learned helplessness

Today’s topic s learned helplessness.

This is a quote from Medical News Today.  Learned helplessness is a state that occurs after a person has experienced a stressful situation repeatedly.  They come to believe that they are unable to control or change the

Situation so they do not try, even when opportunities for change become available.

This is body of research that was done by Professor Martin Seligman.  I remember having to study this for my psychology degree.  It’s actually quite a fascinating piece of research, because what happens is that

the people, even if they can escape from the situation very often don’t.  What he found was that the important thing was repetition of stressful situations.  There is this feeling of just being trapped and then accepting the inevitable.

Where this condition is particularly noticeable is in victims of domestic abuse and violence.  In this video we discuss this important topic.

4 Replies to “learned helplessness”

  1. My son is in an alcoholic trap. He is engaging with services but misses regular appointments. He is 19 and drinks every day. He stays in bed for about 18 hours a day to avoid drinking. He then gets up showers and goes out drinking. We just don’t know what to do.

  2. Thanks for the video. I’m in a situation where my friend gets violent when he’s drunk. It’s been going on for years and there have been times when I’ve quietly withdrawn to avoid trouble, but other times when I’ve confronted him and been at the receiving end of frightening aggression. I see that I’ve have this learned helplessness and want to unlearn but unsure from the video what I need to do to do that? What is a “win”, what can I do differently? We live in the same house and he has a brain injury so I don’t want to abandon him.

  3. There are no answers until the person who is addicted decides to get help. My hubby licks his childhood wounds over and over, expecting sympathy, which justifies his drinking. He is now in a cycle where he craves alcohol and must have it nightly. He always has something where he “needs that drink” to help him calm down and relax. Currently, it is work, although he will not talk with anyone at his job about problems there nor does he want to look for other employment. It’s almost like he wants to have a problem so he can justify being miserable. For those of us “stuck” with someone who is addicted, we do have options if we are willing or able to walk away. I have no resources at this time to do so or I would…it’s not that I don’t understand I have options, it’s that I have no income to leave.

  4. I understand about options, about leaving and having the alcoholic partner leave, but what do you do if he is disabled? It’s not something I can do…kick someone out that has nowhere to go….I have no hope he will stop drinking…it would be wonderful if he would, but he’s very entrenched in his alcoholism…. He says he will never stop…our relationship had changed years ago from a romantic one to my being more of a caretaker and friend…we don’t go anywhere together anymore….when he drinks with his son or daughter (she’s alcoholic as well) he gets mean with me…i used to have one drink Friday nights, but I won’t do that anymore…we had a big fight and I had to spend the night in a hotel…I made a big mistake doing that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.