Loss of autonomy

the underlying factor in many social issues


Loss of autonomy refers to any loss of Selfhood, which can refer to either not being accepted by other people or not having any control over your life, or both. While this can come from an inability on your part it is more often down to a deprivation of opportunity or a deprivation of your individual human experience.

Exploding various myths

There are various popular social and cultural beliefs centred around the concept of personal freedom and personal responsibility. There are political slogans and soundbites such as 'Work is the route out of poverty' or 'Wealth creates wealth' or 'Money creates money' which have found their way into popular culture. You will find no shortage of people who have worked to achieve some status in the system who will tell you that "I did it myself." Youy might also notice that they are proponents of the system and often firm adherents to consumerism. There is a very popular tendency to hold the individual wholly responsible for the outcomes in their life and to balme them for any social issue they might be experiencing.

While these beliefs and perspectives may be popular they are also false and have no basis in reality. The universe works a certain way and so too does everything in it. The universe is based on interaction and creativity between two or more individuals and this requires both space and opportunity. The above perspectives are promoted as part of social conditioning so those in authority can keep control over you. Please observe that this is a one way relationship as the State rarely if ever accepts responsibility for what happens in society, and often political parties will avoid accepting any responsibility for the failure of their policies. This is therefore a mechanism to distract people's attention from the lack of opportunities and deprivation of individual human experience·


There are various strategies of disempowerment which can include deprivarion and restriction of opportunities which causes the deprivation of personal experience. Your actual personal experience and knowledge which comes from this doesn't count for much in today's system. To gain access to opportunities you need to have either a piece of paper from some institution or organization or money. Another form of disempowerment comes from social markers and social stigma where if you have certain markers (explained more in the webpage on social stigma) you can be subjected to status loss and be deprived of opportunities and through this access to housing, employment, education, and even public services such as healthcare and welfare support.

The development of barriers

As a result of disempowerment loss of autonomy comes from the development of various barriers and obstacles. These barriers and obstacles can make your life much more difficult and harder and this impacts directly on the quality of your life, the ability to influence events in your life, up to and including not having any control over what happens in your life. These barriers can be practical, financial or material, and social and as a result of the impact all this has on your life can lead to the development of psychological and emotional barriers as well. It is this disempowerment and the development of barriers which can often be alienating and isolating as an experience.

The impact of a loss of autonomy

Loss of personal autonomy always has an impact on your life and the effects are generally stressful and traumatic. This is because you suffer a loss of Selfhood and your ability to interact with your environment and others around you. This can have various effects on you, on your thinking, behaviour, sense of emotional wellbeing, and even your health. Some of these effects can be quite profound and devastating

Impact on cognitive functioning ability

Loss of autonomy and disempowerment have a traumatic effect on your cognitive functioning ability which is controlled by your left brain hemisphere and which relies on social interaction and the acquisition of personal experience in order to function normally. Cognitive functioning abilities include such things as perception and exploitation of opportunity, risk calculaton, problem solving ability, attention seeking strategies, impulse control, and the ability to control emotions and thinking. As tyou can see these are all skills and thinking strategies which are necessary to development of personal experience and social interaction.

The effects of impairment of cognitive functioning

Any sustained loss of autonomy which comes from disempowerment or deprivation of individual experience can lead to a loss of cognitive functioning ability as a result of which cognitive functioning can become impaired. This can have various effects.

In some people this is what can lead to the development of an addiction as a coping strategy - as an important part of cognitive functioning is changing the frequency of energy processed by the brain so as to influence either thinking, mood or feelings of wellbeing. Any addiction is formed from using a substance or activity to make up for a loss of personal experience or as a coping mechanism to deal with traumatic energy such as stress, tension, anxiety or some other emotion or feeling..

Impairment of cognitive function can also result in the develipment of depression, anxiety and/or some other mental illness. Qultura has observed thatb there is an almost direct correlation between social changes and the increased popularity of globalism and neoliberal capitalism and the rise in the development of depression, anxiety disorders and mental illness among people. This can further lead to the triggering of genetic predispositions relating to serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and can also lead to suicide as many people, in feeling that they have no personal autonomy and are unable to influence events in their life, can feel that they have nothing to live for

The process aspect

There is a process aspect to a loss of autonomy because while the individual remains disempowered society is still functioning. This is a traumatic process which can often lead to further disempowerement due to a loss of trust betweenn the indiviual and others and also internal disempowerment through the individual believing that whatever they try to do to change the situation will result in failure. Reversing this process aspect is key to any recovery of personal autonomy and experience, and this usually requires support and empowerment from others.

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