Author: In Balance Counseling

what are unhealthy coping mechanisms

What Are Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms for Trauma?

Recovering from traumatic events often brings up negative emotions that you might struggle to handle. If you have PTSD, processing these difficult emotions can lead you toward some negative coping mechanisms. What are unhealthy coping mechanisms?

As you attend counseling in Tucson, AZ, you’ll learn how to improve your mental health with healthy coping mechanisms. Continue reading to discover coping mechanisms you should avoid. 

Isolation and Avoidance

Many people who struggle with their mental health seek isolation from other people. They often feel disconnected from friends and family members, causing them to avoid their support network altogether. Additionally, certain social scenarios might induce anxiety.

While isolation might offer temporary relief, it ultimately breaks you down from the inside. You should reach out to your friends and family to create connections and find help when you need it. 

Addictions and Substance Abuse

You might turn to a broad range of substances to find relief from your traumatic stress response. You may not even consciously realize that you abuse substances.

Addictions often include obvious ones like tobacco, alcohol, or hard drugs. But they can also include activities like gaming, drinking caffeine, and excessive shopping. These addictions can negatively impact your mental, financial, and physical health. While you might enjoy a temporary escape from your problems, you’ll eventually have more issues later on.  

Suppressing Your Feelings

So, what are unhealthy coping mechanisms for trauma? Can they include more subtle habits? Yes, they can include subtler, less noticeable habits.

One such habit includes suppressing how you feel to avoid conflict or ensure the comfort of others around you. A part of healing from trauma involves learning to set healthy boundaries while effectively advocating your needs to others. When you suppress your feelings, you’ll struggle to communicate your discomfort or needs to your support network.

Risky Behaviors

Consider the behaviors that make you feel alive. Do you enjoy driving fast? What about aggressively engaging in conflict?

Risky behaviors put your life and others’ lives and well-being in danger. Many people engage in risky behaviors because they achieve a mental high. The behavior allows them to briefly escape their inner turmoil for a few moments of intense, external stimuli.

But risky behavior has far-reaching consequences that can harm yourself and others.   

Staying Guarded at All Times

Traumatic experiences put your mind on high alert. This guarded existence becomes exhausting and can induce anxiety and panic over time. Your stress levels increase, leaving you vulnerable to declining physical and mental health.

Everyone needs a chance to relax and rest. Remaining alert in all situations prevents you from finding rest. You may become more irritable and angry at others as a result. 

Discover How Positive Coping Mechanisms Will Change Your World with In Balance Counseling 

When asking yourself, “What are unhealthy coping mechanisms? Do I use them too?” call In Balance Counseling at (520) 722-9631 for guidance. Our qualified, compassionate counselors can help you develop positive coping mechanisms that change your perspective. Learn more about the benefits of counseling by contacting us. 

benefits of counseling

9 Long-Term and Rewarding Benefits of Counseling

The proven benefits of counseling are well worth exploring, especially since life throws us curve balls from time to time. Relationship breakdowns, Social Security dependence, work-related stress, battles against substance abuse, and serious medical diagnoses are just some of the upsetting situations people may have to face. Counseling offers a way to navigate these difficulties in healthy ways so that you can keep moving forward.

As one of Tucson’s counseling service providers, we have seen countless benefits for individuals and families who go through counseling sessions. Are you unsure about signing up? Here are nine benefits to consider.

1. Enhanced Insight

Counseling sessions facilitate self-introspection. You learn more about yourself, including how actions and inactions contribute to your current mental state. Self-awareness is important, as it can hasten recovery from mental health challenges and other issues.

2. Conflict Resolution

Unsurprisingly, a trusted counselor can help you respectfully and positively resolve conflicts in your professional and personal relationships. Continuous feedback and discussion of this type may also significantly improve your interpersonal skills.

3. Space to Vent

In the counseling space, there is no room for judgment, ridicule, or shame. Counseling represents an invitation to share in a safe, non-judgmental environment. A good counselor will validate your emotions and help you feel more normal.

4. Assistance Against Self-Defeating Habits

Whether we knowingly or unknowingly develop bad habits, they contribute to our life problems without an objective counselor to bring them to light. People also become more aware of their negative emotions and thoughts during these sessions, the first step in avoiding self-defeat.

