Coping and Healing

Escape this Website

Because all of us are different, with unique life experiences, coping histories, and support systems, each of us will be impacted by sexual assault in a different way. There is no right way to react, feel or cope. There are coping methods that are healthier than others.

The following chart describes some “healthy” and some “not so healthy or destructive” coping methods. Please use it to assess the coping choices you are making now and to identify ones that you might want to change to or from.




Not so Healthy or Destructive
Humor Denial
Ask for support, reach out Withdrawal and isolation from others
Get enough sleep Not enough sleep or excessive sleeping
Exercise No exercise/compulsive exercising
Eat nutritiously Not eating/junk food only
Take care of self Compulsive eating/bulimia
Have a positive, creative outlet for feelings Stuff or repress feelings/Minimize your feelings
Talk to someone supportive Keep too busy to think or feel
Call crisis line Rationalize
Gather information on what sexual assault is, what to expect Take care of others’ needs/feelings
Nurture yourself Detach/shut down
Do things to make yourself feel good Self-medicate with drugs, sleeping pills, alcohol
Support groups Workaholism
Lower your expectations Self-mutilation