How do I overcome learned helplessness?
March 2, 2011 4:24 PM Subscribe
How do I overcome my learned helplessness in relation to finding a job?
posted by arcolz to health & fitness (9 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Since withdrawing from University due to severe depression and anxiety over a year ago, I have continually struggled to find employment. Of course, there's a variety of factors contributing to this: my lack of a real college degree (I have an associate's, but that's it), the relative scarcity of work in this shitty economy, and my indecision about what I want to do in the future. However, I feel like the primary thing that's holding me back is my feelings of helplessness. I've held jobs in the past, but they were all part of university work study programs and the application process involved little more than doing a few basic tests and showing up. Over the past year or so all the attempts I've made to find work have fallen flat.
Realistically I feel like there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to find a job. Even though I'm not super qualified for anything specialized, I'm willing to bag groceries or move boxes or file papers. I just can't motivate myself to fill out applications or call up managers because it feels like I physically CAN'T, even though I know those feelings are absurd. It's become a big cycle where every day just builds up another layer on the snowball of failure.
I know that in some ways those kinds of feelings are a symptom of my depression. I was just prescribed an SSRI to help treat that, but I'm not able to see a therapist at this moment, so I'm looking for practical tips or methods I can use to break this cycle and find work. I'm 22 and in the southern United States.