Any coping strategy might become problematic if it comes into conflict with other parts of life, for example, by causing physical health problems, relationship difficulties or financial issues. For example, drinking alcohol might feel helpful
Understanding the ‘why’ behind the coping strategy can be a starting point for exploring other options. The same coping strategy, drinking alcohol, might be used by different people for different reasons: to block out powerful voices, make the person feel more in control, numb emotions, connect with different memories or feelings, or feel more confident. Identifying why the strategy is being used, and validating it, can open up a conversation or reflection on what other strategies might be used in its place. You can search our coping strategies by theme to look for similar coping strategies.
For people who are worried about their drinking, services such as
Some people use self-harm or self-injury to cope with distressing voices. Self-harm is generally understood as “intentional self-poisoning or injury, irrespective of the apparent purpose of the act” (Nice guidelines). It includes cutting, burning, ingesting harmful substances (including overdosing), skin picking, banging head or limbs, and many more.
Self-harm is sometimes used as a coping strategy, and for some people, it is helpful
Self Injury Support, a service for women and girls who self-harm, have produced a range of resources on different ways of thinking about self-harm, and alternative coping strategies for dealing with difficult feelings. They also offer a range of support services for women and girls across the UK. The National Self-Harm Network
See also: In crisis?