77% of Americans have used one of these “unhealthy coping mechanisms” to manage a mental health crisis…which one did you fall into?
- More than three-quarters of Americans know habits like drinking and clubbing are bad
- These coping habits feel good in the moment, but they have long-term consequences
- Read more: American children are mired in a worsening mental health crisis
A study finds that more than three-quarters of Americans knowingly engage in unhealthy coping habits.
A survey conducted by Myriad Genetics in Salt Lake City, Utah, found that 77 percent of Americans reported using drugs or unhealthy eating or sleeping to deal with mental health issues.
These coping mechanisms will help a person feel better in the short term sometimes, but they come with long-term consequences.
Dealing with mental health struggles goes hand in hand with addiction, and this has been proven in the United States as fatal drug overdoses reached 107,000 in 2021. More than four percent were suicides.
Many people with mental illness struggle to find a treatment regimen that relieves their symptoms of depression and anxiety, and steers them toward unhealthy self-medication rather than using advice from a mental health expert.
Survey answers show that while the vast majority of Americans know some of their coping mechanisms are unhealthy, they participate anyway because these habits provide temporary relief.
A nationwide survey conducted by a genetic testing company found that addictive or unhealthy coping mechanisms that people engage in heavily include drug use such as drinking or consuming marijuana.
It also included: gambling, either sleeping insufficiently or too much, eating too much or too little, excessive use of social media, binge TV shows, or partying.
“Many of my patients have struggled with depression and/or anxiety but failed to find treatment that made them feel better,” said Dawn Johnson, a mental health psychiatric nurse practitioner at the Indiana Recovery Center in South Bend.
Therefore, they turn to alcohol, drugs, or destructive behaviors to calm themselves, as they provide short-term relief.
However, this behavior led to poor mental health and ruined their lives. I’ve seen it in person.
The GeneSight Mental Health Monitor poll found that 94 percent of Americans agreed that drug addiction and behavior often mask deeper mental health issues.
But this same group said to participate in it anyway.
For example, 70% of people diagnosed with anxiety or depression sleep either too much or too little to manage their symptoms.
Nearly 40 percent used alcohol to cope, while 20 percent used marijuana.
About the same number of people used other drugs, such as painkillers, to relieve their illness.
Sixty-four percent withdrew from social activities, resulting in isolation that often exacerbates depression and anxiety.
Meanwhile, 49 percent said they binge-watch TV or movies to distract themselves from unpleasant feelings.
While nearly 90 percent of survey participants acknowledged that you can’t shake your depression, about 10 percent chose to go clubbing anyway.
And almost everyone is aware that excessive gambling is a contributor to some underlying mental health issues, but this knowledge is not enough to stop nearly 10 percent of respondents.
The new poll findings come as the United States is embroiled in a mental health crisis driven by escalating rates of drug use, feelings of isolation exacerbated during the pandemic, and other uniquely American problems such as near-constant school shootings and exorbitant prices. health care.
American children are reporting an increasing number of mental health issues, and while the pandemic has certainly exacerbated problems, the numbers were already rising from years before Covid swept the world three years ago.
A study published last year found that nearly ten percent of American children age 17 and younger reported symptoms of anxiety, with just under five percent reporting symptoms of depression.