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Individuals respond to negative affective states, including depression and bipolar disorder, and external stressful events with a wide variety of adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanisms or a mixture of both. Maladaptive coping mechanisms include substance use and binge eating, as well as avoidance or withdrawal behaviors. Understanding how patients respond to external stressors and adapt to negative affective states, including depression and hypomania, via questionnaires seeking to elucidate coping mechanisms is of utmost importance to recognize patients at risk of substance use, binge-eating, and other maladaptive behaviors. Only through explicit identification of these mechanisms can providers work with patients to take steps to mitigate negative health effects of maladaptive coping behaviors via targeted patient education and formation of collaborative partnerships with patients.

Clinical Site

Newtown Primary Care Clinic


Connecticut, coping mechanisms, maladaptive behaviors

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Medical Education | Primary Care

Addressing Maladaptive Coping Mechanisms in Response to External Stressors and Negative Affective States in Primary Care Settings