Unhealthy Coping

When we think about coping mechanism, we all have a way of dealing with our emotions and mental health. We, as students, need to understand each of the unhealthy coping skills for uncomfortable feelings. When we feel stressed, full of anxiety, or depressed, we have a way of dealing with it; sometimes, that means to shut out the world. This is an unhealthy coping mechanism, but we do it because it is easier for us to process what we are going through. There is a different type of coping styles that we use in our day to day life.

How do you cope? With a full school schedule, working from home, and trying to make time for friends and family, it can be hard to find that balance and cope with all the anxiety and stress. When we talk about unhealthy coping, this creates anxiety and stress, but it also damages our self-confidence. It is essential to know what are the signs of an unhealthy coping mechanism. Here are a couple of unhealthy coping mechanism that we sometimes fall into listed below.

  1. Avoidance

We avoid the situation; this can be mentally and physically preventing the source of stress. This is something we all have done. Instead of facing the music, we avoid the situation because it is easier, but it only makes it more problematic in the end.

  1. Denial

We go into denial, where we refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem. This problematic for us because it is hard sometimes to admit there is a problem. It is easier to turn a blind eye and denied the fact.

  1. Dissociation

We become dissociated, separating ourselves from parts of our lives; it is hard; we become distant from those we love. Removing ourselves from the lives of those who love us is very difficult on both sides. It is a very unhealthy coping mechanism that we sometimes rely on when facing a difficult situation.

  1. Emotionality 

This would be considered an outburst or extreme emotions, this happens, and it is unhealthy because we aren’t processing our emotions right. Outbursts do happen sometimes and can’t be avoided, but we need to regulate our feelings and express them in a way that doesn’t create frustration.

  1. Projection

We may even project onto others; seeing that others can follow our way of coping can be scary. It shows us our unwanted feelings in others as well as our characteristics. It can be unhealthy to project onto others because we never see them for them, but as ourselves, which is all the more reason that we would not face them.

  1. Rationalization 

We tend to rationalize our behaviour and actions logically. Sometimes, those destructive behaviours that we exhume can lead us to justify the reason behind it, and it is damaging to us and those around us.

  1. Repression

We repress those situations that make us feel uncomfortable. Sometimes we block out the bad and suppress those images, it can be a good thing. But it can also be terrible in terms of our way of coping. When we repress, we never get the chance to face those situations and change how we learn to cope.

  1. Trivializing

We might even make small things into massive deals; this is a problem and can affect our relationships heavy. It is a very unhealthy way of coping, and it drives those who love us away from us if we can never accept the small things.

Sometime we might think that bottling up our feelings is the right way to go about life, but honestly, it isn’t, and we, as students, need to realize how we can help those around us and ourselves when it comes to coping mechanism. We have to find healthy ways of coping, and if we must learn together different ways to rely on others and cope with them can create a bond. It is a good idea to keep ourselves informed know the types of unhealthy mechanism that we may experience.

Upcoming events to look out for this month:

Don’t forget to check out the CUE Wellness page for more information and upcoming events.


By Deborah Olawale

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