• OK, it's on.
  • Please note that many, many Email Addresses used for spam, are not accepted at registration. Select a respectable Free email.

INTP depression prone?

Jennywocky

guud languager
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
10,610
Location
Charn
#51
uh oh.... you mean to tell me that getting depressed because life isn't worth anything and you're just wasting your time, finding a way to be happy without any substantive solution, watching every situation you try to help in turn out worse, purposefully distancing yourself from others, blaming yourself for it, and remaining "ok with everything" broke into pieces for you after about 6 months?
Eeep. Who would have thought?

I must be a ticking time bomb... or perhaps more like a jack-in-the-box... counting about 2 months and a week doing almost exactly the same thing. ........you all may want to brace yourselves.
*hides under bed*

At the beginning of this year, I was at a real low point in my life... [past history] ...I woke up today thinking I'd realised what it was. Despite doing more stuff this Summer than I ever could of dreamed of - I've been to countless football matches and parties, been paintballing, jet-skiing, snow-skiing - I still felt like I'd wasted a lot of my time. I think doing things to please myself just isn't enough for me; I feel compelled to do more for this world than take for myself. I've always tried to help others where I could but it's not always possible. In some instances I've tried to help but only ended up making things worse than they were, and that doesn't help with the self-criticism. And being helpful for people isn't always worth it; countless good deeds can go unnoticed, and it makes me think why I bother. I don't know what it is, but there must be something I can do for this world... And I don't think I can be truely happy untill then.
I think doing stuff for the world and not just for you (i.e., being a giver and not a taker) is a positive step for anyone and has more potential for happiness in the long run.

I also think that with a lot of life contentment issues, each person can't skip steps; we actually have to try numerous things and have them fail or we have to understand the limitations of that approach via personal experience before we can move onto the next. Put another way, we can't change just because we hear an idea; we can only really change when we're ready to change.

So I think it is a great thing for you to have this realization and to push forward with it and explore it and its range of potential for others and for the well-being of your life purpose as well.

I think for me, ultimately, I had to move out of a sense of "doing" and back to a sense of "being." When doing good is the priority, I found myself doing good when I didn't even want to or at my own continual expense, which eventually eroded me and my ability to continue in that vein. I think that is the trap of being altruistic; contributing to the world and others is a good thing... but there is no end to it, and you can't easily justify drawing healthy boundaries for oneself if you're looking to it as a means of generating happiness in your life.

I don't think there is anything we can continuously do that will make us feel satisfied forever. (I even look at Mother Teresa, who didn't feel God for much of her life although she was obviously giving a great deal to others.) It all gets old, it all gets stale, and if we're missing something, eventually it will become obvious to us.

We all have different roads. For me, it was about finding myself; I spend the majority of my life suppressing myself and just trying to do things for others. I didn't even have an idea of what I wanted out of life, what I desired, what I was allowed to have... and eventually even though everyone thought I was wonderful and responsible, I felt like a dead person and had no existence of my own. I would also resent, inside, all the time feeling like if I was in a relationship with someone, I'd end up being exploited because I didn't know how to draw boundaries; I withdrew a lot when I could, to avoid being subsumed, because I always felt like I had to give as part of "being good." To me, that led to severe suicidal depression and a lack of interest in living... "I" didn't exist anyway, I see now. No wonder I felt dead.

Once the boundaries get in place and balanced, I think that frees people up to give more altruistically, without wanting anything in return (even if it is only a "good feeling" over making the investment); I think sometimes we're still using altruism to charge ourselves up, and when we don't get a positive response for our giving, it can eat us up over time. But when you're secure in who you are, you can give without needing a particular response back. That helps with the depression too.
 

Agent Intellect

Absurd Anti-hero.
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
4,116
Location
Michigan
#52
uh oh.... you mean to tell me that getting depressed because life isn't worth anything and you're just wasting your time, finding a way to be happy without any substantive solution, watching every situation you try to help in turn out worse, purposefully distancing yourself from others, blaming yourself for it
that happens to me every day that ends in "Y".

Despite doing more stuff this Summer than I ever could of dreamed of - I've been to countless football matches and parties, been paintballing, jet-skiing, snow-skiing - I still felt like I'd wasted a lot of my time.
i can't even begin to describe how much that resonates with me. every weekend (which for me is Sunday and Monday) no matter what i do, no matter how "productive" (at least what i consider productive) i am, i feel like the time was wasted. no matter how much fun i have doing something, i feel like the time could have been spent better some other way.
 

Jennywocky

guud languager
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
10,610
Location
Charn
#53
i can't even begin to describe how much that resonates with me. every weekend (which for me is Sunday and Monday) no matter what i do, no matter how "productive" (at least what i consider productive) i am, i feel like the time was wasted. no matter how much fun i have doing something, i feel like the time could have been spent better some other way.
I remember having those feelings in the past, very intensely.

My INTP son is 13. He commonly has had those feelings all his life. We'd do something wonderful together as a family, he'd feel so GOOD about it while doing it (You could TELL he was enjoying himself immensely!) and then at bedtime he'd get depressed and even cry that the "day had been a complete waste of time."

It's horrible, ugh. If i had to guess, I think it's partly:
- The keen sense of mortality (each second gone can never be recovered)
- Being so open-ended, you think there's something else you might have done that would have been better
- Not being able to satisfy all of one's desires (so the solution = way the day was spent was less than perfect).

I feel that way far less than I used to. I sort of accepted that that's what life is, I lowered my expectations for what I was supposed to accomplish, I stopped looking at time as this disappearing resource I couldn't afford to squander, and I placed more value on my enjoyment of the time spent rather than in the fact that time was spent.

(Does anyone feel this way about money too? A tendency to horde it, or regret almost immediatley spending it -- because now you might have wasted it, or what you got with it was only temporary and not permanent?)
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
680
#54
I think INTPs think a lot, and the world is a place with many sad, depressing things that have no easy solution. For most INTPs, from what I can tell, the 'truth' is very important. And, therefore, we don't like to be ignorant, and so we never really have this so-called bliss that goes along with being ignorant. I also agree with what Decaf said.

