Learned Helplessness

Learned Helplessness is generally viewed as a precursor to depression, but can manifest as a separate symptom in itself. It occurs when a person learns, at a very early age, that the world can be a very hard and distressing place and that dealing with everyday adult stress using childhood defence mechanisms to cope, just does not work.

Helplessness in other words, a person learns that they are helpless, and that stress can be overwhelming. The sense of over-extension they have experienced by trying to deal with situations and anxiety levels that are really, quite beyond their coping capabilities sensitises them to the reality that they just cannot cope with such immense pressure.

The feelings of helplessness generated by this fact transfers into adult life causing them to become overwhelmed by stress even at the low levels of exposure eventually causing them to “give up” or “roll over” with very little fight or resistance to any anxiety-evoking life experience.

If you would like help dealing with helplessness, please contact us.