Avoidance and Avoidance Behaviours.

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.

Virginia Woolfe

Scroll down or click on. 1. Avoidance is a coping strategy.

1️⃣ Avoidance is a Coping strategy.

Avoidance is often used to escape feelings of betrayal brought about by the uncertainty of poor complaint handling timescales and fear of inaccurate treatment diagnosis. It works by shutting down all your thoughts and feelings on the situation to protect you.

1️⃣.1️⃣ Avoidance Info-graph

the poisoned chalice of avoidance behviour

1️⃣.2️⃣ You may use avoidance behaviours to ‘avoid’ or steer clear of anything that causes you to feel:

▶️ fear or

▶️ dread.

1️⃣.3️⃣ To make yourself feel better you may start to avoid:

▶️ people,

▶️ places or

▶️memories

1️⃣.4️⃣ . In the mistaken belief that not thinking about the situation will stop the distress of the thoughts.that make you feel

▶️ uncomfortable or

▶️anxious

But you cannot find peace by avoiding life. As avoidance behaviours that worked for you once or twice,

▶️ will stop working over time and

▶️be replaced with panicky feelings.

The stronger you make the link between ‘avoiding the problem’ and ‘feeling anxious’. The more power you will give the avoidance behaviours until the avoidance ‘solution’ becomes the problem.

1️⃣.5️⃣ Avoidance and safety

It feels safer to ignore/avoid the

▶️ thought,

▶️ event,

▶️ report, or

▶️ person,

than to face that you are not able to keep yourself safe as your brain does not have enough ’stress busting’ capacity and is unable to cope with the demand for stress busting resources.

The theory is when your brain feels you have the resources to process the emotional wound, it will release the memories and then you can try to make sense of what happened to you. While it is perfectly natural and logical that you would try to avoid the memories, people, places and situations that remind you of upsetting and traumatic times. You can overuse avoidance behaviours to cope which can keep you ‘stuck’ in the trauma. 

2️⃣ behaviours used to avoid or escape particular thoughts or feelings:


2️⃣.1️⃣ Dissociation

Happens when your mind feels unable to deal with any

▶️thoughts,

▶️ memories, and

▶️ emotions

red flag behaviour change of avoidance

So you feel disconnected from others and detached from reality. Some described it as looking down upon themselves. Its takes away all hurt feelings but also the happiness and joy as you feel numb or on autopilot.

2️⃣.2️⃣ Safety behaviours.

Are the behaviour/s you use to limit and/or avoid the uncomfortable feelings and physical sensations that you feel when faced with reminders ( triggers) of times you felt unsafe.

They can include relying on:

▶️ something ie drugs, booze, a routine.

▶️ someone

to help you cope with the:

▶️ fear and

▶️ anxiety

provoked by the:

▶️ place or

▶️person or

▶️ situation

2️⃣.3️⃣ Rationalisation

Is your way of convincing yourself that:

▶️ the situation or incident does not have any power over you:

▶️ and your ‘abnormal’ behaviour to keep yourself safe is perfectly normal and rational.

2️⃣.4️⃣ Escape (including self-medication).

Your behaviour of wanting to escape, often involves the use of the stress responses of ‘fight or flight’ or ‘freeze or appease’.

Escape can involve:

▶️ “doing” or

▶️ “not doing”.