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Identifying unhealthy coping mechanisms


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#61 daffodil63

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:42 PM

Maybe I'm in denial, or maybe I'm just desperate to hang on to my unhealthy coping techniques of choice (disordered eating and excessive exercise), but...

Are unhealthy coping techniques (at least ones that don't put your or anyone else's health/life in immediate danger) really all that bad? As long as they're in moderation, that is? An unhealthy coping technique is still a coping technique. And one way or another, we need to cope.

If smoking a cigarette or two each day keeps you from falling off the deep end at those moments, then isn't a cigarette preferable to a meltdown?
If becoming a "workaholic" keeps your mind occupied and gives you goals and aspirations in life, isn't that preferable to aimlessness and depression?
If a rather stringent diet keeps my mind off the rape, and gives me motivation to continue through my daily life, isn't it preferable to lying around either hysterical or numb all day?


I asked my counselor the same question recently, MMarie. She suggested that there's a difference between distractions, which are ways to temporarily soothe yourself, and avoidance, which is about not dealing with the problem. That makes sense to me. I know for a really long time, I completely avoided the feelings and the memories. Now, I am acknowledging the pain and trying to work on things, but I still use distractions and coping techniques. I guess those things that help me get through a difficult time are OK, as long as I'm not using them to avoid, like I did before. So I think deciding what's "healthy" is probably up to each of us and how we cope.

#62 mumof2cuteboys

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 04:48 PM

I avoid being by myself in large crowds.
I avoid/sabotage chances of intimacy with hubby
I used to hide within my role of being a busy mum, but that is naturally changing because our boys are gaining their independence quite quickly.
I reject invitations
I use the internet too much, waste too much time - tell people I am studying
When I was managing to walk I would listen MP3 player because then I was distracted and could ignore other walkers - currently I struggle to even walk outside my gate by myself
I choose to shop in small supermarket at the time others are picking up kids from school, or other quiet times.
SI - scratching arms until just before they bleed
Not eating, and sometimes binge eating and feeling guilty - not to the point of vomitting, but only because I couldn't physically do it... Yes, I have tried.

That's enough for now. I have more and may post them later.

Edited by mumof2cuteboys, 15 March 2013 - 04:51 PM.


#63 Abbeyjoy

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:23 PM

My biggest problem has been keeping it secret. I was raped at 13, and telling my parents did nothing but hurt me worse. When I was repeatedly raped and beaten by a "boyfriend" at 19 I was too afraid to tell anyone. Drugs and alcohol to follow...it's hard at 26, to not hate myself for not coming forward sooner.

#64 mumof2cuteboys

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:07 PM

More thoughts:
Currently I am studying and I an good studying lots to avoid other life issues.
I arrive at church late and leave straight afterwards to avoid the crowds.m
I have not been to a large shopping centre for over 3 months.
I have dropped out of extra study because of fear.
I ignore the phone or use texting to communicate with friends because then I can hide my real feelings easier.
I say no a lot more than I like to admit.

Yep, at the moment life is about study and avoiding other people for fear that they may notice I an not coping

#65 rosiej~9

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:37 PM

This is all so familiar! I don't eat either, sometimes I'll go a day or two before remembering that organisms need food. Problem is I don't put the weight I lose back on very easily, and I just lost another four XD

Others are self harm (recent, very helpful, gotta kick the habit I know), isolation (in response to this "no one cares, don't talk about it" sort of mentality) and avoidance - I actually didn't realize the second one was the case until a few days ago, even though I've been doing it for months now; my mom came into my room (I'm 17) and saw two giant piles of laundry on either side of my room along with general clutter everywhere, and all my school books, my backpack, my school uniform and my purse still in my bed (I wasn't intending to remove them before sleeping) and she stood there for a second and said "this can't be normal...you used to be a neat freak." I didn't notice I was doing anything different until she made that comment, then I looked around and saw how trashed the place was. So weird.

I guess we all do some things subconsciously, from not eating to avoidance /:

~ash

#66 rosiej~9

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:55 PM

Oh, almost forgot! Got some funny/maybe not quite as funny ones:

-Drinking for emergencies (get smashed and you can forget about anything, if only for a few hours)
-Dressing up, mainly in stuff I don't usually wear like dresses and lots of make up, and going in public without any friends or family with me. It makes me feel like I'm someone else, or at least a different me who never got molested.

Of the list I consider the last one the healthiest...at least it doesn't involve harm to my organs, wrists or laundry piles haha :D

#67 Helene

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:48 AM

<font color='#000000'>

Ugh, Lynn, I am a chronic avoider, too. I still make my mother deal with all of my insurance company shit, and I'm ALSO 23, not 6. With the exception of school, I put everything off until it's LATE. Bills, calls, laundry - you name it, I don't do it until I'm forced to. I do, however, feel bad about not doing it the entire time. Healthy.

I can also related to people who said "not eating." I do this unconsciously, so it's a hard habit to break. I've been stressed this past week, and when I got on the scale, I had lost 6 lbs. Not good. I didn't even realize I was doing it.

