It is the very book that made Seligman a world-renowned psychologist and eventually the president of APA. As always, his book is amazingly readable, experiment-based and critical. Although the term ‘learned helplessness’ appears everywhere in those intro-to-psychology or psychopathology textbooks, reading the original work is so much different and illuminating from a single edited chapter. The concept is extremely simple: depression is analogous to learned helplessness, which can be produced in laboratory settings by introducing uncontrollability. Anxiety, another typical emotion co-occurs with depression, derives from unpredictability, which has been elicited successfully from animal experiments as well. Normally, psychologist would adopt a triadic experimental design where animals (rats or dogs) are put into three group settings: inescapable shock, escapable shock and no shock. After hundreds of trails for a week or more, animals are put into another setting where a certain behavior could relive them from electric shock. Those animals exposed to inescapable shock (the shock always come no matter what behavior they carry out) are incapable of learning the new escape behavior and just accept their fate of being shocked passively. While animals in escapable shock setting would pick up the new escape behavior in a very short time. In other similar experiments, rats in inescapable shock group may develop more stomach ulcers or have a significantly higher rate of sudden death, which is a strong evidence of the degree of negative impact learned helplessness may leave upon creatures. The vital feature of inescapable shock is the lack of controllability. The response has no effect on outcome. If put it in another way, the probability of occurrence of the outcome given the response is made is exactly the same as the probability of occurrence of the outcome if no response is ever made. Thus, animals learned there is no way to exert any control over the occurrence of shock. Psychologists also used a smart method to combine unpredictability with uncontrollability in this triadic experiment. For the inescapable shock group, half of the animals would be given a signal (it can be a noise or a flash) before the occurrence of electric shock, and the other half animals would not be given a predictable signal (either did not predict shock at all or was absent). The result revealed that animals given predictable signals showed less anxiety and learned to escape from shock under the new setting much more quickly. Therefore, it is better to conclude that learned helplessness contains two core concepts—uncontrollability and unpredictability. Both of them refer to the idea of contingency between either response and outcome, or signal and outcome. Once learned helplessness is formed, changes would take place in the motivational, cognitive and affective level. One is less motivated to response towards threat. Given that the contingency between response and outcome is changed in new settings, people with learned helplessness may fail to update their knowledge of the response-outcome relationship as no more trails is made available. Emotionally, one feels anxious in the first place as he/she knows that the trauma is about to come, and it slowly changes to depression, as he/she understands that the trauma is not avoidable. Depression is such a disorder that patients regard themselves powerless in this random world. It can be depicted as a feeling of self-guilt, hopelessness, perceived or actual loss of control upon literally everything and desperate. Nothing could be changed and I am just too bad. Yes, too bad and I don’t find living any more meaningful. So the purpose of psychotherapy is to rebuild the sense of control through a series of graded real life tasks, which is somehow similar to treatments of phobias.