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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Learned Helplessness in Addiction beneficial for addicts to spend time with people who have already overcome an addiction.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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There are also those individuals who will develop learned helplessness as a result of their addiction. This occurs because of failed attem...

There are also those individuals who will develop learned helplessness as a result of their addiction. This occurs because of failed attempts to quit or control their substance abuse. The individual develops the idea that they have no choice but to accept their current situation. There can be any number of reasons for why people fail in a recovery attempt. It never means that they will be always destined to fail. Sometimes, it can just be that the individual had not managed to summon up enoughwillingness, or that they failed to use the right resources. Unless the individual understands this they can begin to feel helpless and just accept their miserable situation.

The combination of learned helplessness and addiction can be highly destructive for the following reasons:
The individual will feel completely powerless to escape the alcohol or drug abuse.
The person will accept the misery of addiction as the best they can expect from life.
The individual may believe that giving up their addiction will just be a waste of time. No matter what they do, they believe their future is going to be bleak.
Some people believe that they deserve to be addicted.
The person may expect family and friends to take care of them. They may become completely dependent on other people. This makes life miserable for everyone involved.
It can mean that the addict is unable to trust those individuals who are trying to help them. They just cannot believe the promises that their life will get better if they give up the substance abuse.
The individual can become so upset by their feelings of powerlessness that they become depressed. They may even decide that the best solution is to commit suicide.
These are measures that the individual can take to overcome learned helplessness and build a life in recovery:
Helplessness can be unlearned. This can be achieved by experiencing success when trying to influence the outcome of future events. The individual can learn to have trust in the reality that their actions can have a positive impact on their future.
It is vital that the individual develops the understanding that these feelings of learned helplessness are not based on reality. These are self-imposed limitations that can be overcome. Nobody deserves the misery of addiction and it is possible for anyone with sufficient willingness to escape it.
If people have failed at previous attempts to quit their addiction, they need to understand that this does not mean that they will always fail in such attempts. The majority of people who have made it into long-term recovery will have a history of many failed attempts in their past. It would be wonderful if people could just give up an addiction with their first attempt, but it often does not happen like that. This does not mean that there is something so wrong with the individual that they can never get better.
The individual can learn to begin challenging these negative thoughts. Such beliefs fall apart when they are put under close scrutiny.
Addicts tend to spend most of their time with other substance abusers, people who will also have developed a degree of learned helplessness. Humans are heavily influenced by the other people they spend their time with. It is therefore beneficial for addicts to spend time with people who have already overcome an addiction. Such inspirational individuals will be a living demonstration of what is possible and will encourage the individual to get over their feelings of learned helplessness.
Sometimes addicts just have to take a leap of faith. They may not really believe that giving up their addiction is going to make life better, but they can at least give it a try. The misery of addiction will still be waiting for them if they choose to return to it later. They really have nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
Attending therapy sessions can allow the individual to discover the truth behind their feelings of powerlessness. The therapist will be able to suggest strategies for how the individual will be able to get beyond their current self-imposed limitations.
Those who agree to attend a rehab can develop the skills they need to build a successful life in recovery. Part of this will be learning to overcome feelings of learned helplessness.

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