Coping questionnaire

There are many ways of coping with endometriosis. Some people might prefer to focus on the emotions it causes (e.g., worry), where others may try to find practical solutions to the causes of their stress.  

When it comes to coping, there is no right or wrong way, but some strategies might be more helpful than others depending on the situation. For example, in an uncontrollable situation (e.g., waiting for test results), trying to problem solve might not be as useful as managing the worry you might be feeling about the test results. For this reason, it’s a good idea to look at how you cope with the symptoms of endometriosis, even if you don’t have a diagnosis, and check whether there are other ways of coping that you might use in times of need. 

What are your ways of coping?

You can find out more about your personal style of coping by filling out this simple survey. The ways of coping listed are not all the possible ways of coping. just some of the more commonly used.  

Read each item and choose the number that reflects how much you use each coping strategy when trying to manage the stressors associated with  endometriosis in the past month. After completing all the items, add up the number in each category to see how much you use each type of coping.  

StrategyNot used at allUsed rarelyUsed sometimesUsed a great deal
Daydreamed or imagined a better time or place than the one I was in1234
Hoped a miracle would happen1234
Avoided being with people in general1234
StrategyNot used at allUsed rarelyUsed sometimesUsed a great deal
Tried to accept and make the most of the situation. 1234
Tried to see the positive side of the situation.1234
Took things a day at a time, one step at a time. 1234
StrategyNot used at allUsed rarelyUsed sometimesUsed a great deal
Thought about what steps to take to deal with my problem.1234
Tried to think of different ways of dealing with my problem. 1234
Set some goals for myself to deal with my problem. 1234
StrategyNot used at allUsed rarelyUsed sometimesUsed a great deal
Talked with family or friends about how I was feeling. 1234
Let my feelings out somehow.1234
I tried to make sense of my feelings. 1234

You can read more about each type of coping: 

Positive re-appraisal Coping: In this way of coping, people try to reinterpret or reframe a difficult situation by seeing it in a more positive light. They actively search for potential benefits or opportunities to come out of the situation or look for the silver linings. This strategy is focused on meaning, hope, or personal growth in the face of adversity. It is considered a flexible strategy, useful in most contexts.  

Examples of this kind of coping are keeping a diary of the positives in their lives for which they feel grateful, turning a negative experience into a positive, for example by doing some advocacy work, or focus on learning new skills to cope with the situation (for example, meditation). Over-reliance on this strategy might cause people to avoid thinking or talking about negative thoughts or feelings that need to be addressed. For example, discussing new treatment options if a current treatment does not work, or discussing sexual difficulties with their partner. 

Problem-Solving Coping: This is a direct approach that involves identifying the cause of the problem, finding and deciding on the best solution, and acting. This way of coping can give people a sense of control over the situation and reduce the feeling of being helpless. For example, some patients with endometriosis find it useful to keep track of their symptoms or medical appointments to help them recall discussions with their doctors and effects of treatment. Others might research possible tests and treatments referenced on websites such as endometriosis.cymru.  

This practical approach is most useful when the situation or action needed is within the person’s ability to control. It is less useful when the stressor is beyond their control, or if the problem is very complex with many solutions, not all of which apply to the person’s situation. This approach is also less helpful when the person lacks the resources to implement the solutions, for example lack of technical skills, not having the correct information, inadequate support or finances, and so on.  Over-reliance on problem-solving might also mean the person is not processing the emotions that come with the stressful situation. 

Emotional Approach Coping: In this way of coping, the focus is directly on managing and regulating emotions rather than trying to hide or ignore them. This is a useful strategy when a situation triggers much feeling and there are people with whom emotions can be shared in a supportive way.  

For example, endometriosis or pelvic pain support groups, where sharing with others can help to let out feelings, have their feelings validated by others who feel the same and where support can be obtained, can be a very helpful way of coping for some people. It is a less useful strategy when problems continue for a long time and action is needed, or for highly traumatic situations where there is limited support available for managing emotions, or when it’s unsafe to express feelings to others. 

Overall, coping is about balancing threats in our environments (stressors) and resources (available ways of coping).

When we identify an event as a threat, our nature is to kick-start the coping process. If we find that we have enough coping resources to cope with the threat caused by the demands in our environment, we will avoid stress reactions. Usually, most people use multiple strategies to cope. It’s important to try to avoid over-reliance on just one strategy. 

You can find out more about stress and coping on our page  

You might also find these external websites useful: 

NHS Every Mind Matters
Every Mind Matters is an initiative by the NHS (National Health Service) in England that provides information, advice, and practical tips on managing stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. The website offers personalised self-care plans, resources for coping with stress, and information on accessing mental health support services.  

Psychology Today Get Help
Psychology Today offers a comprehensive website with articles, resources, and tools for coping with stress. They cover various topics related to mental health and well-being, including stress management techniques, coping strategies, and advice from mental health professionals. 

HelpGuide
HelpGuide.org provides practical advice and resources for dealing with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Their website features articles, quizzes, and self-help tools designed to empower individuals to cope effectively with stress and improve their overall well-being.