Escapism is withdrawing from reality or diverting oneself from unpleasant thoughts or emotions. Some people may use escapism to cope with trauma, anxiety, or depression. Others may use it as a way to avoid responsibilities or stressful situations. It can be helpful in moderation, but when it becomes excessive, it can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
Different types of escapism
Different types of escapism can be identified in terms of the activities used to escape and the motivations for escaping.
A person might use escapist behaviors to avoid unwanted thoughts or feelings or to avoid facing challenging situations. The following are some common forms of escapism:
-Substance abuse: using drugs or alcohol to numb oneself from negative emotions or stressful life circumstances.
-Overeating: using food as a comfort to cope with difficult situations.
-Avoidance: choosing not to face up to problems or difficult conversations. This might involve spending excessively on social media, watching television, or sleeping.
-Self-harm: inflicting pain on oneself as a way of difficult numbing emotions. This can include cutting, burning, or hitting oneself.
Procrastination: putting off tasks that need to be done to avoid facing up to them.
Causes of escapism
There are many causes of escapism, some more common than others. Maybe you’re not happy with your current situation, whether it’s your job, relationship, living situation, or something else entirely. Maybe you’re bored and feel like you’re not doing anything with your life. You may be curious about what else is out there. Whatever the reason, escapism can be a problem if it’s interfering with your life.
External factors can be anything that’s happening outside of you that’s causing you stress, anxiety, or unhappiness. For example, if you’re going through a tough time at work, experiencing financial problems, or dealing with a difficult personal situation, these things can lead to escapism.
Escaping reality can be a way of coping with these difficult situations, but it’s important to find healthy ways to deal with them instead of turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms. There are many ways to do this, such as talking to a friend or family member about what’s happening, seeking professional help, or relaxing and de-stressing.
Many internal factors can contribute to escapism. For some people, escapism provides a welcome respite from difficult emotions or mental health issues. For others, it may be a way to cope with stressful life circumstances.
Internal factors that may contribute to escapism include:
-Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder
-Boredom or dissatisfaction with one’s life
-Unrealistic expectations of oneself or others
-A need for adventure or excitement
-A desire to escape from a difficult or painful situation
How to stop escapism
Escapism is the avoidance of unpleasant reality through diversionary tactics. Many people use escapism as a form of coping with difficult life circumstances. While escapism can temporarily relieve adversity, it can also lead to more serious problems. If you’re struggling with escapism, there are a few things you can do to stop.
Dealing with the root cause
The first step to dealing with escapism is to identify the root cause. Ask yourself why you feel the need to escape. Is it because you’re unhappy with your life? Do you feel like you’re not good enough? Do you feel like you don’t belong?
Once you’ve identified the root cause, it’s time to deal with it. This will require some soul-searching and introspection. You should seek professional help if the root cause is deep-seated and difficult to deal with.
Dealing with the root cause is essential if you want to stop escapism. Once you’ve dealt with the issue, you’ll find that your need to escape diminishes considerably.
Finding healthier coping mechanisms
Escapism is the tendency to withdraw from reality or routine, usually to cope with difficult situations. Many people turn to escapism when feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious. While it can be a quick way to cope, it’s not a healthy long-term solution.
Many healthy coping mechanisms can help you deal with difficult situations more flexibly. Some healthy coping mechanisms include exercise, journaling, talking to friends or family, and spending time in nature. If you’re struggling to cope with stress or anxiety, try contacting a mental health professional for help.