Trauma, Depression and Learned Helplessness

Effects of Childhood Trauma, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, cptsd, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

If we suffered a traumatic childhood in which we felt powerless to change our situation for the better, we may have become conditioned to believe that there is no point in trying to improve our situation in life as any such attempt will inevitably be doomed to failure. Such a state of mind, one of the hallmarks of clinical depression, has been termed ‘learned helplessness’ by psychologists. If we are suffering from learned helplessness, we will lack motivation to create positive change even when it is clearly possible to do so from an objective perspective.

The following experiment, involving dogs, helps to illustrate precisely what psychologists mean by the condition of learned helplessness. It is a controversial experiment which is ethically questionable and I do not think I would feel comfortable carrying out such a research activity myself. However, here are the findings :

PHASE 1 OF EXPERIMENT :

The…

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