-Lis

Firstly, Lis, I love you for that first paragraph.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who is so bad about this!  And yes, I beat myself up about it the whole time as well.

It's funny how you should mention unconsciously not eating...I do it, too.  And while I'm certainly not alaramed by my recent weight loss, eating one meal a day is really not the best way to go about losing that weight.  I don't realize I'm doing it, either.  It's just that it usually isn't until late afternoon or early evening that it hits me that I haven't eaten.  Gotta break that habit.

~Lynn</font>


Hi - I'm so glad other people lose weight! I was horrified by the general assumption that raped women would overeat to 'hide' their sexuality (or some ** like that!) - I've been through this twice, and each time I've lost an alarming amount of weight - not intentionally, I just don't want to eat

#68 Wil

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 06:42 AM

Used to:
  • Not telling anyone.
  • Not trusting anyone.
  • Cut. Badly and regularly. And not get it treated or stitched.
  • Drink heavily, every day. Mostly on my own. For years. And every night until I passed out.
  • Starve for days on end.
  • Isolate myself completely. Home alone, in the dark.
  • Have random, aggressive/violent sex with strangers.
  • Chain smoke til I felt sick. And then smoke some more.
  • Ignore anyone who spoke to me and just walk off.
  • Did not deal with my bipolar - no help, no meds- I preferred those feelings to my 'real' ones.
  • Put myself in dangerous situations.
  • Play'chicken' in physically dangerous situations.
  • Wind people up on purpose, especially men Posted Image Don't know why I did that - exerting some 'power'? Maybe. Also I think I just wanted to be punished.
  • Told myself I was fine.
  • Told everyone else I was fine.
  • Got better at pretending I was fine.
  • Latching onto basically anyone cos was I desperate for someone to care about me (obviously, they didn't).
  • trying to create a fake happy family cos I didn't think there would ever be one otherwise.
  • Letting myself get used because I thought I wasn't worth anything better.
  • Lying to my GPs, hospital staff, psych cos I was scared of being labelled mad (duh - I am mad, pretending you're not doesn't change it!)
  • Avoiding anything that reminded me of the things that had happened.
  • Avoiding anything that could have helped me eg psych help, helplines/books/sites - cos if I admitted I needed help, I had to first admit that it had screwed me up.
  • Laughing when idiots make R/SA jokes, or worse, making those comments myself (theory: if I laugh, then it didn't happen to me, and even if it did happen, it doesn't matter)
  • Holding onto anger because it's preferable to getting upset.

Now:
  • Procrastinating about dealing with things full-on.
  • Not engaging with people.
  • Not engaging with life.
  • Random sex with strangers (old habits are hard to break).
  • Isolate myself.
  • Don't engage with other people.
  • Don't trust people.
Hmmn. Just realised how long the first list is. Wow. No wonder I felt like sh*t back then.

#69 unsearchable

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 06:57 PM

I don't mean to bring up an old thread but  i was reading this  to maybe get an idea why i do most of them too. \it is starting to make some sense to me. 

 

I have gotten to the point where I won't go out unless i have to. I will take a shower one a day because i force myself to, I order  anything i can online so i dont have to go to stores.  I get this   probably  odd, idea that people are looking at me and not  for  a good reason IE she is pretty. I stopped going to work. I  called out a lot sick.  My dr  put me out on disability citing PTSD  when I finally  broke down in his office. 

 The sad part is,  maybe not sad?  I like staying inside, it  makes me feel safe. I dont have to worry. I dont have to deal with people  looking at me.  It  is  worst when people  stare at my chest  ( I have big breasts ,  32Ds;  and even without a lowcut shirt,  well  yeah  you get it. )  I usually say - can i fucking help you?  Or  take a picture  asshole  or something like that. 

 

The list of things that i dont do any more is  insane from  even three years ago.  I dont go to the mall, i love ot shop. Now i do it online.   

 I like my pattern at home though. I get up, I  check the news to stay plugged into for  work, I play some video games,  watch moves  and  then  eat some dinner  and then  play some more games   and then go to bed. 

 

 I don't sleep much. i dont eat much.  I have lost weight  in the past two weeks  from finally breaking down. I  could list so many things that others have said too.     



#70 lucy

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 07:44 AM

Hello unsearchable,

 

It is perfectly ok to post in this thread, that is what these are here for! :)

 

I can identify with some of what you have said with regards to having to force myself to do things and the feeling of being constantly looked at. Like you I have a large chest and get unwanted attention and comments, I think that you are really brave to stand up to people. I avoid going out, shopping for example, to protect myself because the stress and anxiety it provokes for me is just not worth it. I think that you are protecting yourself as best as you can at the moment and that can only be appauded, you also seem to have a good handle on what you have identified as your unhealthy coping mechanisms.

 

Please keep reaching out if you feel as though you need support.

