week 5 forum post responses

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In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

Learned Helpessness

Review the concept of learned helplessness in your readings this week. Analyze the role that learned helplessness plays in depression. Discuss cognitive interventions that could be used in treating a person who is presenting with depression associated with learned helplessness. Share an original example using the concepts of learned helpless and how a person would go about combating it.

Forum post #1

Learned helplessness is experienced by millions of people everyday and for different reasons. Most of it stems from childhood but it could be experienced as an adult and start as an adult as well. However, it comes from somewhere and that is in the form of some sort of abuse or neglect along the way. As humans, we require others love and attention. Although many people can say they are fine on their own and handle themselves, in reality we all wish for someone else’s company. It is what keeps us sane most of the time and giving each other someone to talk to, listen to and be understood by is a great thing for our mental health. When someone is abused, they begin to take on another life. That is because learned helplessness comes from a repeated action that changes our thinking from positive to negative. When a situation or event continually happens, we begin to settle. By settling, we are essentially giving up. Giving up on trying, giving up on thinking there is anything good to come, or giving up on the fact that we will get what we want out of any situation. In the case of a battered wife, she is continually put down or hit. After a while, she may become depressed and feel as a failure. Since the repeated abuse isn’t going away, she tends to give up hope that anything will change and begins to settle in her life. After so many times of trying to change her spouse or make an effort to change her behavior, she realizes that nothing is going to change this abuse and lets things go. This is what leads to these women becoming submissive and never leaving. (Bargai, Shakhar & Shalev, 2007).

People who are depressed from having learned helplessness often blame themselves. Maybe someone is trying to get a job and after being rejected so many times may begin to stop looking for a job and blame themselves. They may think they are not good enough or experienced enough. This can lead to depression since etc person no longer has anything got look forward to or feel like they or worth anything. A therapist in this situation needs to let their client know how much they have to look forward to. They need to praise their clients, and change their view of thinking. Right now they are all negative, the therapist would need to change their thinking to positive and give them things to look forward to. This would need to start and finding the root cause of their feeling of helplessness and then the therapist can focus on baby steps to get them through. In the situation where someone can’t find a job, maybe the therapist can start by asking their client what they enjoy, what they are good at and what they can see themselves doing in their career. It would jump start their thinking and then it can lead to further step ssmc has interesting them in going back to school, taking a course or taking a new job route. They need help finding a new perspective on things.

Forum post #2

Learned helplessness is a mental state where human and even animals who is forced to allow repeated opposing situations, eventually becomes unable or unwilling to avoid these situations. Learned helplessness results from negative conditioned learning. It mainly occurs from one’s unconscious. By experiencing the feeling of “helplessness” and negativity the individual is more likely to learn or think that they should not try new things and/or strive to better themselves because the fear they will fail or be rejected by others. In these situations, the individual behave helplessly and generally fail to respond to opportunities that could be beneficial to their situation. The theory of learned helplessness assess that related mental illness and clinical depression can be the end result of a professed lack of control over the outcome of a situation. They are trained into a particular way of thinking and/or outcome. It is often determined by an individual’s family, environment, culture, profession or their affiliated institution. Some experts propose learned helplessness can be handed down from one generation to another simply through observation. In this particular case the daughter her watched her mother being abused by her husband can easily be turned into helpless behavior. She may easily begin to feel as if there is nothing she can do, leading to low self-esteem and even some psychological issues. Her mother may have unconsciously started an abuse cycle which may be passed from her daughter onto her grandchildren.

In 1965, Seligman began conducting similar experiments to Ivan Pavlov’s, classical conditioning experiments (Gray, 1999). Expanding on Pavlov’s (1999) research, the dogs were still conditioned using a bell sound, but instead of providing the animal with food, they were instead met with an electrical shock. Thus may have been created a learned helplessness since they wanted food and hoped for it yet was greeted with shock instead and there was nothing they could do about. Learned helplessness is experienced by hundreds of people as well as animals every day and for many different reasons. Most of it is rooted from childhood but it could be experienced as an adult and start as an adult as well. However, it comes from somewhere and that is in the form of some sort of abuse or neglect along the way. As humans we desire and yearn for the love of others in one way or another. Although when many people asked will say they are doing well on their own and handle themselves, however in reality we all wish for someone else’s company.

Forum post #3

Learned helplessness occurs when an individual is continually exposed to an unavoidable negative or aversive stimulus. With learned helplessness, the individual becomes unable or unwilling to change their present condition. Their behavior turns submissive-like and they begin to act as if staying in the situation is their only option. They become accustomed to the environment. They use learned helplessness as a coping method instead of seeking outside assistance for their situation. If given the opportunity to remove themselves from the aversive stimulus, the individual will most likely not take the escape, instead, they will remain in their situation, due in part to learned helplessness. Learned helplessness can be linked to multiple mental disorders, including depression. Individuals with learned helplessness have completely convinced themselves that they have lost all control over their situation. They become defeated and helpless and begin to act as such. This loss of hope can easily lead to depression and depressive symptoms.
I think the most recognizable example of an individual with learned helplessness is that of a person in an abusive relationship. He or she may have been in the relationship for many years, but instead of trying to remove themselves from the relationship, they defend their partner and ultimately convince themselves that they deserve the type of relationship that they are in. Learned helplessness can also be applicable to other situations, such as learned helplessness in students. A student failing a specific subject may come to believe that he or she has no control over the outcome of the class and ultimately stop trying to succeed.
Cognitive interventions that could be used in treating a person who is presenting with depression associated with learned helplessness should include treatment options that address the root cause of the issue. Individuals could be prescribed antidepressants but if the medication is simply masking the problem, treatment will not be successful. It is clear that an individual with learned helplessness most likely has self-esteem and/or self-worth issues. It would be imperative to focus on changing the thought process of someone with learned helplessness. Practicing positive affirmations for self-esteem would be a beneficial tool to help overcome this problem. I am passionate about speaking things into existence and believing to achieve. If someone with learned helplessness with little to no self-esteem/self-worth, most likely the individual in my first example, were to ask for treatment options, not only would I try to address the underlying problems that led to learned helplessness, I would task the individual with positive affirmation exercises. By repeating small phrases such as “I am courageous”, “I deserve to be happy”, “I love myself”, or “I am in control of my life”, individuals might come to believe these affirmations to be true.


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