3 Unhealthy Ways of Coping With Depression
It is unfortunate that the unhealthy methods people tend to choose for coping with depression are often far easier than the healthy ones. This tends to be true in much of life, with the wrong way or the inadequate shortcut being much faster or simpler than the correct or right way of doing things. When it comes to your mental health, however, choosing correctly is often much better for you in the long run, even if it is hard at the time. That is why you should probably do your best to avoid these three major unhealthy coping methods.
1. Substance Abuse
Many people turn to alcohol or illicit drugs to cope with their depression symptoms, either due to a lack of available healthcare or the funds to pay for it. Drugs are often much cheaper and accessible than therapy and prescribed medication. In addition, the effects of such substances are immediate and noticeable to the depressed person, which only encourages future abuse. Sadly, the positive feelings induced by these drugs do not last, and substance abuse can cause lasting problems, such as addiction and dependence. Many medical professionals, like Jack J Wu, freely give their advice on alternative, healthier coping methods.
You have likely heard the phrases “stress-eating” and “retail therapy”. Another frequently employed form of this coping mechanism is promiscuity, in which someone seeks out sexual gratification in an attempt to avoid thinking about their depression. These are just a few examples of unhealthy over-indulgence behaviors that offer a brief spike of emotional relief without tackling the root of the problem. Just like substance abuse, this form of gluttony provides a temporary high or escape and easily can lead to negative consequences like a drained bank account, weight gain, addiction to these behaviors, or even STIs in the case of promiscuity.
Avoidance of socializing is a common symptom of depression, and it can be an easy trap to fall into for many people. Depressed introverts are likely more vulnerable to caving to the desire to be isolated, but this can affect extroverts as well. Humans are social creatures, even introverts, and a lack of social contact is detrimental to a person. No matter how “right” your brain makes it feel, isolating yourself is not likely to help you deal with your depression.
You may be best served by second-guessing yourself when you reach for a bottle of booze, desperately log onto a shopping site, or think you’re not worthy of hanging with your friends. Avoid these unhealthy coping mechanisms, and seek out healthy ones. Know that all you can do is your best, and that is okay.