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a feeling that one's efforts as an individual will not influence the outcome of a situation. Patients may experience learned helplessness as a result of overly rigid institutional rules or behaviors of staff members. Individualized care fosters self-esteem and will assist in the prevention of helplessness.


A feeling of dependence, powerlessness, defenselessness, or depression, e.g., in the face of crisis or overwhelming circumstances. See: hopelessness; powerlessness

learned helplessness

A passive fatalistic behavior that one cannot influence one's environment, or alter one's existence. This condition may sometimes arise in persons who have chronic illnesses, depression, phobias, or loss of functional independence.

Patient discussion about helplessness

Q. My pot shape belly is worrying me a lot and now I am helpless to bring it to right shape. What can help me? My pot shape belly is worrying me a lot and now I am helpless to bring it to right shape. My work is computer related and the shift schedule is so tough that I am left with no time for gym and exercise. There is a growth in my hips size as well and I feel completely uncomfortable. My body becomes completely heated after my work. I eat my meals regularly as I know pretty well that dieting without exercise does more harm than any good and I feel stressed. What can help me?

A. You reduce on your diet to small diet as it will be burned. Once the food is used by the body it won’t pound on your body. To reduce the gained fat and belly you have to do some exercise to excite muscles to form in the areas where you require and to reduce the excess fat where not required, especially at your belly and hips. I think you must go for swimming and this will definitely help ease your problems to a considerable level.

Q. Why is the cancer make people die? I saw alot of people who die because cancer. I feel afraid of it.

A. Cancer is a a big and somewhat scary name for many malignant tumors that can grow anywhere in the body. The reason the disease can sometimes cause death is because the tumor cells grow much faster than healthy body cells, thus they invade in different tissues and organs of the body and make them stop functioning properly. You don't need to be afraid of the idea, because although that is one of the biggest medical problems nowadays, there are some very good treatments for many cancers and a lot of the people are cured completely. Cancer does not mean the same as death and the focus should be on early diagnosis and treatment.

More discussions about helplessness
References in periodicals archive ?
'I am helpless and tired of prevailing corruption in each government department,' he pleaded.
"When he got hit, I had a bit of a sick feeling, you're kind of helpless.
Director General Sports Punjab Adnan Arshad Aulakh, on this occasion, said that helpless children are important part of our society and they deserved full patronization from govt and private sector.
The Iftar dinner was arranged at the University of Management Technology in collaboration with Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan, University of Management Technology, Rizq Foundation, Rifah International University and CFC wherein orphan children, helpless aged persons living in old age homes, the responsible of Alkhidmat and a large number of members of the youth societies of different universities participated.
73% of schoolchildren feel helpless when it comes to tackling global warming
Leave the first time." But we say to helpless children, "our goal is to return you to the parents that abused you." A child born with drugs in its system has already been abused.
He regretted the delay in the supply of the facility that left snakebite victims helpless, and blamed that on the tedious process involved in producing and importing the ASV.
Didi was thinking they will form helpless government in Delhi so that she could escape the investigation in the chit fund scam," the Prime Minister said while addressing a rally here.
Painfully, the horrific disasters have killed millions of precious lives and made the people homeless and helpless globally.
The fuel tax is less about the economy and more about the eroded dignity of a country sinking in public debt, its failing accountability institutions and its helpless citizens.
Why does Princess Peach almost always have to be the helpless one who's captured?
An inexperienced St Mirren reserve side was helpless in defeat as they fell 5-1 at the hands of Rangers.