The Epidemic of Learned Helplessness

We all suffer, somewhere in our lives, from learned helplessness.

Our healthcare institutions have effectively imposed it on patients. That’s why we ┬ánow have ‘patient empowerment’ movements.

Nurses victimized by other nurses learn helplessness.

Physicians victimized by tyrannical bureaucracies learn helplessness.

Healthcare executives passionate about reform learn helplessness.

Healthcare marketers trying to figure out today’s media learn helplessness.

In fact, everywhere you look around at society you see the colossal influences of learned helplessness.

Learned helplessness isn’t just isolated to the cognitive pathologies of clinical depression.

Learned helplessness is a way of life; a philosophy; a disease of expanding political proportions.

When looking for reasons why health care reform or health information technology advancement are torturous, or why patients give up on their own health, look for the underlying signs of learned helplessness.

Like individuals, institutions can learn helplessness.

So can entire civilizations.

Learned helplessness is the greatest opportunity a tyrant could ask of the dark gods.

It’s also an opportunity for you to be a hero.

Phil Baumann,

The Unlearning Helper


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