The Differences Between Healthy & Harmful Escapism


An inner drive to ignore unpleasant feelings is known as escapism. Common behaviors and habits are also various forms of escapism, such as addiction, distraction, and procrastination. This coping mechanism suggests someone who prefers to detach from reality to seek a fantasy world with more desirable security and tranquility.

Escapism is neutral; it is not good nor bad. We all use it in some form or degree to recharge our batteries. It may be helpful for some individuals when life feels overwhelming or unmanageable. However, it's also best to know when escapism is more of a hindrance than helpful.

Productive Escapism

This type of escapism focuses on constrictive activities with many future benefits while maintaining balance with other aspects of your life. Productive escapism, also known as positive escapism, can provide the following:

· Happiness

Productive escapism may lead to mentally zoning out or daydreaming, away from negative thoughts of current situations to more positive past time experiences. This form of dissociation can be massively beneficial; even though the worries that preoccupy your mind will still be there, you may have an easier time coping since your mind has time to recover.

· Awakens Creativity

Creativity is often awakened by positive escapism, which can be occasionally dulled by anxiety and stress. When you give yourself a mental break from such hindrances, you become more rooted with your creative mind through received inspiration. Creativity often correlates back to happiness because the successful pursuit of creativity is essential to overall happiness and general well-being.

· Improves Motivation

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, surprises can occur, leading you to wonder whether your diligence is worthwhile. On the other hand, escapism can sustain you with motivation, especially if you're short of it in life.

· Provides Therapeutic Effects

Escapism is an excellent method of alleviating stress and avoiding burnout. It may also help manage mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders. This is because your mind is distracted from the triggers that aggravate anxiety, and you can refocus your mental energy on something more pleasant.

Harmful Escapism

Harmful escapism may result in the following:

· Procrastination

Unfortunately, escapism can be highly habit-forming. This may lead to procrastination and a lack of initiative to confront uncomfortable situations or emotions.

· Psychosis And Denial

Escapists in denial tend to rebel against social norms, have highly fixated personal viewpoints on life, and are occasionally prone to isolation. Stemming from denial due to the passing of a loved one, escapism may result in the early stages of grief. Psychosis typically results from distortion or loss of awareness of reality. Typical symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, and chaotic thoughts and behavior.

· Addiction

A false sense of relief has been known to occur with various kinds of addictions. The most extensively abused substances are drugs and alcohol, and substance abuse typically stems from reality being too much to bear. Drug and alcohol abuse are especially harmful because they allow you to avoid your true self, which is at the root of your overwhelming pain.