Learned Helplessness: Seligman’s Theory of Depression

Learned helplessness is a theory that Psychologist Martin Seligman developed. Seligman believed that people could not change their circumstances, leading to depression. Seligman’s theory is based on the idea that Learned Helplessness Syndrome causes depression. This syndrome is characterized by the development of a decreased sense of control over one’s environment and oneself. Various experiences, including abuse, chronic stress, and inadequate social support, can cause it.

Learned helplessness is a significant predictor of depression. Studies have shown that people who have developed this syndrome are more likely to experience episodes of depression and to remain depressed for longer periods of time than those who do not have the syndrome. Learned helplessness can also lead to a decrease in motivation and an increase in negative thoughts and feelings.

This can be caused by several events or experiences but is most commonly seen after a person has been victimized or abused.

In many cases, the victim of learned helplessness will believe they are powerless to change their situation. This can make them feel hopeless and helpless and lead to them giving up on their efforts.

One of the most common examples of learned helplessness is seen in farm animals treated badly by their owners. These animals may become conditioned to believe they cannot escape or protect themselves and may eventually stop trying.

Another example of learned helplessness can be seen in people who have been victims of sexual abuse. These individuals may become conditioned to believe they are powerless to prevent further abuse and feel ashamed and embarrassed.

Overall, learned helplessness is a condition that can be very damaging to an individual’s psyche. It can lead to feelings of depression and isolation and make it difficult for the victim to recover from their experiences.

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