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Coping with Being Accused of Misconduct

It may helpful to understanding some of the feelings that you may experience due to accusations of misconduct.  When dealing with these feelings, avoid unhealthy coping methods, such as using of alcohol or drugs, hurting yourself, and violent actions that may provide short-term satisfaction but may lead to additional problems.

Shock and Numbness

Emotional responses to accusations of misconduct may include laughing nervously, crying, withdrawing, and denial.  Healthy coping mechanism include journaling or speaking to a trusted friend or professional counselor. 

Disruption of Daily Life

You may feel overwhelmed and have trouble focusing on other activities.  Concentration on tasks related to class or work may be difficult and you may have trouble sleeping or experience a loss of appetite.  Distracting activities such as taking a walk, watching a movie, listening to music, or socializing with friends are healthy coping methods. 

Loss of Control

You may feel anxious and nervous.  Routine decisions may become difficult.  Talking to a trusted friend or a professional counselor may help you cope with feelings associated with a loss of control. 

Fear

You may question whom to trust.  It is normal to be concerned with how your life may change or what family and friends may think about you when they learn of allegations of misconduct.  It is important that you reach out to a person you trust— a friend or a professional counselor— to avoid becoming isolated.   

Anger

It is common for someone accused of misconduct to feel anger.  Anger may lead to irritability and anxiety.  It is important to utilize health coping methods to deal with feelings of anger and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms such as aggressive or violent behavior or hurting yourself.  Healthy coping mechanisms include meditation, yoga, journaling, talking with a trusted friend or professional counselor, and physical exercise. 

Isolation

Feelings of anger, loss of control, fear, and embarrassment may lead to withdrawing from support structures, such as family and friends. It is important to seek support by talking to a trusted friend or professional counselor or by participating in social activities.

* Adopted from Responding Party Information Packet, SUNY Brockport.