I think that the best way to counter this type of depression is to choose a project (it could be anything) and throwing yourself at it.

One of the things that makes me depressed sometimes is thinking about the likelyhood I'll ever live up to what I want to do in the world. And the fact that I'll probably die before everything I feel needs to be accomplished is accomplished. Which makes me upset and anxious over something I can't change. But, then again, I can tell that many people have the same problem, as it is a topic throughly covered in literature.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
680
#55
I always feel like I'm wasting my time doing whatever it is I'm doing, even if it's something I enjoy and that is 'productive'.
 

INTPINFP

Active Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
288
Location
surburbs
#56
Well, being depressed and lonely person myself, I don't have the faintest idea of what advice to give (most of the people who do just seem shallow and predictable to me, even though they are "trying" to help.) Anyway, one thing I'd like to suggest is that you should avoid plastic, unhealth food, plastic materials, etc. I know it is very difficult thing to do since all of the manufactures a money hungry pieces of shit. But the less materials from them you consume/inhale the less you will worry about your time being lost (they do this so you will become a "more productive member of society", and since you will have more money, you will spend more of it on their products. Sick isn't it.) :D
 

Reverse Transcriptase

"you're a poet whether you like it or not"
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
1,375
Location
The Maze in the Heart of the Castle
#57
(Does anyone feel this way about money too? A tendency to horde it, or regret almost immediatley spending it -- because now you might have wasted it, or what you got with it was only temporary and not permanent?)
Yes, I do feel that way with money. I have a monthly budget for living expenses, and I've consistently been spending less than I need to- because I have difficulty committing to action and purchases.

I think your INTP son is lucky to have an INTP mom. :)
 

Sapphire Harp

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2008
Messages
652
Location
Denver, Colorado
#58
There's a great lot above here that I agree with... I've been pretty depression prone throughout my life and I'm suspecting I'm in a pretty bad rut at the moment...

I think my largest difficulty right now is I feel almost completely disassociated from the things that make me happy. When asked what I enjoy these days, I have quite a hard time answering... Is it that the things I spend my time doing don't make the cut to really be that enjoyable...? I'm far better on the days that I have to work all day, and have a couple hours off at the end. My days off from work tend to be my worst.

I think the key to my happiest moments lies with other people, but that's so unreliable... I rarely try to pursue that...

Another things I think might key into this; something akin to the potential to be a major achiever in a whole lot of different arenas... It's this call towards 'greatness' that I'm not sure if its a compulsion, a desire, or an expectation.

I know my whims amount to several lifetimes of work... and its very difficult to measure yourself up against that. Or even a single pursuit, honestly. Yet, I find I really only compare myself to the most exceptional of people...

"I don't think there is anything we can continuously do that will make us feel satisfied forever. (I even look at Mother Teresa, who didn't feel God for much of her life although she was obviously giving a great deal to others.) It all gets old, it all gets stale, and if we're missing something, eventually it will become obvious to us."

Something about this... does actively knowing that something will make you happy prevent it from doing so? I always find diminishing returns from pursuits that I go back to. Is there some demanding need for our happiness to be completely genuine - disallowing any means of manufacturing it for ourselves...?


I think there's something very important about that, so I'm going to bold it... I'm very interested in everyone else's thoughts on that.

"(Does anyone feel this way about money too? A tendency to horde it, or regret almost immediatley spending it -- because now you might have wasted it, or what you got with it was only temporary and not permanent?)"

I'm a very heavy saver - at this time I'm looking mostly toward financial freedom from my college debt. I have a hard time rationalizing most purchases in face of that. I've been graduated for a year and half and I've already payed 50% of the debt and have much saved towards the rest... I often find myself looking at things I'd like to get in stores and choosing not to purchase them. Over and over again...

I saw a quote which shifted things around in my mind on the topic of money back when I was playing the Legend of the Five Rings card game... one particular card allowed you to exchange it for any other card in your deck and its flavor text read "Do not confuse what desire with what you need." With almost anything I buy, I find myself asking if I need it, or want it. And if its just the latter, is it cheap enough to accept?

This mostly goes out the window when it comes to getting gifts for other people. It's much more important to get the right gift than to keep the cost down in that case...

Although, that's really growing into an extensive tangent from the depression question... So, if anyone wants to talk about that more, maybe another thread is warranted?

I also wanted to mention - I find much of my depression comes out of social exchanges - even simple ones. Something someone says will bother me, but that won't be apparent until much time later. In the short term, my mood will have gone to hell and I'll have no idea why until I parse it out later.
 

Perseus

Prolific Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
1,065
#59
Hello everyone!
My name is Cam, and I am a chemist. I just found out that I am an INTP personality type. I honestly had no idea my personality type existed, but I am very excited that such a group as this exists.
More to the point, how many of you suffer from depression, and how do you deal with it?

Personally, I take wellbutrin, smoke THC filled greeneries, or submerge myself in a project.
I suffer from depression over my personal circumstances and a hate campaign. External agencies are blamed.

Chemist is a valid choice for an INTP, but I don't think it is a lead choice. If it pays well, I would concnetrate on your hobbies. If the prospects are bad, I would change career if you have the opportunity.

http://www.gesher.org/Myers-Briggs/Types and Career.htm
 

Perseus

Prolific Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
1,065
#60
I always feel like I'm wasting my time doing whatever it is I'm doing, even if it's something I enjoy and that is 'productive'.

I have found that ENFJs (The Ferret) suffer from this more than INTPs. I can morph-shift to this type and it would be my choice for the Fancy Dress Party (as Columbo the Detective nosing into the affairs of our role-players, just for fun on the day).
 

didyouknow

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
462
Location
Outside your window.
#61
*sigh*

This is making me slightly depressed just by talking about it. Its probably caused by my own unwillingness to share my problems. The only time that I do is if I get backed into a corner (someone accidentally sees me cry) and even then I try to run away...

