A coping mechanism is a method of dealing with stress and uncertainty in life. No matter who you are, you no doubt have worked through many stressful situations effectively. However, coping mechanisms can be healthy or unhealthy. Some unhealthy ways of coping may appear to resolve initial feelings of stress but can lead to problems down the road.
Coping mechanisms are crucial to well-being, but it is important that we look at their long-term effects. For example, avoiding feelings of stress by remaining in bed is a coping mechanism of a sort, but it neither resolves the problem nor gives the sufferer tools to handle stress in the future. Substituting positive coping techniques for negative ones is critical.
Those who suffer from drug addiction or dependency often feel as if no other way of coping with stress can take the place of the substance involved. They may endure intense feelings of despair, sadness, and hopelessness when they imagine a life without the substance. These feelings are normal during recovery, and an appropriate course of treatment respects them.
Whether they are legal, prescription, or illegal, drugs are often sought to cope when there is an undiagnosed problem. Mental health issues that go untreated can result in self-medication. In many cases, a dual-diagnosis — where addiction and mental health issues co-exist — can be a relief for the patient. They can finally be empowered and get help for underlying issues.
Healthy coping mechanisms are not usually complicated or difficult, so it can be hard to imagine just how powerful they really are. At Morningside Recovery, our rehab programs help addiction sufferers reconnect with their natural ability to cope with life’s challenges without the misuse of drugs or alcohol. This provides them with the tools they need for long-term health.