Excessive self-control
megan sorts through her own emotional nonsense, mental health

Mental Health Monday: The Trouble with Excessive Self-Control

Hey folks! For today’s mental health Monday, I want to direct you to a HealthyPlace post I wrote recently on my personal troubles with excessive self-control. I feel like we hear a lot about the dangers of impulsivity, and how that can be a major factor in many mental illnesses, but we don’t talk nearly as much about the flip side of that coin: excessive self-control.

I would say I definitely have impulse-control issues, but when I say that, most people assume I must mean that I’m very impulsive, when I really mean the exact opposite. I have a really hard time letting go of my excessive control over my impulses, and it makes it hard to just be a person. If an impulse pops into my brain, even something as small and simple as “I want to take a shower,” it is immediately bombarded by self-doubt and shame until I’m totally paralyzed. I’m not ashamed of needing a shower, and I don’t doubt whether I’m capable of doing it, but that doesn’t matter. Because I don’t trust my impulses. Unless I carefully planned to take a shower (and sometimes even then), I have to question why I’m wanting to take a shower right now. Am I avoiding my work? Do I really need one? Is this the best time to take a shower? And the questions go on and on until I’m paralyzed over this tiny thing.

This happens every. single. day. Several times a day, usually. And it’s exhausting, having to question every aspect of your existence. This is absolutely an impulse-control issue, but I’ve never found very good resources on how to deal with it, because when you Google “impulse-control help,” everything that comes up is about impulsivity. So I thought I’d share my HealthyPlace article with you all, which isn’t necessarily a resource, but at least it’s something to say “Hey, you aren’t alone. I’m with you.”

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