It actually makes the pain worse if someone notices...it proves I don't have the ability to control myself.

When I have alot of assessment (like exam block) I often get overly stressed and fall into a depression. Perhaps I cannot handle spending all of my time on structured schoolwork. I've noticed I always enjoy learning more if I get to choose what I study...

At which point in time I immediately immerse myself in things to take my mind of of it (projects, as stated by others on the first page). Which is exactly what is happening right now. I have two chemistry assignments due in tommorrow and neither of them are finished.

I can't get myself to do them. After about two seconds of staring blankly at the screen, my head starts to hurt. Pretty sure that's stress. Of course, I don't like that feeling, so I try to avoid it.

...bad idea.

But I guess it's in my nature. Maybe using my new knowledge of INTP personality type, I can manipulate myself (like self-deception) into having a better work ethic.

Have any of you been able to manipulate the INTP personality type?


DB
 

Auburn

Luftschloss Schöpfer
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
2,290
#62
Have any of you been able to manipulate the INTP personality type?
I wouldn't use the world 'manipulate' but moreso - use it to it's fullest extent. Yes; by the ability to detach myself from my own personality and almost use my own body as my puppet to gather more data. I can take on the personality of someone else just to see what reaction it causes.

INTPs dislike making the first move and tend to mirror the emotional content of the other person. A jolly person will quickly bring the INTP out of his shell, as much as that is possible, while a serious person will find a serious INTP looking back at him. In this sense, INTPs preference for intuitive perception (rather than action) with respect to people results in them resembling a chameleon. The INTP can fit into many different modes of behaviour, even contradictory ones, in order to get into the mindset of the other person. Chameleons hide their true selves. INTPs do not do this cynically, or indeed all the time, but it is a result of the strong desire to remain detatched and observe.


This ability can be very useful as well as dangerous. I would say to use it with caution, except, often times we don't use it willingly but moreso automatically. As for the motivation issue:

While proficiency may not be a central goal, competence always is. The difference here may be subtle, but it is important. If an INTP decides to learn a skill, then it is very important for him that he reaches a sufficient level so that basic errors can be avoided. Errors made by others are to be expected and can be criticised. But errors made by oneself attack the very root of the person, which is ultimately about rationality, logic and truth. INTPs hate to think of themselves being in any way inadequate, at least in areas that are important to them. So, as soon as he puts himself behind some task, then he must achieve competency. But that is as far as it goes. Refined competency requires too much effort and has little attraction. It would require practice and that usually bores an INTP. Hence, it is common to see INTPs dabbling at many things, achieving competency, just enough to prove to themselves that they could become more proficient if they wished, but rarely actually bothering to refine their skills further.
I believe that in knowing this about INTPs, one can use this to their advantage. For instance, as long as the work does not become too repetitive, an INTP can engage in much work and with a passion that those around him may not have. The key then becomes finding a stimulating work subject that will keep you enchanted by it's complex system for years.

The problem, of course, becomes the titious way work is done in an SJ dominated society. At lest here in USA, most schools are not tailoered for the free expression and enrichment of the mind but for the systemization of everyone into 'good little workers' in society.

I struggled my way through the last few years of high school - not from incompetence, but from lack of motivation. I knew I could graduate at the top of the class if I felt it was that important, but I didn't. Yet, just to prove that I was at least 'competent' I did the minimal to pass.

http://www.intp.org/intprofile.html


EDIT: Can I just call you didy for short? :D
 

Perseus

Prolific Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
1,065
#63
My intuition would say the Chameleon would be a INXP with a lowish Thinking score.

I would intuit that INTPs with the higher thinking scores would be more prone to ordinary depression.

Serious clinical depression is different though. This distress would cause inferior and shadow functions to come into use.

Question: "do other INTPs get accused of living in a shell"?

I do. But when I come out of my shell, sometimes, they want to go back in it again!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ogion

Paladin of Patience
Joined
Jun 23, 2008
Messages
2,310
Location
Germany
#64
Very true Auburn. (and thanks for reminding me of that great text again ;))

I learned one thing how i can 'maniipulate' myself: When i think something is to be done noot for me but for others, for the benefit of others, i have much less problems to motivate myself. This is because i find it satisfying to help someone who is in need. It goes so far that some people who know me a bit call it "Jonathans helper complex/helper syndrome"...I can work for hours on some thing when i think it will help a person in need. (Simple example: One day i saw two students in my dormitory, which i never saw before, moving in into the dormitory. Well, the female student, the one who moved in, was having trouble carrying some piece of furrniture. Naturally (as in naturally for me ;)) i offered help. And since i had time and have above-mentionned syndrome i helped more, till some 7 hours later we were done.
Uhm, ok, this probably doesn't help you, since not everybody has this 'personality trait'.

Another thing i observed was, that in classes i am much more active than at home. I mean, in classes i involve myself in the discussions, but when at home i won't do anything for it, even if it may bbe somehow interesting. So the setting of a class, people in discussion together with a teacher, leads to my engaging without thinking about if i have enough motivation to do it.

Ok, uhm, i'm not sure anymore if this was helpful at all, now that i wrote it down...

Ogion
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
56
#65
I don't take anything, and I wouldn't want to, because I kind of think that psychological medicine has lost touch with reality, trying to treat everything as if it were chemical inbalances (opposite of IB :p). One of my friend's moms is depressed, and they cycled her through medicine looking for a drug that "worked." And then after so many years, it just "suddenly stopped" and they had to look for a new one. I've no idea why that would happen--perhaps the brain gets used to it or whatever--but I'd rather deal with things myself than anything else. The worst "physical" trouble its ever brought me is skipping a few meals when it didn't seem worthwhile to eat... but I wouldn't be me if I were on drugs, and the idea of that irritates me.

I completely agree with your view on meds.
 

