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The wrong ways of coping up and why we choose them

Males and females are equally prone to mental health problems at roughly the same rates, but men are less likely to seek treatment to improve their situation. This increases the risk of suicide in the male population and probably explains the disparity in suicide rates between men and women. The suicide rate of men is almost three times higher than that of women. This indicates that we as a community still have a lot of work to do to make sure that everyone, but especially males, have access to the proper support systems and information that makes them partake in coping mechanisms.

Better mental health can be achieved through a variety of professional channels, but prevention and self-management can start right at home. Many people employ basic coping mechanisms that can be included into their daily routines to support excellent mental health and even get out of a rut. As men we need to know which coping mechanisms are harmful and which ones can be put to good use.

The harmful coping mechanisms

In an effort to cope with mental health concerns, more men than women turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms like anger, alcohol, drugs, gambling, and more. Do you or someone you care about use any of these harmful coping mechanisms ?

  1. Anger

  2. Using drugs and alcohol

  3. Smoking

  4. Food bingeing

  5. Extravagant expenditures

  6. Risk-taking, including risky sex or gambling

  7. A lot of sleep

  8. Excessive use of technology, including video games, the internet, and television

These are the behaviours that we as humans tend to pick because they can seem like a “quick fix,” yet they nearly always make things much worse. These behaviours are sometimes referred to as “masking behaviours” since they temporarily divert attention from or alleviate the problems at hand. An easier way to understand is that they are like distractions from the problems. However, they can prevent you from getting help sooner.

Substances can alter brain chemistry in cases of substance addiction, such as excessive drinking and drug use, which can exacerbate symptoms. Regular substance usage can also add new concerns to the mix, such as strained relationships, workplace troubles, health issues, and negative financial outcomes.

One thing we can do is to inform men on how to get treatment, as well as how to use constructive coping mechanisms instead of destructive ones and how to avoid the hazards of doing so.

Here are some effective coping mechanisms to choose instead

There are a wide variety of effective coping mechanisms available, but they all work to enhance well-being and control along with prevention of stress or unpleasant emotions. Coping methods might be as easy as eating healthy and exercising frequently. You probably already know from personal experience that including these in your regimen makes you feel better. Additionally, techniques like journaling, mindfulness, and meditation are becoming more and more popular and well accepted. While companies like Google, Apple, McKinsey, and others have meditation rooms in their corporate offices, even elite athletes are employing these to manage performance stress before a game.

A significant Beyond Blue study conducted in Australia discovered that men frequently employ a variety of healthy coping mechanisms and mind can be trained to resort to them or to keep them handy. They also distinguished between their preferred preventative and management measures, but some men were found to employ the same coping mechanisms for both.

The following were the top five preventative measures (to maintain men’s well-being):

  1. Healthy eating

  2. Staying Active: Exercise

  3. Reframing ideas and feelings using humour

  4. Helping someone else by taking some action

The top five management techniques (when feeling depressed or flat) were as follows:

  1. Taking a break

  2. Keeping active

  3. Self-rewarding Exercise

  4. Interacting with a pet

It’s also important to note that all of the guys who participated in the survey, regardless of their ages, backgrounds, or preferred technique, were recommended talking to people and having a system in place to deal with feelings of sadness or depression. Men said they are also open to employing techniques that aren’t necessarily thought of as “masculine,” such as working with a mentor, engaging in mindfulness, meditation, or gratitude exercises, or visiting a doctor. We at BFH strive to make people aware of the fact that taking help from others is never considered unmanly, especially if it is dire!


The key finding of this research is that men have access to a variety of coping methods and self-management strategies. Men feel more in control and less helpless when they have a strategy for dealing with their unpleasant feelings. This article was meant to give you the right direction in knowing what exactly is a coping mechanism and how to distinguish between the healthy and unhealthy ones. Remember that if you have no way out or are unable to cope with whatever is happening, consult professional help immediately!

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