I am not sure how to word this but I have heard it several times over the years with family and friends saying they feel helpless. I would imagine this has something to do with their genetic psychology but it seems to effect most people. What makes people feel helpless?
Usually anxiety will cause this. You do not need to be experiencing a panic attack or even have GAD to have anxiety. We all get it from time to time. It is a sense of being overwhelmed and not knowing what to do first.
As mentioned by Witolove, it stems from worry, fear, and doubts. Anxiety is essentially a natural response to things BUT in excess, it becomes a trained condition.