GarmGarf

Active Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
225
Location
Ireland (Dublin)
#66
However I did find that I identified a lot with what people said here, particularly AIs point about wishing to go to sleep and not wake up again. I often think about death and how if I died tomorrow it wouldn't matter much.
I've dealt with depression for most of my life, off and on. I never really cared to live until recently. One of my most prevalent thoughts has been the wish for non-existence, but not particularly suicide.
That's what I got. I deny being suicidal, yet I reckon I may be more so than I am convincing myself.

It's mostly apathy towards life, but I have prayed to not wake up the next morning before, and I have stated in that past that I wished my mother had an abortion.

My poetry is morbid: "I am of being, yet obsessed with death".

I've evaluated free will doesn't exist.

I dislike the concept of life.

I seek oblivion.

I want everyone in existence to die ignorantly, instantly and painlessly to end human suffering, and so that I may join oblivion while not feeling guilty for those who would be pained by my absence.

Why am I not dead? Well, I possess a fear of pain, a sense of duty, and let's say: I wish to keep my options option. However, if I were to die outside of my power; well that would be a nice thought.
 

dbtng_thomas

Active Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
143
Location
Phoenix, AZ
#67
Reading the many posts in this thread was very informative for me. Depression can be hard to recognize in me because I'm so high energy, but I do sometimes experience the classic symptoms as well.

Since I was a kid, I've felt that I'm probably manic depressive. I've seen a psychiatrist about it once. He looked so scared of me that I never went back. I spend a good deal of my time in a hypomanic state; unreasonably happy and bubbling with energy. That alternates with my dark side, which may still be energetic, but it's agitation, not exuberance.

When I don't take care of myself, these flips back and forth get way more extreme. If I completely fail to do something about it, I can get pretty out there in just a couple weeks. For the most part, i just need to eat and sleep regularly to restore my balance, but that can be difficult when I've got a good mania going. Mania is kind of fun, and its tempting to let it roll for a while, but that leads to bad things like lost girlfriends, days in jail, and the like.

So, I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I think it's a natural extension of the original question: How many of you have mania (or hypomania) as well as depression?
 

hopefulmonster

Active Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
206
Location
dirac sea
#68
I imagine any type with a weak feeling side would be a little more melancholic then other types. we just don't have the internal skills necessary to comfort ourselves. Logic is a very cold shield at times.

I've personally been clinically depressed since eight or at least that was when I first started self-harming/thinking about killing myself. Was diagnosed with major depression at twelve that changed to atypical depression at 15 and the diagnosis changed yet again after my first serious suicide attempt to treatment-resistant depression at 17. I doubt that has anything do with personality though;that kind of mental fu**ed upness has got to be organic.

I hate to be an asshat but people really need to stop using the word depressed when they mean sad. Depressed is sobbing four hours straight for no damn reason wishing you had the energy to get out of bed and walk in front of a bus. Not nearly the same as feeling a bit down because of a stressful homework assignment or even brooding about oblivion or w/e. I would KILL to just be sad.IMHO you are not depressed unless you feel the way i described on a fairly consistent basis.

People also need to stop spouting potentially deadly advice on psychiatric medicine. I agree that they are over prescribed to the wrong people(sad) but also believe they are under utilized for the ones who need them(depressed). I would be dead without some heavy psychiatric medicine. psychiatry is terribly primitive right now but it does work. There's no way in hell I would of made it past 15 without medication. Studies have shown that depression causes brain damage(which worsens the depression creating a runaway cycle) that is irreversible after several years of clinical depression. Pharmacuetical intervention can slow,stop or mildly reverse said damage as long as it's begun before it's too late. anti psych med advice kills /end rant
 

loveofreason

echoes through time
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
5,504
#69
Hi monster, welcome to the forum. It's good to have another point of view
 

GarmGarf

Active Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
225
Location
Ireland (Dublin)
#70
I hate to be an asshat but people really need to stop using the word depressed when they mean sad. Depressed is sobbing four hours straight for no damn reason wishing you had the energy to get out of bed and walk in front of a bus. Not nearly the same as feeling a bit down because of a stressful homework assignment or even brooding about oblivion or w/e. I would KILL to just be sad.IMHO you are not depressed unless you feel the way i described on a fairly consistent basis.
Right, so if one can justify (intellectual reasoning) why one is gloomy, it means they are not depressed.

Thanks for the info I guess.
 

hopefulmonster

Active Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
206
Location
dirac sea
#71
Right, so if one can justify (intellectual reasoning) why one is gloomy, it means they are not depressed.

Thanks for the info I guess.
I said that depressed people are usually depressed for no reason. Sobbing for 4 hours for NO reason=clinically depressed, crying because your partner died=grief and is you know normal.

Besides you can't really claim to be depressed if your mood can be described as gloomy. The two are worlds apart. What I was trying to say was that depression is a very serious mental illness and is now being used as a synonym for sad...which it is not. Depression is chronic,debilitating and often times deadly(14% lifetime suicide rate as well as immune/cardiac weirdness). There are documented physiological changes taking place in depressed peoples brains. It is a whole different animal.
 

Luzian

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
437
#72
I think anyone with enough opposition to society is prone to depression. Plus INTPs tend to ignore the things that cheer humans up. Like sleep and sunlight (phisiologically has an anti-depressing effect)
 

GarmGarf

Active Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
225
Location
Ireland (Dublin)
#73
I said that depressed people are usually depressed for no reason. Sobbing for 4 hours for NO reason=clinically depressed, crying because your partner died=grief and is you know normal.

Besides you can't really claim to be depressed if your mood can be described as gloomy. The two are worlds apart. What I was trying to say was that depression is a very serious mental illness and is now being used as a synonym for sad...which it is not. Depression is chronic,debilitating and often times deadly(14% lifetime suicide rate as well as immune/cardiac weirdness). There are documented physiological changes taking place in depressed peoples brains. It is a whole different animal.
Give me an example of where one can be depressed but still has a reason.

(Also, the reason I stated "gloomy" is because you wont accept the term "depressed". One can't use the term in its own description.)
 

