There is much written about Learned Helplessness but there seems to be no recognition of the phenomenon that I describe as Forced Helplessness.
An accident has left me with physical problems and the treatment I’m being offered is inadequate and badly thought out. The impact of the treatment would leave me in a state of helplessness that could easily be avoided.
I know my body and the way it feels. I should be given information to consider and then given the opportunity to discuss the options. I should, as an ‘expert patient’ be allowed to make the choices I need not be forced into helplessness by being excluded from the decision making.
There are many people who have recourse to therapy re mental health only via the National Health Service (NHS) and that has been very limited for decades.
Unless there is a serious concern that a person could self harm and/or endanger their life there is little chance of being referred into the system that could help them.
Those who constantly hover on the edge of bleakness because trauma that needs to be treated isn’t can feel permanently crushed and unable to function. What little help is available isn’t enough and shouldn’t be the one size fits all that CBT and Mindfulness are considered to be.
By being taught to be helpless and therefore potentially falling into the cycles of depression and/or other mental health problems we are then, instead of being taught how to unlearn helplessness, being forced further into it.
This forced helplessness whether the illness is physical or mental is wrong; if we cannot be given the treatment we need we should not be made to have the only option available.