what are unhealthy coping mechanisms

What Are Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms for Trauma?

| In Balance Counseling |

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. 

We’re here for you
Contact us today to enhance your self-esteem, clarify your values, and improve life in every way possible.
Personal Success Stories

In Balance group therapy
  • "I came to In Balance a year ago after failing four major inpatient treatment centers for alcohol and drug abuse going back to 1989. I was so sick that I barely remember coming. In Balance has given me my life back. I truly feel like I have been given a second chance at life."

    5 star icon

  • "In Balance has given me a new respect for life. It’s a fun and safe place to be. I experienced many different forms of therapy to keep it interesting. Thank you everyone."

    5 star icon

  • "For me, the diversity of the program was a big plus. The groups were very helpful and supportive. The experiential components were important to learn how to be active in recovery and sobriety."

    5 star icon

    Arizona Department of Health badge
    Arizona Department of Health Services
    Licensed Facility
    Family Owned & Operated badge

    Proud Member of Family Owned & Operated
    In Balance Continuum of Care

    Legitscript Certified

    © In Balance Counseling. All Rights Reserved.
    Website by CS Design Studios.