Do you suffer from learned helplessness?

Lynn Thaler


When people feel they have no control over their situation they tend to develop learned helplessness.

They miss opportunities for relief or change, because they fail to look for such opportunities.

They never try to change anything, as a result they continue to feel helpless.


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Author: Carol Anne

I am a woman in my mid 30's. I'm blind and I have dissociative identity disorder, I also have complex PTSD. I blog about my life with these disorders. I live in Ireland.

3 thoughts on “Do you suffer from learned helplessness?”

  1. Sorry to be harsh and this criticsm isn’t directed at you Carol Anne (I’m kind of upset and not coping well at the moment so maybe I shouldn’t comment).

    I think the concept of learned helplessness is overly simplistic, and if the comments on the original blog are anything to go by, discussing it elicits comments which sound pretty victim-blaming to me ie “just change your attitude”. All very well to change your attitude and try new opportunities, but what do you do when those “new opportunities” lead to you getting hurt or victimised again? Which is actually highly likely to happen in complex trauma because of other dysfunctional coping behaviours that have been learned along the way. For some people there’s a hell of a lot more to it than just changing your thinking – it takes a huge amount of work to learn how to try new opportunities SAFELY, and thinking you can sum all of that complexity up in a pretty little diagram or a quote or two really trivialises some people’s struggles.


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