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What is learned helplessness syndrome?

As is currently the case with some syndromes such as Hikikomori or imposter syndrome, the term learned helplessnessalso called by experts as learned helplessness syndrome, is being increasingly used in the field of psychology.

A concept directly related to the fact that more and more people decide behave passively facing different types of problems and always without considering doing anything to change that situation.

But what exactly is learned helplessness, where does it come from and how can it be identified? Below we will tell you more about this phenomenon and how it can influence your daily life.

What is it?

The term learned helplessness It is used in psychology to refer to those subjects who have “learned” to behave passively in the face of different problems, in the face of which they are incapable of facing or doing anything to change their situation and despite the fact that there are opportunities to be able to change that adverse situation.

It’s a way of avoid facing unpleasant situationswhich also gives up leaving those problems behind and the consequent positive reward for this, so the person finally ends up developing passivity in the face of these types of situations.

How was it discovered?

But where does this term come from and who discovered it? Martin Seligman and Overmairer were the first researchers to mention this term to try to answer why an animal or a person, who constantly suffered adverse and painful conditions on a regular basis, I decided not to do anything to change that situation.

An investigation that they carried out first with dogs and then with humans. In the case of people, they were subjected at high noise levels in different adverse situations from which They couldn’t escape so they inevitably learned to listen to that deafening noise and do nothing to avoid it.

An experiment with which these experts demonstrated that feeling that there is nothing that can be done is also learned and that even reaches situations that, on the contrary, could be changed, but that these people decide not to face or modify.

A term that, therefore, can also be applied to our social and cultural environment in many different areas, but not to a specific situation or to the same way of experiencing that situation.

The reason? Each individual can experience the same situation in a totally different way from the rest.depending on your own interpretation and perception, being able, therefore, to face it in a totally different way in each case.

How to identify it

People who experience learned helplessness end up developing a series of symptoms that are usually integrated into the individual’s own personality.

Symptoms like anxiety In the face of this negative situation, low levels of motivation and self-esteem with often self-deprecating thoughts, passivity and blockagedepressive symptoms… These are just some of the most common.

Often, people who suffer from it tend to feel victimsthey despise themselves and come to feel that their situation is the cause of destiny and that nothing can be done to change it.

Therefore, as a consequence, the person ends up suffering a serious problem of self-esteem and a lack of extreme motivation, which can sometimes end up leading to cases of depression and anxiety.

Precisely for this reason, it is essential to detect this problem as soon as possible and its symptoms to be able to go to a specialist psychologist and so that the person who suffers from it can understand that there is still time to regain control of their life and begin to see the solutions.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

To achieve this, one of the most used therapies is cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which the psychologist helps the patient to restructure his thoughts and emotions, as well as the learned behaviors that prevent him from putting aside those adverse situations that he has preferred to face passively.

A syndrome of learned helplessness that unfortunately can currently be seen reflected in many situations of bullyingfamily violence and even in other more everyday situations, but which can be faced with support, visualizing the positive expectations that this change of vision could have on your future and becoming aware again that oneself always has the ability to face those situations that displease you and to take control of your own life to get out of passivity and fight for your own mental health.

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