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Overcoming Learned Helplessness

Discussion in 'Mind, Sleep, Stress' started by lollipop, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. lollipop

    lollipop Guest

  2. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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  3. OP
    lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    :D @Blossom - thank you...thought it was a thorough discussion and could help us all!
     
  4. Ledo

    Ledo Member

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    Doesn't "learned helplessness" have a component to it that is is supremely rational from a tactical and strategic perspective that belies its name and contradicts the gist of the linked document which postulates a victim mentality as the root of learned helplessness?

    I'm thinking that not responding or reacting to certain situations is a great adaptation that may lead to higher rates of survival long term. It gives the organism time to marshal resources and opportunistically wait for a better time to act. It may be the best choice from a list of all bad choices.
     
  5. OP
    lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    Imo...conscious response of choice to change is the best and moves a person towards creativity. Ignoring or reacting keeps someone in the drama triangle:

    The Three Faces of Victim – An Overview of the Drama Triangle
     
  6. Makrosky

    Makrosky Member

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    Well, if you are full of serotonin and stress hormones there's no way reading that article is going to help. You need to take some medical approach, that's why psychiatrists or ray peat strategies exist. You are not going to pull you out of the learned helplessness state only with your rational mind.

    A friend of mine has been unemployed for 1 year and a bit depressed. Her mood wasn't very bad but the worst thing was that she could not send resumees and do the things one needs to do to find a job. She was uncontrollably procrastinating day after day, feeling more helpless. She was visiting a psychologist for almost that whole year and she still couldn't get out of the learned helplessness state. So she went to a psychiatrist and he diagnosed her with disthymia and prescribed lamotrigine. The last thing I know from her is that she is already sending resumes and she said : "I don't know what to do with my psychologist. In two weeks of medication I've advanced more than in one year therapy".

    Of course I'm not advocating anyone to go to a psychiatrist or to take lamotrigine or anything like that. My point is that it is called learned helplessness for something. If it was as easy as reading a blog post to get out of that state, it wouldn't be learned helplessness.

    Keep hitting the antiserotonin stuff fellas!!!
     
  7. Barry Obummer

    Barry Obummer Member

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    I am not a Buddhist or Taoist, but 350 million of them would probably agree.
     
  8. Greg says

    Greg says Member

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    I was stuck in a downward spiral of not working, hopelessness, despair. Tianeptine literally reversed the learned helplessness in 10 minutes. A month later I was working.
     
  9. Parsifal

    Parsifal Member

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    Which dose?
     
  10. Greg says

    Greg says Member

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    The first dose was 24mg. I remember this because my scales were set wrong. I was trying to dose at the recommended 12.5mg. I have used it at maybe a 30mg dose three times day. I haven't taken any for a few weeks and have been trying Lysine instead. I have recently read on here about the mild opioid effect of Tianeptine raising histamine, oestrogen and ironically serotonin. I have used it on/off for 3 years and have not felt any negative effects which I can identify.
     
  11. Xisca

    Xisca Member

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    Your second sentence is exactly what is known about the freeze response!
    In animals it is an abvious source of survival. It occurs when fighting and fleeing are impossible, or viewed as impossible.
    The main point to remember is that it is NOT a conscious choice, as it comes from the autonomous nervous system.

    The rational brain can say that it is very useful, but does not decide it. It looks as a strategy but it is not.

    Anyway, victim mentallity is not at the root, because it cannot be a root. It is a consecuence. It is chronic freeze.
    The normal reaction is that freeze is momentaneous, and that you have to go out of it. When you do not, for many reasons, then there are consecuences, and one can be called learned helplessness, though it is not learned in the sense that it does not belong to the rational brain.

    If you scowl s.o. for a victim mentality, you freeze him or her more. The going out must come from the autonomous nervous system. The cortex can just help to find strategies to get there, and trigger the auto-regulation.
     
  12. EIRE24

    EIRE24 Member

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    So, what exactly is the best place to start to try and reverse learned helplessness? Obviously diet and lifestyle make a difference but what medication would help spark the revival?
     
