Negative Coping

Negative coping mechanisms refers to a range of unhealthy behaviors used to avoid or reduce painful feelings resulting from Grief.

Often these types of Coping Mechanisms are counterproductive and can negatively impact a person's physical, emotional, and social well-being.

After a death, it's common to a feel a mix of emotions simultaneously, or have them evolve over time. They are a natural response to loss, and can be complex and very personal.

Grief may include feelings of shock, confusion, disbelief, denial, sadness, depression, anger, irritability, hypersensitivity, numbness, guilt, relief, and even physical symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, and changes in appetite.

If any of these feelings are overwhelming, a person may consciously or unconsciously adopt tactics to avoid feeling them.

Negative coping mechanism tactics can take many forms: withdrawal from situations or relationships; self-harm or destructive behaviors; disordered eating or restrictive dieting; aggression or violence towards others; excessive shopping or spending; procrastination or avoidance of responsibilities; and denial or suppression of emotions.

Negative coping may provide temporary relief, but can cause even more pain because they require constant effort to maintain and compound over time.

This can lead to even more significant mental health issues, and make it more challenging to work through the original grief in a healthy way.

Negative coping mechanisms are in contrast with Healthy Coping mechanisms, which can more effectively help a person manage grief after the death of a loved one.