coping mechanism

noun Psychology.
an adaptation to environmental stress that is based on conscious or unconscious choice and that enhances control over behavior or gives psychological comfort. Compare defense mechanism ( def 2 ). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
Keep in mind that your brother's belief in a large-scale conspiracy may be a
  coping mechanism.
It also serves as a coping mechanism in the face of incomprehension.
It is not a coping mechanism but rather the path to salvation.
Melancholia implies that depression may be a coping mechanism against mortality.
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