In psychology, coping is “constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing” or “exceeding the resources of the person”. Coping is thus expending conscious effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress or conflict.
Are we coping? I guess we are in our own way, in differing degrees. As a functioning MDer what is your day like? How do you cope? I found a youtube video from a young girl who is struggling with MD. I can really relate to her feelings of despair. I’ve been in that dark place and return there from time to time. But in between those lowest times I do cope. I manage to go to work, to maintain a marriage. It is often a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, not knowing if you will make to the next step. But you seem to. And so you go through the day, through a standard routine, morning, evening, night. Existing, not really living, just existing. Is that coping? I guess, anyway it is all I can manage right now.
So, what do you do to cope? I think having a normal routine does help. If I didn’t HAVE to go to work I would probably stay in bed every day and fall into a very deep depression. So having responsibilities is helpful. Animals that depend on you, gives you a sense of being needed, having a purpose to getting out of bed. Staying away from things that trigger mental images, like fiction books, certain music. I listen to alot of talk radio, trying to focus on what the person is saying, hopefully learning things in the process. There are times when I realize the show is over and I zoned out 30 mins before. So I just start back at the last place I remember. I have to try hard not to get angry at myself. That just makes things worse. Another coping device I’ve added, mindfulness meditation. One of the parts that have been most helpful to me is the concept of when a DD starts to flash in during your meditation you push it aside “without judgment” I used to become so angry and irritated at myself for it happening that I lost any relaxation benefit I had gained. Now I am learning to be more forgiving of myself and take it one day at a time. Some of the links are about depression, many with MD also have depression, I think the same strategies can work for both.
Maladaptive daydreaming- what it has done
Mental Illness: Your Recovery
Dealing with Depression Dr Oz
Dealing with depression
How to cope day-to-day