• Shawn
    10.3k
    Here is the definition of coping:

    cope

    gerund or present participle: coping
    (of a person) deal effectively with something difficult.

    (of a machine or system) have the capacity to deal successfully with.
    "the roads are barely adequate to cope with the present traffic"
    — Google

    How does one qualify terms like 'effectively', or 'capacity to deal successfully' when presented with a disorder. And, doesn't it mean that if we assume those terms have qualifications, then it's no longer coping?

    Given my recent topics about depression and what have you, I came to terms with the prospect of coping with depression. But, now that I am in this state of mind it seems somewhat self-refuting. After all, nobody likes to cope with a disorder or a problem; but, deal effectively with it and be done with it.
  • Janus
    8.9k


    I think the point is that depression is not a sign that the customary thought patterns, whether deliberately or automatically adopted, with which one approaches living are adequately coping with the challenges life presents. Of course I mean here chronic depression; most everyone feels depressed at times, I would think.

    Also, the possibility that persistent depression may be brought about by hormonal imbalances introduces another level of complexity into the equation. Could hormonal imbalances reflect unhelpful thought patterns? Chicken or the egg?

    Also, "adequate coping" must be recognized to be a normative standard; it begs the question 'adequate for what?'.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Also, "adequate coping" must be recognized to be a normative standard; it begs the question 'adequate for what?'.Janus

    And how do you arrive at a normative standard, when talk about coping with depression?
  • Janus
    8.9k

    Sorry, it might not have been that clear.
    What I was trying to point to is that "adequate" seems at first glance to be a normative (intersubjective) standard, but that asking the question "adequate for what' allows you to think of it in terms of your own subjective measure of adequacy, in accordance with your own goals.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    Sorry, it might not have been that clear.
    What I was trying to point to is that "adequate" seems at first glance to be a normative (intersubjective) standard, but that asking the question "adequate for what' allows you to think of it in terms of your own subjective measure of adequacy, in accordance with your own goals.
    Janus

    So, coping is defined to be dependent on a subjective assessment, or intersubjective assessment of one's adequacy?

    Isn't that ambiguous?

    I mean, when one is depressed one is depressed about one's self-worth. So, coping is self-refuting?
  • Janus
    8.9k


    There's no ambiguity. Adequate coping can be judged according to an intersubjective or a subjective standard.

    How could coping be self-refuting? Everyone is coping more or less well. You are coping; and you could be coping much less adequstely than you are for example.
  • csalisbury
    2.2k
    Coping skills, in the context of therapy and psychiatry, usually are about handling irruptions of overwhelming emotion in non self-destructive ways.

    The tension I think you're identifying comes about when also considering coping to mean something like: resigning oneself to the way things are.

    I think these are two different senses of coping. The therapeutic idea is that gradually learning coping skills (gradually, because all skills are learned gradually) will aid you in breaking out of 'the way things are.'

    tldr: you learn specific ways of coping with specific feelings in order that you eventually no longer have to cope with a general malaise and inertia.
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    The tension I think you're identifying comes about when also considering coping to mean something like: resigning oneself to the way things are.csalisbury

    Yes, resigning oneself to the way things are is a coping skill? I mean, embracing depression entails that one accept or resign oneself to the cards dealt by fate. Is this a stipulative suggestion to think of coping in these terms or self-refuting?
  • Shawn
    10.3k
    How could coping be self-refuting?Janus

    Because you resign yourself to your problems. Conversely, if you're coping successfully, is there anything left to cope with?
  • csalisbury
    2.2k
    Yes, resigning oneself to the way things are is a coping skill? I mean, embracing depression entails that one accept or resign oneself to the cards dealt by fate. Is this a stipulative suggestion to think of coping in these terms or self-refuting?Posty McPostface

    I don't think it's self refuting. I think coping skills are meant to help you accept the way things are at a given moment, in order to ride things out - and that this, eventually, is meant to help you move past 'the way things are' in a broader sense. Like: You learn how to accept and deal with the variety of specific problems and how they trigger or exacerbate depression. As you learn this, it slowly gives you a sense of agency and control which helps you move onward out of your particular situation.
  • Janus
    8.9k


    As I said before I think coping is relative, not all or nothing; everyone copes more or less.
  • Marcus de Brun
    450
    A small amount of kinetic energy contained within a shoe moving at a safe velocity, transferred in a single short sharp burst to the soft tissue about the anus, can sometimes help to initiate the mechanics of coping.
  • S
    11.8k
    Because you resign yourself to your problems. Conversely, if you're coping successfully, is there anything left to cope with?Posty McPostface

    Yes, because it's something that has to be maintained. Otherwise a different word would be more appropriate: cured.
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