Ancalion

Active Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
123
Location
Constanta, Romania
#74
Tried to commit suicide once, dunno why i didn't do it. The reason? One day you wake up and realize that the world is disappointing. When you are little u see everything in white. The bad guys always get beaten by the good guys etc. I was depressed a long time (and i still am). But I'm not that type of guy who sits in a corner, sobbing 'cuz a kittie died. The world is just too disappointing to want to live in, but it sure is interesting and somewhat fun. Most of the times.
 

Feyd

Redshirt
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
3
Location
Bend, OR
#75
I am fascinated to have found this on google. Recently in a careers class of mine (junior in high school) I took the MBTI test. I got INTP and became fascinated with this idea of other people thinking similarly to me because I have always been so alone with my complex thoughts. Tonight I searched INTP depression because I have been suffering terribly from depressing loneliness. It helps a lot to know I am not entirely alone. I cannot relate to other people at all, I think of great ideas but they do not understand, which of course triggers the human hatred of strangness.

My depression has gotten increasingly worse since I was 12 because my mind gets more intelligent and complex each day. Sometimes I simply do not understand my own thoughts. This gets severe enough to make me consider suicide at times.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
1,791
Location
where i have been put
#76
I feel completely the same way as i am sure many others are...

i am developing this depression thing daily as you say, just a constant melancholy sadness.

does anyone else feel that whenever they say or actually do anything they are just acting for those around as a mask through fear?....
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
1,800
Location
Cambridge
#77
INTPs are unique and may have difficulty connecting with any of those around them. If they crave a bond and are incapable of developing one with a person, they may become depressed due to their inability to establish a friendship or relationship.
 

loveofreason

echoes through time
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
5,504
#78
All of life feels like acting, doesn't it?

Yes... I think the INTP despairs of human connections. That gulf between oneself and other humans can feel simply unbridgeable. We notice it because we dig to those depths at which it exists. I'm slowly learning that not all humans dwell that deeply. I mean I knew it... but I didn't want to know it - I hoped it may have just being my personal bias labeling others shallow. I went through a phase of 'forgetting' what I knew as I attempted for years to assimilate, to at least erase the ways in which mainstream culture declared me 'defective'. That made for some major depression and anxiety.

Much better to learn to be what one is. (Unlearning negative cultural imprinting.)

And god do sexual relationships ever cause the mind to fry. The closer one threatens to become to another human the further the self seems to recede. At least I have observed...

so to constantly be in another's world causes sense of self to be lost. Does the INTP contain a world? Yes. But is this world shared??? Hmmm... I wonder if we all would erase ourselves if we could....


Anyway... the gap narrows a little here, perhaps because we can feel less defended when not confronted with the physical reality of 'others'.

I hope, Feyd, that you find it liberating to be here. Find some answers, find an excuse to roll in the melancholy, an excuse to not just think about suicide, but talk about it too, and all the conditions that lead to such a state. Words... not actions ;)

... actually, finding the right questions is most important...

I phrase and rephrase things in my head until I finally understand what it is I am asking of myself. Refining the question seems to take lifetime...
 

truthseeker72

Active Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2009
Messages
219
Location
Cape Coral, Florida
#79
As an INTP, I have suffered through several cycles of depression in my 36 years. While I can't state with precision how much my personality type contributes to my recurring depression, it certainly doesn't help! A couple of posters, especially Jordan, isolated one of our core problems: we focus too much on the "big picture." This constant focus makes it hard for INTP's to enjoy momementary pleasures and delights as much as other types do.
 

The Fury

is licking himself.
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
680
Location
Cork, thats in Ireland
#80
Y'know I was feeling just fine when I came this thread and now I feel pretty miserable, thanks. I don't get depressed, I get angry.
 

Cobra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
887
#81
I'm unable to tell if I suffer from depression.

I think I wear a thick set of armor! I'm optimistic to the point of nausea. I'm like a donkey with a carrot hanging in front of it.

Though I'm often sad, I never seem to get worn out over it. I'm always thinking it's gonna get better. Not just better... like... great! It's gonna be great someday. Just not today... AT ALL.

But this might be a sign: I'm out of alcohol in my house, and the dishes that are in my sink have been there since mid-February.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
48
#82
I've just joined this Board but found this topic extremely interesting. I have no idea if INTPs are more prone to depression than other types, but I find it comforting knowing I'm not alone. Please don't get me wrong, but I often feel alone in this and it's nice to have found people I can relate too and who, to an extent, are capable of understanding me.

To be honest, I have no idea if I'm clinically depressed. I've been going to doctors for the past 20 years and it's like a ping-pong game: you're depressed, you're not depressed, take these pills, take those pills, don't take any pills, take pills for life... I'm tiered and I feel they don't take me seriously and never really bothered in all those years to look further and go to the root of the problem. My main complaint is I can't sleep, I have phases of severe insomnia that come out of nowhere, for no apparent reason. During those nights I can't sleep so I think, just about anything but especially about what I'd like to be doing and how, I make all sorts of projects and my mind explodes with ideas, which lead to not being able to sleep because I'm too deep in though and excited about what I want to do. The problem is I get too tiered, so tiered I can hardly eat, can barely take care of myself let alone embark in any project I've been thinking about. And that leads me to being truly depressed and not able to sleep, which only makes everything worse and becomes a vicious cycle.

I'm an only child and grandchild too, which made me grow up terribly alone. Nowadays I often wonder if I'm truly a loner or if I was made one. My parents never really cared about me, who I am, all they wanted was a poster child to perfectly fit their order and in a way I was, I think I was. But all I ever got was "I'd have abandoned her long ago", "You'll never amount to anything", "No one will love you like that". Having no one else to lean on, I had to use all my strength just to fight them, to retain my sense of worthiness and in time it eventually took its toll. Because like a typical INTP I can't retain focus on the same thing for long, some things began not going so well in my life and all those words I'd been fighting off for long came back to take the toll. I began feeling so frightened of faillure that I became incapable of functioning. I wanted too, I thought about all I wanted to do but felt so scared I couldn't bring myself to even try, then began not sleeping, not eating, feeling such a wreck I could hardly do my basic daily chores.

