Introduction: Nowadays more and more people struggle with mental problems associated with fast pace of life and overpowering stress. Individuals affected by mental disorders frequently apply ineffective methods of coping with stress, and their attitudes towards the disease in fact strengthen the psychopathological symptoms. The purpose of the present study was to compare disease perception and coping strategies for stress in Polish patients with various types of mental disorders.
Material and Methods: The study involved 123 patients with depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, alcohol related disorders, subjects detained due to psychoactive substance-induced psychotic disorders and amnestic syndromes, staying at Mental Healthcare Centre. Measurements of the variables were carried out using COPE Inventory and Disease Perception Questionnaire.
Results: The type of mental disorder differentiated the group with respect to the use of strategies aimed at seeking instrumental and emotional support, planning, positive reinterpretation, focus on emotions and substance use. There are significant differences between patients in the approach to illness as a task, weakness and threat.
Conclusions: The results show that the type of mental disorder is important in the context of the strategies used for coping with stress and the patients’ approach to their condition.