We already know that too little control can be a very bad thing. You know, drunken scenes,
ugly break-ups, maxed-out bank accounts … emotions – big, loud and oh-so-public emotions!
There are those who ride the rollercoaster of under-control. And then there are those who attempt to fathom it, with their faces unflinching, postures high and stiff, and all hairs remaining precisely in place, as their hearts pound wildly against noise-cancelling chests.
Here, we want to talk about the latter.
Needing and having too much control – over yourself, over others or over things in the world, is the kind of thing that will get you noticed for all the ironic reasons; you feel like an imposter, yet you’re labelled as a gem. You feel like a mess, yet you’re everyone’s go-to. You feel like a child, yet they call you “old soul.” You crave a big hug, yet you’re the “strong, independent one who ‘doesn’t need anyone!’ So you don’t get the help, or the big hugs, or any of those other warm, fuzzy things that feel like love and acceptance. You know better than anyone what it’s like to be lonely at the top.
Over-control is the silent mental health struggle. It’s not loud and noticeable. It doesn’t get
flagged in classrooms. It’s the slide-under-the-radar kind of suffering which builds and builds
for decades, unnoticed, self-perpetuating and totally pervasive until connection, fun, joy,
and genuine feelings of good-enough-ness have all become things of the very distant past.
Over-control, if left untreated, can lead to a life that looks shiny and successful on the outside but feels lonely and fear-riddled on the inside. Overcontrol is a major symptom and a major driver of the following conditions:
Life-long Anxiety Disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Personality
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Paranoid Personality Disorder
The origins of over-control are complex and lie somewhere between biotemperament and sociobiographical factors. Research is suggesting that over-control is fuelled by subconscious brain processes which hype up our perceptions of threat and our anxiety responses, and impair our capacity for spontaneity, vulnerability, flexibility, and social signalling, ultimately driving us to adopt rigid comfort zones which seem like our friends, even though they drain us of true happiness and connection.
The good news is that those subconscious processes can be worked with! We know how to treat over-control. Plus, we have psychologists on board who know first-hand what it’s like to struggle with it and then to recover from it. If you think you might be suffering with over-control, we encourage you to reach out! There is absolutely a way to be in-control and to have that shiny, successful life, without sacrificing all the lively and joyful parts of it. Call or email us to learn more!