we do not see them as negative coping skills but as temporary relief from our current reality. At that very moment, we want to feel a sense of numbness. So we cope in ways that give us a feeling of escape. We want to escape; from the unwanted thoughts, untreated trauma, hurt and pain, our struggles, disappointments, rejections, and broken hearts- everything. Craving for a “get-away” so bad, we tend to act more negatively and desperately, causing us to treat ourselves and loved ones horribly at times.

Below I have listed a few negative ways of managing our mental health challenges. If you tend to cope using any of these methods, please refer to the Positive Coping Skills post for healthier and safer ways to deal with your mental health struggles.

assorted wine bottles

Too Much Alcohol

Many individuals frown upon alcohol use while others don’t. More power to you on whatever your preference is as long as you’re being responsible. Some intake alcohol during social occasions, while others intake for general pleasure or a temporary fix. Whatever your reasoning might be, too much alcohol (wine, beer, liquor, etc.) can have a significant impact on your mental health. 

Though some believe alcohol helps reduce their symptoms in reality, that is not the case. Initially, it may cause one to feel relaxed, but it will eventually wear off, and your troubles will still be present or possibly worse. Intaking too much alcohol may affect one’s anxiety or depression by worsening their symptoms or even causing the illnesses if not already present.

*Drinking alcohol should never be a form of self-medication.

spoon dark addiction tablet

Use of Drugs

Like alcohol, drugs tend to be a choice of coping. Negative coping, that is. When people hear “drugs,” they assume hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, meth, etc. The misuse of over-the-counter and prescribed medications is also considered a harmful coping mechanism for those unaware. It’s the desperate need for peace the users are craving. As one may become an alcoholic from the excessive use of alcohol, a drug user might become a drug addict, sadly.

I assume it’s the constant desire to be away from reality. As I’m aware, certain drugs tend to give some users an out-of-body experience. Yet, it is so easy to overdose accidentally. Also, like alcohol, drugs affect one’s mental and physical health, overall outlook on life, and so on. Drug use should not be a way to cope, and I hope those addicted can soon find some peace that’ll help them quit as quickly as possible.

concerned black couple sitting on bed in misunderstanding

Avoidance

Some of us tend to evade facing our actual problems, and we really shouldn’t. Although we may not want to, confronting our difficulties aids with resolving them, believe it or not. In return, that resolution equals a more stress-free and satisfying life. In the past, avoidance has for sure been something I was guilty of, but today, I’ve learned to deal with my troubles for what they are and do whatever it is I can to resolve or even avoid them from occurring again.

Face your problems and look forward to a more enjoyable life!

a gambler betting on a roulette table

Excessive Gambling

Gambling seems to be a fun hobby for those who can afford to do so. Others, not so much yet, they do it anyways. Unfortunately, some people run into financial problems and then depend on casinos, lottery, sports games, and more for a lucky moment. But what happens when they gamble the money they barely had to begin with? They face other financial struggles causing additional problems in their lives.

How does this happen, one might wonder? At a casino, for example, they may start off winning high earnings, so at some point, they’ll pay more for an even more significant earning. But then, the gains slow, and their bank decreases. They notice they’ve now lost their earned prizes and now have less than what they started with initially. But, of course, they didn’t necessarily have the funds to begin with, so now they’re desperate and end up losing it all. That is how it happens.

Needless to say, if you do not have the money to gamble, then don’t. Save yourself and your pockets the additional and avoidable stress in your life.

burgers on white ceramic plate

Overeating or Not Eating

It is no secret that individuals regularly use or refuse food intake to cope. Though it is not an ideal way to manage, I understand why and how it’s a coping mechanism for many. Seriously, why not eat ice cream, pizza, or my favorite foods to help me feel better and help take my mind off the things that have been drastically bothering me or my life? At least, that’s how those who use food to cope might feel. 

Overeating can easily and quickly lead to obesity, leading to lower self-esteem (along with other health complications) for many, I’m sure. But, when we look better, we feel better. Please remember that! Though I have never experienced overeating habits, there are times when my depression causes me to refuse food for short periods. It is a horrible symptom known as loss of appetite. I can go days without eating, and I know it is unhealthy, but I will continue to work on that, and so should you.

man wearing blue suit screaming near a wall

Bottling in Your Emotions

I will speak on myself for this one. Since I can remember, holding in all of my emotions has been the worst of my coping skills. For years I would continuously bottle everything in until, eventually, I would explode! It was much like adding Mentos to a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi. Or like filling a balloon with entirely too much air, and then BOOM! That was the story of my life before professionally being diagnosed with depression. People would call me “Crazy” and think something psychotic was wrong with me.

When you’re young, you have no way of honestly expressing yourself. So, unfortunately, you’re faced with dealing with your problems alone (at least that’s how I saw it) because if you do express yourself, of course, there would be repercussions. That was my life, that is how I coped with my youth struggles, and sadly, that is how I would manage in my adulthood. Not healthy at all, but as I grew, I learned to express myself every chance I got- how I developed the tagline, “Live a Little,” as my life motto.

If you bottle everything in to cope, STOP NOW! Instead, express yourself, use your words, take control of your life, be your true self, and Live a Little!

man administering first aid

Self-Harm or Cutting

Based on previous research, teens typically cut as a form of coping. Because this is a transparency-filled blog, I admit I was one of those teens/adults. This is my first time publicly announcing this confession. I first started cutting in middle school. I began to cut my legs so no one would notice, and I would later move to my left arm over the years. The last time was in May 2018. No one ever found out nor suspected me of acting in such a dangerous manner. It was my secret. 

Going back to the ‘Bottling in Your Emotions’ coping, it was a form of silent expression for me. I never understood why I did it, nor did I know it was something familiar in teens. It was just how I coped, and it worked for me- at least that is what I thought. I did not cut to try to kill myself, but I assume for some weird relief of my hardships. Although the last time I experienced a cutting episode was in 2018, I do not encourage it. I also hope those who experience cutting spells today will seek professional help to learn positive ways to cope immediately

*Self-harm should never be used as a coping skill.

As I have only detailed a few primary harmful coping methods, many more exist. Therefore, please do further research to see if any of your management techniques are healthy for yourself or your mental health. If not, please consider more optimistic ways of managing and begin to heal and repair yourself. That is all. 

Thank you for reading- if you find this post helpful, please share to help save a life.

Much Love Hooters,

-Cherry and the Hoot

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