This blog post is based on my own experiences and these influence my opinions. They may be different from yours.
In my 30s I began to have problems with my neighbours and living on the edge of the city meant that I was cut off from supportive sources. My partner was a gaslighting feeder and his response was to give me chocolate and tell me I couldn’t cope. I got fat, despised myself and I learned how to become helpless. As an indirect result of succumbing to Learned Helplessness I was diagnosed with having Bipolar Disorder.
Learned Helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from real or perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.It is a pernicious problem insidiously chipping away at the soul; organic gaslighting.
I joined a self-help forum to find support and encouragement but it became a centre for picking up information in order to learn how to be more adept at accentuating any mental illness or problem.
It is evident that the situations that can teach us to become well can also teach us to become professionally unwell.
Let me define what I mean by professional unwell.
A person who could be described as professionally ill would be an expert in his or her own illness and could speak knowledgeably about it and how it affects them but not necessarily in broader terms.
A professionally ill person would be able to find the literature and/or websites to back up their particular knowledge. They can trip medical terms off the tongue with ease but usually with subjectivity.
They are enthusiastic about their illness and can talk for hours about it. They will talk to anyone and everyone who will listen.
They are legends in their own living rooms.
The professionally unwell do not believe, or want to believe, that even those illnesses that progress and become worse can be alleviated with even a small amount of acceptance as they have persuaded themselves that they cannot unlearn their helplessness.
For more information on Learned Helplessness please follow this link.