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What does control mean? How is it related to depression?

There are two kinds of control systems that all of us should know by now. It is imperative not only to have the knowledge but also to tell people about them so that they are aware of such concepts.

Internal locus of control

The people possessing internal locus of the control system, take the command of their lives in their own hands. They believe that their actions shape their lives. If they fail at something, they take full responsibility of that, saying ‘I didn’t work hard’ or ‘I should have done that instead of this’ or something like that. And if they succeed or accomplish something, they also take credit for that like ‘I worked hard for that and I deserved this victory’. Such people feel more empowered. Self-empowerment is the secret to being mentally happier.

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External locus of control

These people believe that whatever happens with them is because of some external factors. They usually blame other people for their sufferings and are precisely miserable.

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For example, if they are giving any entrance or participating in some competition and if they don’t win or don’t clear the cutoff, then they might blame the judges in the event or might say that the exam was difficult only this year. Also, even when they achieve something, they might say the things like, ‘The test was easy, that’s why I scored well’ or ‘I just got lucky this year’ or ‘It was that silver watch I wore, it is my lucky charm.’  Trust me, I have been there, done that, before one of my competitive exams, nothing like that works if you have not studied for the test! And these people tend to suffer from a lot of issues, mentally and physically. They do not want to take responsibility for their actions.

Now how is it related to depression?

So such people who have an external locus of control system tend to go in a state of ‘learned helplessness’. What is that? Here’s a video by Samson Mathew on YouTube that will help you know about the experiment originally done on a dog and then to other animals, which eventually proved that it is also true in case of human beings.

Now what does it do to humans? If you’re someone in a state of learned helplessness, you will not try to come out of any adverse situation. Your mind has learned that whatever is happening, it is automated, i.e., you cannot do anything about it. In this case, even if you are allowed to come out of that adversity or danger, then also you will curl up in the corner and stay in that zone where you do nothing about it. Now, why is it not good? Because that is from where depression starts!

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We have discussed a lot about anxiety and that it means that we are given the indication by our brain to do something, fight or flee. But, depression is when you don’t want to do anything. It is a state of helplessness where you are always kind of tired mentally. And that is not good because it is quite hard to come out of that.

The Solution

If you are reading this, and know someone who’s symptoms converge towards depression, then here is a free counseling website known as iCall. You can read all about this by going to their website. You are just one call away from receiving free professional counseling!

So, when you’re anxious, you want to take control of the things happening to you or around you, you want to move forward. But, when you’re depressed, you’ve given up on trying to do something valuable. The things that used to excite you, don’t intrigue you anymore. If it continues for long period, I urge you to contact the organization mentioned above.

“Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step.”

―Mariska Hargitay

So, in these times when we are most anxious, it is good to take control and do something productive around you. Take charge of your life and deal with things not like a victim but more like a warrior or something.

If you’re around small children, then it is crucial to tell them why are we isolating.

That is what our next post is going to be.

Happy Reading!