Question to Keep You Up at Night

Are coping mechanisms like band-aids?

I’ve been thinking about how people deal with pain a lot. Some people listen to music, spend time with friends, go on walks or play with their dogs when they’re sad. And others turn to alcohol, drugs, or isolation. While the former seems physically more healthy than the former, I wonder if either are mentally healthy.

Most people’s reaction to sadness or grief is to try and get their minds of it, or not to feel it at all. However, while that could be a temporary fix, burying emotions could cause bigger problems later. If we don’t face our problems, they add up and eventually become a larger hurdle to face. Coping mechanisms sometimes feel like band-aids for wounds that are too deep and need to be acknowledged.

However, I don’t think that sadness or grief should be wallowed in. I think we should move on and use whatever coping mechanisms that help us to do so. If you recognize your pain for what it is, and let yourself feel those emotions, trying to move on isn’t healthy. If your efforts to move on are because you think you’re ready to do so and not because you want to feel numb or ignore your emotions, then I think that’s a legit reason to use coping mechanisms. If you know that you are using a band-aid, and eventually band-aids fall of, then future problems could be avoided.

That said, if your dependence on alcohol or drugs, talk to someone, because that is neither physically or emotionally healthy.


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