  13. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Member

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    So funny how on a forum things you need at the present time float to the top of the queue. Thanks, @lisaferraro, for creating this thread. It's given me some stuff to think about, for sure. Particularly interesting is this nugget from the "Drama Triangle" link:

    (bolding emphasis mine)

    I wish I'd had more of that growing up. I wish I'd understood earlier in life that I was actually able to solve most of my own problems. Learned helplessness has been a part of my psyche for as long as I have memory in this incarnation. Being the only child of two powerful, controlling, serotogenic (is that even a word? ha) personalities will do that to ya. For over a decade I wallowed in learned helplessness when my biochemistry was at its worst. Now I don't wallow but it's still there, waiting to pounce on me for the least little indiscretion that alters my biochem. I wonder if I'll ever be able to banish it completely.

    I've been having a boatload of serotonin and estrogen overload symptoms the past few days, falling scarily back into despair and learned helplessness mode. More symptoms, and of a severity and in a preponderance that hasn't bothered me for a long time. Possibly due to FFA/PUFA liberation due to weight loss, and also a critical indiscretion of diet last weekend. But also due to being unemployed and my severance running out. I haven't had to deal with the stress of unemployment for over a decade. I didn't think it was bothering me but now I think it really is. It's to the point where I must acknowledge it.

    After thinking about what's been happening lately, it's somewhat like what I went through during the first intense phase of my healing, which was mediated mostly by supplements. It was kind of a resurrection of old symptoms from when my health was at its worst. Almost a processing of old emotional garbage. This feels similar.

    This morning upon awakening I realized I was just going to have to make up my mind to just get through it somehow, like I did several years ago before my real healing began. Back then, I had to decide things had to change before any improvement in biochemistry happened. Otherwise I might not have even taken any steps to change the biochemistry. Which, those changes worked for a long time and now seem to be not working, at least for now. :meh: :lol:

    I'm noodling around now trying to figure the best way to block serotonin. That way that works for me, anyway.

    Point being, in my experience, there is an element of self-determination to moving out of learned helplessness. Deciding that you can and will move out of it is the first step. IME moving out of it is never an accident of serendipitous biochemistry. You might get lucky and find something that magically resolves your symptoms without having to look very hard, but where does the drive to even search for that something come from? Self-will.
     
  14. OP
    lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    Love how you are searching and learning and seeking to overcome. Bravo @whodathunkit

    Also to recognize that we are like a symbiotic forest of multiple factors interacting together and that no one system within us has "ultimate" authority over our human expression/experience is soooo important.

    I have found diet and progesterone to be my biggest serotonin antagonizers.

    Also this is a long read and super helpful exploration of victim archetype:

    Understanding the Victim Archetype : Susanna Barlow
     
  15. lvysaur

    lvysaur Member

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    The popularity of "social justice" and other generally self-victimizing/"feel sorry for me" behavior indicates that a lot of people are strongly entrenched in learned helplessness.

    Sometimes the behavior is warranted/justifiable, but most of the time it is not. Regardless of how warranted it is, it is always detrimental.
     
  16. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Member

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    Thanks, @lisaferraro! :)

    Progesterone does not seem to be helping me too much when symptoms get extreme, even at doses as high as 200mg-300mg/day. Guess I need to experiment with dosing techniques. Yesterday was bad so I did a little bit of progesterone a lot of times yesterday. That seemed to help a bit but it didn't put the brakes on the symptoms like I hoped. Today is a better day so I forgot to do that. :eyeroll:

    I don't know if progesterone isn't helping so much because I'm undergoing PUFA dump due to low fat eating style or whether the progesterone is pushing a lot of estrogen out of my cells or what. I'd bet quite a bit of $$$ I've got decades worth of old crap stored. I'd try big doses symptomatically but being unemployed right now I can't be as liberal with my supps as I usually get when things go wonky. Symptomatic dosing is an old friend.

    I guess another source of frustration is I'm getting tired of micromanaging my health all the time. My body is victimizing me! :p :lol: Seriously, I've been doing this dance with one therapeutic measure or another for three years now. Much longer, really, but as a constant, daily, consistent effort: three years. I think I'll ultimately overcome all my problems, plus lose my 30lbs to be healthy and happy with how I look. But right now I'm just kind of tired of it. I want to be a real girl again who doesn't have to think so hard about it all, all the time. [/whine]
     
  17. OP
    lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    Agree! Detrimental...
     
  18. OP
    lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    I sooo understand and honestly think the healing process takes years...gulp, excuse me if that doesn't help. Sending encouraging good thoughts for you @whodathunkit :discoheart
     
  19. DaveFoster

    DaveFoster Member

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    Cyproheptadine. Done.
     
  20. OP
    lollipop

    lollipop Guest

    :):
     
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