Thursday, March 12, 2009

Perceived Control

One of the keys to finally making some changes in my life was reading The Self-Esteem Trap by Polly Young-Eisendrath. I try to read several parenting/child development books throughout the year to assist me in my job. As I was perusing the parenting education section at Barnes & Noble I felt completely drawn to this book. It was tucked down on the bottom shelf - and it was a hard-cover (I didn't want to fork out the money for a hardcover) - so I kept looking at other books; particularly ones that didn't require me to kneel down on the floor (sad isn't it?) Needless to say I couldn't stop returning my gaze to this book, so I plopped down and read the first few pages. After purchasing the book I couldn't put it down. It may be marketed towards parents, but for me it was life changing. Towards the end of the book she discusses some keys to happiness. The following really captured my attention:

"...starting from the beginning of our lives, we love to make things
happen. Part of that pleasure is the perceived control - the sense
that you are in control, whether or not you are. Clinical depression
is a condition that is usually precipitated by, and always accompanied by,
the loss of perceived control. Our perceived control is a wellspring
of happiness..."

Since I do bear the label of "depression" this piqued my interest. As I thought about it I realized that when my life began to take a direction I didn't want - instead of fighting to stay in control I let myself be tugged off course - And thus my love affair with Lexapro began... But seriously, do you find truth in this statement? I love that happiness can be the result of "perceived control" not actual control since I do believe that God has a hand in how are lives are shaped - The key is in realizing that we have to take responsibility for our choices. Even if I let myself be tugged off course - that was my choice. I promise that all my posts will not be this preachy - but I would love to hear any thoughts... (And yes I will post a photo soon!)


michelle said...

Perceived control -- what an interesting idea! It works for toddlers, why not adults as well? Sounds like a book I should probably check out.

Jill said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I currently have a love affair with Zoloft, but am confused by the thought of my depression being precipitated by the loss of perceived control. Hmmm. It's something to think about.