Learned Helplessness

I have read articles on learned helplessness or co-dependency in relationship to mental illness. They read like pep talks or “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” to me.

I actually could use a little of that, gentle prodding, to take baby steps to do a little bit more and more. I do have certain limitations. I don’t have the physical energy to keep up with my family, but I can take showers. And, when you are capable of taking care of yourself it will only help you feel, cope better if you do.

But, there are other people who have more limitations than I do. I have in the past. Things that seem simple are difficult for them. I have seen people feel pressured to do too much, and relapsing, because others wouldn’t accept their limitations.

It really is a delicate balance that moves at what I am capable of at any given time.


My name is Lori. I am a wife and mother. My children are teenagers. I work as a peer mentor and volunteer for NAMI. I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type