Hey all, Bella here with my final blog post. This one is about learned helplessness, a favorite topic of mine before starting this class. Learned helplessness is the failure of organisms to pursue, use, and gain adaptive instrumental responses. In depressed persons, this is observed when one has given up hope on voluntary control over the environment (Nuvvula, 2016). Learned helplessness occurs when an organism is repeatedly subjected to an aversive stimulus that it can't escape. In time, the organism will stop attempting to avoid the aversive stimulus and lose hope in finding any way to change the situation. Learned helplessness may form in situations of abuse, and may accompany anxiety, depression, or both (Cherry, 2021). Some common characteristics of learned helplessness in children include low self-esteem and motivation, low expectations of success, not asking for help, and attributing a lack of success to a lack of talent or skill (Leonard, 2019).
Learned helplessness is very treatable. Most patients who receive services for learned helplessness undergo cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In receiving CBT, one can receive support, learn the origins of their helplessness, identify thoughts and behaviors that lead to an increase in helplessness, improve self-esteem, and process through instances of abuse, neglect, or trauma (Leonard, 2019). Below, I've included a very informative video on learned helplessness to further explain the concept.
Cherry, K. (2021, April 5). What is learned helplessness and why does it happen? Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-learned-helplessness-2795326
Leonard, J. (2019, May 31). What is learned helplessness? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325355
Nuvvula, S. (2016). Learned helplessness. Contemporary clinical dentistry, 7(4), 426-427. https://doi.org/10.4103/0976-237X.194124
Practical Psychology. (2019, May 27). The horrid pain of learned helplessness. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3a65C4kT-8