 

:metoyou:

 

Take gentle care

Lucy x



#71 JRAE

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:08 PM

I am not a couselor for sure, but I think most people get in these situations cuz you feel that if you don't talk about it, it will go away. It won't. It will alway be there. Take a look at the people around you and find one that you know will be there for you or has always been there for you. Talk to them. They really do want to help you. Hiding behind it can't make the pain go away, but when you read all the things everyone does to themselves, you are really just hurting yourself so much more. People love you and want to be there for you. Let them! Give them a chance. As a supporter, I want to help my step-sister so bad, but she hides behind things too, and I can see she is just making things worse on herself than they have to be.


Gosh, it's just not that simple. Many of us here have someone we can talk to and many more see therapists and counselors. Yes, talking about it helps but it doesn't make all the negative feelings and experiences we have been through immediately and permanently disappear. It's a forever struggle for many people. It's constantly working to trade negative coping skills in for positive coping skills. It's working to identify what the negative coping skills are in the first place. It's a slippery uphill slope a best. Sometimes it's 3 steps forward to fall 5 steps backwards. We read the things others are going through because we find commonality in them...we learn we are not alone as so many of us feel we are or have been. We don't read them and say, oh yeah, I should try that one out. I think some of the biggest support I've gotten has been from my fellow survivors. I do agree with what you wrote. I hope everyone here can find the strength to reach out to a loved one. Sadly, I know it isn't that easy and in some situations it's hard to define who can be trusted.

#72 DaisyChains

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 04:21 AM

I never thought about the computer an unhealthy coping mechanism until I read the original post...wow...



#73 RosesAndNettles

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 03:22 PM

I have been told I'm not coping well, but I guess these are some of my coping mechanisms:
Scratching
Letting it get to the point where I can't cope
Walking out of situations (like classrooms)
Shutting everything out
Listening to music really loudly to drown everyone out
Panicking (and panic attacks)
Pretending I'm fine when I'm not

#74 Tear_stained336

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Posted 02 October 2014 - 12:30 PM

I try to avoid life as much as I can. I'm pretty much a hermit. I don't go out by myself very much. I'm 25 & don't work. I've only had one real job in my life & I only had it for a few months.

I used to avoid a lot more things, such as violent movies, or driving, or stores with more cars in the parking lot than I was comfortable with. I also avoided high school. I ended up going to an alternative school in order to graduate so there would be less people.

#75 kbarnes7845

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 03:48 PM

i have several unhealthy coping mechanisms 

  1. i lie in my bed more than anything else
  2. i hang out with the same people 
  3. i dont go anywhere other than school
  4. i dont open up easily
  5. i dont trust people
  6. i have bipolar towards any kind of abuse
  7. i dont tolerate childish people
  8. i am very antisocial
  9. i hide in big crowds
  10. i fake smiles when im around my friends so they think im happy 
  11. i dont like being touched even if its my dad simply hugging me 
  12. i always look for the worst thing to happen
  13. i dont cry often 
  14. i dont feel sympathy for people who hurt me 
  15. i hide away in my room 
  16. i avoid people
  17. i listen to the same sad songs
  18. i hide in shadows 
  19. i am always getting prepared to be hurt by people
  20. i always assume all people are the same 





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From: Identifying unhealthy coping mechanisms

By Wil in Wil's Blog, on 05 June 2013 - 08:51 AM

Used to:

Not telling anyone. Not trusting anyone. Cut. Badly and regularly. And not get it treated or stitched. Drink heavily, every day. Mostly on my own. For years. And every night until I passed out. Starve for days on end. Isolate myself completely . Home alone, in the dark. Have random, aggressive/violent sex with strangers. Chain smoke til I felt sick. And then smoke some more. Ignore anyone who spoke to me and just walk off. Did not deal with my bipolar - no help, no meds- I preferred those feelings to my 'real' ones. Put myself in dangerous situations . Play'chicken' in physically dangerous situations. Wind people up on purpose, especially men http://www.pandys.or...t/confused1.gif Don't know why I did that - exerting some 'power'? Maybe. Also I think I just wanted to be punished. Told myself I was fine. Told everyone else I was fine. Got better at pretending I was fine. Latching onto basically anyone cos was I desperate for someone to care about me (obviously, they didn't). trying to create a fake happy family cos I didn't think there would ever be one otherwise. Letting myself get used because I thought I wasn't worth anything better. Lying to my GPs, hospital staff, psych cos I was scared of being labelled mad (duh - I am mad, pretending you're not doesn't change it!) Avoiding anything that reminded me of the things that had happened. Avoiding anything that could have helped me eg psych help, helplines/books/sites - cos if I admitted I needed help, I had to first admit that it had screwed me up. Laughing when idiots make R/SA jokes, or worse, making those comments myself (theory: if I laugh, then it didn't happen to me, and even if it did happen, it doesn't matter) Holding onto anger because it's preferable to getting upset.



Now:

Procrastinating about dealing with things full-on. Not engaging with people. Not engaging with life. Random sex with strangers (old habits are hard to break). Isolate myself. Don't engage with other people. Don't trust people.

Hmmn. Just realised how long the first list is. Wow. No wonder I felt like sh*t back then.



Source: Identifying unhealthy coping mechanisms

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