As for suicide, I've been thinking about it for as long as I can remember. I've always looked at death as the ultimate friend that will wash away all the suffering and pain. I've though about how to do it, I've written suicide notes on my mind but never actually came close to concluding it. Because, in fact, I want to live, I want so much to feel and do and be and see and go... I want to live life whole heartedly, so much that this everyday half-life seems so little that I find it better not to live at all. But then, I hope it gets better and I live another day. I remember reading somewhere that INTPs have such a rich inner life that a single lifetime can't be enough to them, that and my perfectionism seasoned with the impending sense of failure are most likely the cause of my depressions. And no doctor ever came close to understanding it, which is why I give them so little credit.

There, now you know me better than all my friends put together .:)
 

loveofreason

echoes through time
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
5,504
#83
Damn that stubborn mote of optimism that keeps hoping each day will be better... contrary to all evidence. :p

I notice much of what you mention in myself. Thanks for sharing. :)

And well to the forum. I like your user name.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
48
#84
Thank you, loveofreason. I'm as nocturnal as it gets and it's a big part of who I am, so I use this nick quite often.

Well, maybe tomorrow will be better, we never know... Ooops, there we go again! :)
 

John

Redshirt
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
19
Location
Adelaide, South Australia
#85
I have come to be extremely destructive in my thought patterns, I know I am not alone in this but I think I have a reason due to homelessness and generally being alone all the time with no real way of fixing that problem. It doesn't help that I have been in therapy for nearly 4 years and the answers to my questions are getting more abstract and I don't think I am able to enjoy life anymore. I am an intelligent, thinking and feeling human being and I don;t want to be lonely and miserable for ever, but I think I may not have a choice in the matter.
 

sarin

Redshirt
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
11
#86
wow. could you all quit describing the world i'm in chilling accuracy? never has the criteria for depression hit home like this. the way my doctors describe depression never had me convinced, but what you guys are describing here is exactly how i feel all the time.

i'm convinced that depression is very different for extroverts vs introverts, even more so for ES and IN types. of course, extroverts are more likely to openly describe their emotions to someone, so an extroverts sense of depression is a story more likely to be heard & told than an introverts'. wow, i feel like i'm saying something really obvious & thus appearing stupid, or maybe i actually am stupid?? <-- really hope i overcome these feelings of self-doubt (feelings which have been progressing steadily towards self-hatred lately... :/). Anyway, that's why I'm here, I'm new, and I didn't see the point in starting a thread just to say hello. But from two paragraphs into my first post, hello!

back to depression: i was on anti-depressants (40 mg/day) for a year. those things made me feel so robotic, i scared myself. they numbed my emotions up really good, and i guess that felt better for a while... but eventually my emotions started to feel like empty facts, rather than intense feelings. pills lessened the intensity of my depression, but also lowered the intensity of my happiness, whenever it was there. the coldness progressed, and i can recall telling a few close friends shortly before i quit the pills, that "i know what emotion i'm feeling, but i can't feel it." i'm pretty certain everyone thought i was just being melodramatic. while addicted to happy pills, there were times i would want nothing more in the world than just to cry, to try to feel something that felt real. the most i'd get out was a sob, accompanied by a dull pang of emotion, then back to neutral.

3 months after i started the pills, i wanted to quit. my doctor told me the importance of continuing at least 6 months. gave me the bullshit spiel about engraving good pathways in your brain through the serotonin in my fluoxetine pills. so i kept taking the pills, but a little after the 6 months was up, i complained again & was told to continue just another 3 months. i got such a conspiring-evil-system vibe when she warned me, "sometimes when things have been really good, a patient can forget how bad things were before the pills." how did she not understand that things had indeed been very, very shitty for me? not really good! i couldn't feel emotion anymore! so i cut back my doses by myself. started taking a 40 only when i was feeling down. threw my moods off badly enough that my doctor agreed to help me cut down by lowering my prescription amounts... slowly. finally quit altogether & rather suddenly when a new friend inspired me. (i might talk about him some in the future, he's a big part of the good in my life.). since, i have been an emotional rollercoaster, as expected. but it's so much better than feeling like a machine.


.... now i am, of course, grimacing at my writing because i know there are grammatical errors in it. more introductions, because i'm new and this is my first post: i stopped regularly attending school in 7th grade (age 11, i think), and completely dropped out of school at 16. i'm 17 now (18 in two months! so excited to no longer be the only minor in the room), and i don't know as much as i should, which i regret. my ignorance makes me very reluctant to put my uneducated thoughts on paper. or web. but i'm trying to catch up.

lastly, i have to admit it relieves my conscious greatly to know that most people here would easily post a response this long.

...holy s---! i'm hoping my writing will get more focused (EHM - fewer tangents!) with practice.
 

didyouknow

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
462
Location
Outside your window.
#87
I probably shouldn't be posting when I'm this upset, but eh, I'm going to take the risk anyway.

I am in a severe depression right now and it's just really screwed up my life. It feels like nothing makes me happy anymore. I can't find a single thing to be happy about. Every time I try to get help from friends or even professionals I'm told how I'm being melodramatic, bitter and unnecessarily upset. This has led to me feeling even more depressed because everyone treats you like there's something wrong with you for feeling this way.

Here's some of the responses I got:

"I think you just need to be more understanding" ~Counsellor
"i get what you mean, im not stupid. all in all im just saying "you're looking too deep into this, stop putitng yourself down even more". you're being rediculous these past few days. sorry it might sound mean but its ture. there are other ways to deal with depression then sit there and sulk. you're not the girl that used to be my best firend. its like i dont know you anymore." ~my supposed "best friend" after she'd just finished telling me she wouldn't do that
"but we feel pleasure sarah if we didnt have even one feeling in our life we are not considered human and pleasure has to be felt" ~Another good friend

So it appears that despite how much they say they want to help, all they really want is for you to get over it by yourself somehow. They just tell you to stop like it's the easiest thing in the world. No one really wants to help.
 

loveofreason

echoes through time
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Messages
5,504
#88
I've been told that the way to deal with depression is just to "pull your socks up" and get on with it (life)...

this coming from an otherwise intelligent person. There is so much misunderstanding and I don't think it is really possible for someone who hasn't experienced it to comprehend.

