When I Discovered I Might Have "Learned Helplessness"

Life at times seems so random, chaotic, and just plain out of our control.  Try as we might to prevent bad things from happening to ourselves or to the ones we love, it sometimes feels pointless.  We began to question our efforts; whether we are doing enough, could we have done something different, and sometimes wonder "why even bother?"  Turns out this line of reasoning might not be that uncommon.

Back in 2010 I was studying for my Behavioral Science class when I came across a section discussing something called "learned helplessness" by a psychologist named Martin E.P. Seligman.  He found that those who couldn't escape a situation that caused pain or injury, despite several attempts, would eventually stop trying, even when an escape was presented to them.  In other words, the feeling that nothing can be done or is worth fighting for, is something that is "learned".

Growing up I went to many doctors appointments, started treatments that were supposed to make things "all better."  But when I lost my ability to walk, even after all I had gone through to prevent the disease from progressing, I felt like nothing I did made a difference.  There was no escape.

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