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What Is Learned Helplessness and Why Does it Happen?


Syndrome: I can't

When bad things happen, we like to believe that we would do whatever necessary to change the situation. Research on what is known as learned helplessness has shown that when people feel like they have no control over what happens, they tend to simply give up and accept their fate.

“I feel hopeless”…

It seems like more and more people are dealing with feelings of helplessness. Not only are more people struggling with these feelings, they’re dealing with them on incredibly intense levels.

Because these feelings are so powerful, many are turning to their doctors for drugs. Back in 2011, Time magazine reported that the use of antidepressants has increased by 400% since 1988. And the Chicago Tribune reports that just in the past 15 years, the rate has gone up by 65% .

Those numbers are absolutely astounding.

And so: How people can cope with feelings of helplessness?


  • What Is Learned Helplessness?
  • Martin Seligman’s Theory
  • Examples of Learned Helplessness in Humans
  • Learned Helplessness and Depression
  • How to Overcome Learned Helplessness
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