It may seem like getting your hopes up and then having things fall apart can be tougher than not having anything to look forward to at all. There’s a name for this type of feeling — learned helplessness. It is a feeling of powerlessness, that no matter what you do it won’t change your circumstances.
When you get knocked down repeatedly by life’s circumstances, learned helplessness can be a result. You feel like you don’t have control over anything anymore. Your brain is in a constant “what’s next?” mode. Learned helplessness, if left unchecked, can lead to depression and anxiety symptoms.
When learned helplessness increases, so does the buffer of psychological flexibility. In other words, psychological flexibility fights back harder the more you start feeling learned helplessness. If you have psychological flexibility, you are less likely to experience depression from learned helplessness.