Escapism is a psychological phenomenon in which individuals use various strategies to temporarily disconnect from reality and detach themselves from their daily lives. This concept has been studied extensively in the field of psychology and its implications for mental health have been explored. The current review aims to analyze the phenomenon of escapism in detail and provide a comprehensive overview of the literature available on the topic.

Previous research has suggested that escapism is a coping mechanism used when individuals are seeking to temporarily remove themselves from their current situation or environment in order to reduce stress or anxiety (Aldao, Nolen-Hoeksema, & Schweizer, 2010). It can be expressed through various activities such as watching television, playing video games, engaging in fantasy activities, or substance use (Erwin & Meyer, 2018). In general, escapism is a defense mechanism, which can be used to alleviate negative emotions or to avoid facing difficult situations.

Although escapism can be a useful strategy to reduce stress in the short-term, it can also have detrimental effects on mental health in the long-term (Crawford, 2018). Studies have found that individuals who frequently engage in escapist activities are more likely to experience negative psychological outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem (Erwin & Meyer, 2018). Furthermore, individuals who use escapist strategies may also be at an increased risk for developing psychological disorders such as substance use disorders (Kirby & Petry, 2014).

In conclusion, escapism is a psychological phenomenon in which individuals temporarily detach themselves from reality in order to reduce negative emotions or avoid difficult situations. Although it can be a useful coping mechanism in the short-term, it can also have detrimental effects on mental health in the long-term. Further research is needed to better understand the effects of escapism on psychological well-being.


Aldao, A., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Schweizer, S. (2010). Emotion-regulation strategies across psychopathology: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(2), 217-237.

Crawford, S. (2018). The ‘escape’ of escapism: A review of psychological and educational implications. British Journal of Psychology, 109(3), 581-599.

Erwin, B. A., & Meyer, A. L. (2018). Escapism, coping, and fantasy proneness: An examination of the differential roles of coping and fantasy proneness in escapist behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 129, 11-19.

Kirby, K. C., & Petry, N. M. (2014). The use of escapist behaviors and their association with substance-use disorders. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28(4), 1197-1204.

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