It is helpful to think of coping on a spectrum:
Where each of us is on this spectrum is an interplay between our genetic temperament, the environment we were raised in and the coping mechanisms we developed. For those who fall on the under controlled side of the spectrum, their genetic temperament is one of reward sensitivity; meaning they see the glass half full and may approach life with more risk taking, spontaneity and less attention to consequences (cause hey! Life is meant for living right now!). For those who fall on the over controlled side of the spectrum, their genetic temperament is one of threat sensitivity; meaning they see the glass half empty and approach life with more caution, risk aversion and are experts at emotional inhibition and planning ahead (cause hey! You can never be too careful!).
What does this have to do with mental health? Plenty! What we are discovering is that you can have “too much of a good thing.” When you have too much under control, we see mental health concerns such as excessive substance use, bingeing and purging, dangerous and risky behaviours. And these get a lot of attention because people notice. When you have too much overcontrol, we see mental health concerns such as unrelenting anxiety, chronic depression and anorexia nervosa. And often, these do not get a lot of attention as people tend to isolate but continue to put up a brave face in everyday life. But they are still suffering, they have just learned to be stoic about it.