Not everyone agrees with the news that they have a degenerative disease. Knowing the different types of receiving the news will help us to help that person to accept their illness more quickly. Therefore, today, we talk about coping styles in the face of degenerative disease.
Coping strategies for the disease
We define coping as the cognitive and behavioral strategies that a person has to manage the demands (situations, demands, etc.) both internal and external that are perceived as excessive for the abilities they have.
In a more prosaic sense: It is about the strategies that people follow to respond to especially tough situations, with the aim of coping with them and overcoming the stress levels that are reached in such situations.
Within coping we find different strategies that vary from person to person. We will explain which are the most frequent strategies, so that you can identify them when you see them.
What coping styles can we find for each patient?
There are basically three kinds of coping strategies: those that focus on the problem, those that focus on emotions, and those that are based on avoidance.
Problem-focused strategies are generally used in cases where the problem is perceived as manageable. They are based on focusing on the problem to find a solution or, at the very least, modifying it to make it more manageable.
Strategies focused on emotions are used when the event is perceived as uncontrollable (although it also appears when the response to the event must be rapid, at which point the more rational part is not capable of acting). In these cases, emotions are let go, releasing them and, thereby, reducing stress.
Finally, we have avoidance strategies, which are used, also, in cases where the event is perceived as uncontrollable. In these cases, people decide to ignore it, avoid it or be distracted to gather psychosocial resources, in order to be able, at some point, to cope with it (although, often, that moment of coping is never reached).
What is the best coping method?
Although it may seem that the best coping strategy is the first one, this is not always the case. It is true that, in most situations and in most problems, focusing on it instead of emotions or avoiding it gives better results.
However, if an untrained person tries to tackle a problem that he thinks is beyond him, the results can be much worse than if he had opted, for example, for avoidance.
However, it is true that avoidance is not usually a good option, which is why we mentioned above: On many occasions, the moment of coping is never reached (or it takes a long time).
This, in the case of patients with neurodegenerative diseases, is very problematic, since avoiding the problem implies postponing starting treatment that could slow down the progression of the disease or improve their quality of life.
In the case of diagnoses of neurodegenerative diseases, it is usually better to have a reaction of the first type or the second. However, of course, this is not something that is consciously decided.
As you can see, there are different styles of coping with degenerative disease. Being aware of this is crucial to helping that person navigate the path ahead. So we hope this article has been helpful to you.