So, it is something great that people can voice their experiences here and know that 'everyone' can understand. Talking about it lessens the power of the isolation - even if it is only to the extent that we understand we are part of a massive complex of cells of tortured individuality... maybe I should say lessens the sense of uniqueness associated with feeling like the only person in pain...

is there any significance to shared pain? I'm not sure... but the darkness of humanity ought to be talked about. The sun doesn't always shine.

No one really wants to help.[/unquote]

Do you fully expect someone to crawl inside your pain with you? Or do you mean something else by 'help'? How can anyone reach us when we are in these places... or is there something that others could be doing on the periphery that improves our well-being and/or chances of recovery? Would we know what these hypothetical things-done-by-others are?

Thankyou for posting, sarin. And welcome to the forum.
 

snowqueen

mysteriously benevolent
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
mostly in the vast space inside
#90
Welcome Sarin and thanks for bringing this thread out into the open again as I hadn't seen it before.

I've just spent maybe half an hour reading through this thread from the beginning and feeling constant moments of recognition of my own experiences. Also I note how many of the people who posted on this thread are no longer posting on the forum - and I wonder if they are ok ...

I have experienced many periods of low mood and energy throughout my life and I have also worked in mental health services - and I'm in my 50s - so I have had a long time to think about the issue of depression.

In my experience the type of clinical depression which Monster described where it comes from nowhere and is very severe, is extremely rare. In those cases medications can be very useful but also exercise and slow engagement back into meaningful activities - in a graded way to build up tolerance - can be very useful. I don't think it's true though to say that all other forms of low mood aren't really depression because persistent low mood through dissatisfaction is a form of depression too. But I also agree that the term is way overused nowadays as there is a bit of a 'cult of happiness' thing going on where everyone is supposed to be happy all the time or there's something wrong with you and it needs 'fixing'. Personally I think that is simply a way to market happy pills like Prozac and keep therapists and counsellors in work.

So in response to the OP - are INTPs more prone to depression, here's my tuppence worth.

The question of whether depression is caused by chemical imbalance is unclear. It could be in some cases- it's certainly true that depression occurs if there is an underactive thyroid function, for example, but does that necessarily mean it is always caused by a chemical imbalance, in the sense that the first stage is something creates a chemical imbalance and then the person gets depressed? That is unprovable. If you looked at the brain of a depressed person it is possible that you would see a change in brain chemicals, but if you induced a fit of laughing you would also see a change in chemical balance. So it's impossible to say if depression is caused by chemical imbalance or is manifested by a particular chemical signature. It's not a useful starting point and I think is probably best discounted.

Nonetheless there are some really important things that we know about people who get depressed:

It's more prevalent in people who feel powerless but have responsibilities (if you are powerless but no responsibility or responsibility and power you are not likely to get depressed)
It's more prevalent in people who have an internal locus of control - yes, you believe that you are responsible for making your own world, but if things go wrong you will blame yourself. Those whingers who think the world owes them a living also blame everyone else when things go wrong and that is protective!!!
It's more prevalent in people who are not doing a job/role which matches their level of ability or corresponds to their interests or values - I think that one is self-explanatory
It's more prevalent in people who do not have a strong supportive social network - that doesn't mean you have lots of friends, it means you have people who you feel understand you and have your interests at heart and behave accordingly.
It's more prevalent in people who mess around with their patterns of sleep, food and exercise

OK - so does being INTP make you more likely to end up in the position of fulfilling one of those risk factors? I think so - I think if you look back through the posts in this thread you will find evidence of at least one of these factors being cited by each person who's posted.

I think Sarin's right that it's expressed differently by ES types than ITs and that's partly why I wrote the two threads - one on emotional intelligence and the other on types of therapy best suited to INTPs - you can find them by clicking on my avatar, opening my public profile and looking for threads I've started. I think INTPs more than any type are the *least* helped by psychiatry, psychotherapy and counselling but unfortunately most often referred, especially as teenagers in the US if this forum is anything to go by. This is because the predominant 'wisdom' is that talking about your problems helps - NOT for an INTP! It mostly makes things worse through confusing, compounding and scaring the INTP, making them feel more and more inadequate and fucked up for no being able to engage in the process especially as the counsellors are usually 'nice' people who just want to help - so the INTP is made to feel bad for apparently 'resisting' help or 'rejecting' it.

OK so what helps?

1. Finding a point of power. You might not be able to control other people, your teachers, your parents, your partner, your boss, your friends, but there are some things you can control - maybe how much time you spend with them, what you choose to share, things you can do which they can't control like blogging, writing, forums etc. Making plans for changing your life towards a point where you have more control - being educated, financially independent, living somewhere else and so on - this will vary from person to person of course!

2. Develop your ability to discern which things are to do with you and which are to do with other people. Take responsibility when appropriate but don't be afraid to put the blame out there when appropriate. The corny old Serenity Prayer is actually quite good for this! You don't need to believe in God to get the wisdom of it.

3. Try and do a job or role which is just the right challenge and fits with your interests and values - this is easier said than done especially for INTPs but it is really worth trying. It might involve knuckling down and getting that good education even though you think school sucks because ultimately it'll reduce the risk of ending up in a dead end job working for idiots - I say 'reduce the risk' because most managers are idiots. But this is something really worth putting effort into because it is your ticket to some kind of possibility which you won't have if you have no qualifications. It's easier to drop out and live on an island if you studied physics, engineering and biology!! Really take the time to work out what matters to you - then you are less likely to make a stupid career choice you'll regret. Get independent confirmation of your intelligence, ability and skills - lots of INTPs believe idiot teachers even though they rebel against them. I am speaking from experience here :(

4. Be very selective about who you have as a friend
Didyouknow - I promise things will get a lot better when the rest of the world grows up!! This is a huge problem for teen INTPs because they have to endure teenagers who are fickle, bitchy, arrogant and prattish all around them while they are desperately trying to find someone to discuss the blossoming thoughts and cognitive structures which are forming in their brains. My daughter cries that her girlfriends can't discuss physics with her. But finding supportive friends is very important - you will know them when you find them and hold on tight to them - make the effort to keep in touch and remember their birthdays! (Although many good friends to INTPs forgive us easily for such transgressions) Find allies at work. INTJs trust no one, we tend to be a bit naive I think.

