Locus of Control – What’s your view?
If you believe in fate and that life happens no matter what you have an ‘external’ LOC. If, like me, you believe life can be determined to some extent by your own efforts and decisions, you are said to have an ‘internal’ LOC. Of course there are shades in between these polarities, but it’s a good way of looking at one’s personal life credo.
My interest lies with what message this suggests on how each of us copes with our Bipolar. It would be fascinating to know if those with an ‘external’ disposition prefer to rely upon either meds and/or professional support, whereas those ‘internally’ focussed look to different remedies and more self-management. I have no idea – not a shred of empirical evidence, but it would be interesting to discover that’s for sure.
Again it has zip to do with Bipolar, but Rotter’s analysis suggests that women tend more towards the ‘external’ view – a reaction to societies predilection to define women by their appearance. It’s why plastic surgery is dominated by women as they seek ‘external’ solutions for loss of visual esteem through ageing, whereas men are more likely to show arrogance and see themselves as becoming more attractive as they age. I am not going to ground all this in statistics and research, but I have read compelling evidence that a majority older of men really do have a positive self image – no matter how big the pot belly or the double chin. Whereas it would appear women are more likely to see more faults than they actually have, and lose confidence. No wonder there are so many ‘dirty old men’ !!
All of this is interesting conjecture on my part, but it would be good to hear other views. If indeed there are such divisions then the link with Bipolar, or indeed other mental conditions, is not so fanciful. By link, I mean how each of us addresses our illness and how we decide to treat it.
For me I went through a period of why me and let it ‘happen’, and just went along with the prescribed meds and inevitable professional counselling that came with it. But my instincts are those of ‘internal’ LOC and when I took a self management approach, where I think I can influence what happens, my ability to deal with the condition went to a new level entirely.
As with so many things, there are the inevitable two sides – ying and yang. Funny that!