The American Psychology Association defines escapism as the tendency to escape from the real world to the safety and comfort of a fantasy world. Since life is innately stressful, coping strategies are essential to making it through each day. Escapism can be a coping skill when used positively; however, to ignore reality completely can be detrimental.
Everyone utilizes escapist strategies in life, as the harsh realities of life are apparent and permeate the human race. Reading a book, listening to music, and exercising can all be positive forms of escapism in the face of stress. Other escapist strategies, such as meditating, dancing, or gardening, can also alleviate stress in positive ways. Furthermore, faith-based coping strategies reduce stress by narrowing perspectives and accentuating the positive parts of life. For example, religion creates a sense of belonging and knowledge born out of already having the answers to life’s biggest questions. Therefore, religion fosters an individual’s confidence and hope in life and their future. Belonging to a community or support system, such as a family, partnership, or religious group can make one feel comforted as well, creating a sort of safety net for life.
Issues with Escapism
Drugs and alcohol may be escapist strategies; however, they also change the individual and their abilities to face the realities of life on physical, mental, and psychological levels. Over time, drugs and alcohol used to escape from reality can completely take over, creating an addiction. Furthermore, facing addiction is made harder through the use of drugs and alcohol since they alter one’s ability to admit the reality that they are addicted to them. Addiction born out of escapism can lead to a decline in self-compassion, as people with self-compassion are more willing to accept responsibility for negative life events.
Need Healthy Escape?
Life is stressful. Everyone needs to be able to cope with the harsh realities of life in a healthy manner. There are positive coping strategies to implement or learn in life; however, using drugs or alcohol only leads to further negative realities that can make life harder to navigate. At Fort Worth Recovery, we understand that recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is a personal and challenging experience. We seek to inspire clients to face their challenges, accept their present state, and foster hope for their future.
If you or someone you know is struggling with dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol following a loss, call us today at 817-381-9741, or visit us online.