5. Improved Self-Esteem

Most people will experience self-esteem issues at some point, whether due to lacking skills,  abilities, or even appearance. One of the main benefits of counseling is that these discussions help individuals develop a stronger sense of self-compassion, self-confidence, and self-love.

6. Break Free From Harmful Vices

Are you struggling with mental health problems, anxiety, or daily stress? Counseling can help you reduce or, over time, completely avoid hiding behind drug use, alcohol, and other harmful pastimes when life gets tough.

7. More Effective Communication

When trying to face fears and anxieties, speaking to an expert can be invaluable. The counseling process can enhance your communication and social skills, providing tools to talk through problems and think more clearly about solutions. These sessions should also improve your questioning, listening, and understanding capabilities, making you a better communicator.

8. More Assured Decision Making 

Counseling can help you stay grounded when you have to make highly sensitive decisions. It can also help improve impulsive decision-making over time.

9. Better Stress Management

We all understand the huge impact of stress on physical and mental health. Managing stress levels effectively through counseling can give people a new lease on life.

Schedule That Counseling Session Today!

Counseling has a wide range of private and public benefits. You may even be doing yourself a disservice by shying away from a session due to common counseling myths or other reasons.

Don’t miss out on the many benefits of counseling programs—call In Balance Counseling at (520) 722-9631 today for sessions in Tucson, AZ, and the surrounding communities.

stages of recovery from addiction

Five Stages of Recovery From Addiction

When you prepare to recover from your addiction, you benefit from understanding the stages of recovery. When you can identify your progress, you’ll better understand what you need to maintain sobriety in moments of struggle. At In Balance Counseling, our counseling service in Tucson help people overcome their addictions and live healthier lives. 

Below, we outline the five stages of recovery from addiction. Remember that the recovery process is not linear. Call us at (520) 722-9631 for substance abuse counseling options.

Stage 1: Acknowledgement

When you first begin moving away from addictive substances, you acknowledge that you have an addiction. This step is crucial in dispelling common misconceptions on addiction, such as the belief that one can control their substance abuse without help. Before this acknowledgment, you may have dodged the problem by rationalizing your addiction.

Eventually, you realize that the substances control you. You need the substances to function. At least a few parts of your routine revolve around acquiring and using the substances. 

Stage 2: Action

Stage two includes making conscious decisions to move away from your addiction. During this stage, you might express desires in private or to others about wanting to let go of substances. You may also begin cutting back on the substances you use. 

However, acting alone can have dangerous consequences. Use caution when cutting substances out of your life. You may need help from a treatment center to go through withdrawal safely. 

Stage 3: Recuperation

Recuperation occurs immediately after withdrawal. Out of all the stages of recovery from addiction, many recovering addicts identify this stage as the most difficult. It involves learning how to live day to day without the assistance of addictive substances. 

You will experience psychological and physiological changes during this period. Addiction counseling can help you manage daily stress, past trauma, and other factors contributing to your desire to use. In addition, you can learn skills and coping mechanisms to push past substance cravings. 

Stage 4: Recovery

Once your body and mind adapt to a life free from substances, you begin the recovery state. Recovery involves three phases:

  • Early recovery changes your thought patterns
  • Middle recovery improves your lifestyle
  • Late recovery identifies bad habits that lead to addiction

Each of these phases could last years. You could find yourself repeating different stages or phases, especially if you relapse. However, everyone’s recovery looks different. 

Stage 5: Preservation

Also called the maintenance stage, preservation occurs when you find comfort and stability in your newfound life. It takes time to get here. You may make mistakes during the other stages of recovery from addiction. 

However, persistence and belief in yourself can help you find substance-free life. During this last stage, you will flourish. 

Find Your New Balance with In Balance Counseling

If you struggle with addiction, you can find hope for a full and continued recovery. The compassion and empathy we provide at In Balance Counseling provide the gentle guidance you need.

Call us to enter the ‘action’ stage today at (520) 722-9631 and learn more ways to recover, like exercise for addiction recovery

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