I need coping skills


I suffered emotional, verbal, and physical abuse by my parents. I went away to high school and am now going through the aftermath. I have terrible mood swings, can’t maintain a normal social life, and find it hard to keep up with school work. I want to use these years to recover to some extent so I’ll be able to function when I need to support myself, but I don’t know what to do. Right now my coping strategy is to distract myself, but that won’t do anything in the long run and it gets harder to maintain as time goes on. I posted this on a forum but haven’t received any answers. Any suggestions that I can do without involving my parents?

Category: asked September 9, 2015

3 Answers


Talk to a school counselor, or see if you can find some domestic abuse help (most of their services are free and confidential.)

If you can, see a professional psychiatrist. They may be able to give you something to treat or reduce panicking, something that could reduce anxiety, and/or something for mood swings. You might not need this prescription for life, but it might help you get back on your feet.

Short-term, arguably effective methods involve breathing techniques, showers, tea, exercise, hobbies, and regular sleep. These are the typical "taking care of yourself" things that even if they don't solve the problem, aren't bad practices. (Oh no, you wasted $3 on tea and took an extra shower today.)

I'm sorry you've had to endure what you have. I hope things look up for you.

First off, focus on your breathing. Whenever you get flustered/have those mood swings your breathing actually goes faster. If you take note of your breathing and start inhaling slowly and fully your body automatically begins to calm down. Lots of unnecessary suffering and stress comes from your own mind, so it's critical to understand that your mind creates them. You have to distract yourself in the long run actually. When distracting yourself, be sure you distract yourself in a "proper" way. For example, work on something you love to do that actually feels productive and satisfying. If you don't know what you find satisfying, search for it. Hope this helps!
I think @whompus is right, trying to get this on your own isn't the answer. Distracting yourself isn't actually dealing with it and what happens is it can re trigger at a later time when you least expect it. Healing means being healthy and giving yourself the means to cope with future stresses. There are many therapies that do not include medication that are very effective in this type of situation, including something called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and cognitive behavioural therapy. Sounds like a lot of blah but it works, especially in abuse cases. You have to think of it as putting a cast on a broken arm, a way to support yourself and give yourself the support you need.