People who struggle with anxiety disorders can feel desperate to try to ease their symptoms. Unfortunately, they don't always choose healthy coping mechanisms.
Negative or "maladaptive" coping strategies may feel beneficial for a while. But over the long run, they can have detrimental effects that end up worsening the anxiety disorder. Consider these common examples.
It may seem like a simple solution to managing anxiety -- avoid the situations that make you feel anxious. Avoidance, however, isn't realistic, nor is it likely to make the anxiety go away.
A person who avoids anxiety triggers also misses opportunities to work through the anxiety. Avoiding situations prevents you from having positive and healthy experiences that communicate to your brain that feelings of anxiety aren't realistic or necessary.
Some people with anxiety disorders develop a mentality that they can overcome the problem if they reach some level of perfection. Rationally speaking, this is impossible. A person who becomes a perfectionist in response to their anxiety is likely to get more anxious when they inevitably fall short of their ideal.
Obsessive thoughts, thinking about something over and over again, is called rumination. Sometimes people feel as if they can think their way out of their anxieties or fears, or they simply allow their brains to obsess over the things that trigger their anxiety.
The trouble is many fears are irrational to begin with and unlikely to become real. Focusing on that fear only communicates to the brain that there is something to worry about, which strengthens the connection between the anxiety and the trigger.