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Can Learned Helplessness be Unlearned?

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Do you remember how you felt when a no-nonsense lecturer at your university asked everyone to do an almost impossible task in very little time? Or that time you just could not scale through that one interview after prepping so much?

It's very likely that you felt helpless and accepted that you have failed that particular task because you knew that you had very little chance of completing the task. It could have also made you feel that trying again was hopeless because you will inevitably fail.

That my friends, is what learned helplessness is all about.

How is Learned Helplessness Developed?

To put it simply, learned helplessness is a mental state that happens when an individual faces stressful situations often. When this happens, their level of resilience falls, and they accept the tough problem as a normal occurrence that they cannot change and if opportunities to change it come, they ignore them.

Usually, learned helplessness is a response to traumatic experiences in which a person feels that they have limited control over the outcome of that situation. They feel a severe loss of motivation and this continues even after an opportunity arises to turn the situation around.

It is particularly common in individuals who have experienced issues such as domestic violence and childhood neglect.

What are the Symptoms of Learned Helplessness?

When learned helplessness is left not tackled, it is seen to have a negative effect overtime on the individual.

Learned helplessness can impact a person’s performance at work or school. It also can influence a person’s work life, social and psychological well-being.

It also may increase the risk of certain mental health conditions including PTSD, depression and anxiety.

Here are some of the symptoms that could be pointing to the diagnosis of learned helplessness:

  • Low Self Esteem

  • Dissatisfaction in life and hopelessness

  • Trouble managing and changing disorder

  • Passivity

  • Feeling that successful events are on account of luck

  • Less persistence

  • Low self esteem etc

Can Learned Helplessness Really be Unlearned?

The big question to ask after all that has been said is, “ Can learned helplessness be unlearned?” and the answer is a big yes.

Just like every other mental health condition or disorder, there is always a solution but in this case learned helplessness is more of a thought disorder.

The most common treatment is therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy(CBT). CBT is a form of psychotherapy and it helps overcome these types of challenges by changing their behavioral and thinking pattern that contributes to learned helplessness and yes we do that here at EmpathySpace.

Learned Helpless may not look such a big deal, but if it is left to fester, it could lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.

Why don’t you reach out to us today and let us tackle those feelings together.

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