5. Hard though it may be try to establish good sleep patterns, eat sensibly and exercise regularly. If you are feeling low then go for a brisk walk. I know you don't want to, but there is so much evidence that exercise improves mood, use your reasonable side to force yourself up and out!!

There are some other things that I think are helpful to INTPs:

Meditation - simple sitting meditation where you allow your thoughts to arise and fade away and your emotions arise and fade away without engaging with them. It's a simple process but hard. Basically just focus on breathing in and out normally, without forcing yourself to and when you notice that you've gone off on a thought or feeling, just stop and go back to noticing your breath. If you practice this regularly, you will gain control over your thoughts, being able to bat away negative thoughts which bring down your mood, and also ride the bad feelings of misery or loneliness because you know they are transient. There is an interesting article here about the effects of mindfulness meditation

Develop your emotional intelligence
- nothing dramatic - you don't have to become a 'feeler'!!, just try and notice what you are feeling (rather than intuiting or thinking or perceiving) because you might be able to nip problematic situations in the bud and protect yourself from going into a more severe or distressing reaction.

An ex-boyfriend of mine once said he thought I had had 'underlying depression' all my life. Then he went and dumped me and I found out he'd been having affairs behind my back. No I don't have underlying depression - I actually feel like shit when people treat me like that and I have every right to! Seriously though, I'm sure that we INTPs are currently living in an age where being remotely serious, saddened by things and finding it hard to be appreciated is even more difficult. We are all supposed to be consumers now to satisfy the capitalist dream and intellectuals are not very popular. Even universities are no longer the bastion of liberal education, just the manufacturer of the workforce. Dark times.

and on that depressing note my final bit of advice ... don't worry about being unhappy, just don't give in to despair.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
48
#91
Personally I think that is simply a way to market happy pills like Prozac and keep therapists and counsellors in work.
So true! I have to thank you so much for this article because it's more useful and rings more true than all the years of therapy and pills I've had.

I basically agree with everything you just wrote. This really is a time when we're not allowed to grieve and feel sad anymore, when intellect and knowledge are frowned upon and universities have indeed become a place of mass producing labourers without truly stimulating their minds (I know how hard it is for me to relate to my university colleagues, whom I consider shallow at best).

@didyouknow: I often hear that famous old sentence that no man's an island. And I say that's all we are. No matter how hard we try we can never trully know what someone else's feeling or thinking, we can only try understanding others through our own experiences, thoughts, feelings, etc. This means even when we think we know what's going on on someone else's mind we're actually only projecting ourselves and what we're seeing may very well be very different from what the person's saying, feeling, etc. Our minds are islands no other human being may ever set foot on, at best we can only expect to have a few sailing at a short distance. And that's why, unfortunatelly, sometimes best friends say things like that, I've experienced similar situations to the point where I simply don't tell my friends anymore what I'm feeling, they aren't equiped with the mechanisms that might allow them to understand. Of course, that only makes me feel more isolated and then depressed and I guess that's also why I came here in the first place, knowing I've found some people who are close to understanding how I feel actually helps me a lot.
 

snowqueen

mysteriously benevolent
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
mostly in the vast space inside
#92
So true! I have to thank you so much for this article because it's more useful and rings more true than all the years of therapy and pills I've had.

.
Thank you - I'm really glad you found it useful. :)
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
4,549
Location
Houston, TX
#93
I appreciated your post as well, snowqueen. Most of those criteria fit me, so it's no wonder why I get so down. Conventional wisdom does nothing for me either. Depression is almost like a blight in the view of most people in my world. It's a dirty secret to be hidden.

But in a weird way, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my depression.

I'm such a freak. :eek:
 

Anthile

Steel marks flesh
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
4,016
#94
Are you afraid that you wouldn't be yourself without depression?
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
4,549
Location
Houston, TX
#95
In some ways, yes.

I feel like, artistically, the most poignant ideas I have, emerge out of a dark place. I'm convinced that the world needs the happy and the sad. It seems to me, that some of us are predisposed to the shadow side of things. I don't always like it, but sometimes I think I need it.

I think there are those among us who need to be in the dark corner with our snakes and spiders. But the world doesn't want us there. It's wants us to step out blinking into the sun and skip down the street singing with everyone else.

A beautiful burden maybe?

Like I said, I'm such a freak.
 

snowqueen

mysteriously benevolent
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
mostly in the vast space inside
#96
I appreciated your post as well, snowqueen. Most of those criteria fit me, so it's no wonder why I get so down. Conventional wisdom does nothing for me either. Depression is almost like a blight in the view of most people in my world. It's a dirty secret to be hidden.

But in a weird way, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my depression.

I'm such a freak. :eek:
No you're not. If I ever went to a psychiatrist I'd probably get diagnosed with depression but I just have very low moods or periods of low mood from time to time. I have to say that I find them oddly comforting - it's very hard to describe - but somehow it's like a purging and usually coincides with insight - then once it's out I seem to come alive again. The two birds I identify strongly with are the Raven and the Phoenix.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2008
Messages
1,387
Location
Ottawa, Canada
#97
This is a most relevant and excellent post, snowqueen, which I returned to several times before deciding to post.

It's more prevalent in people who feel powerless but have responsibilities (if you are powerless but no responsibility or responsibility and power you are not likely to get depressed)
I think that this occurs frequently in employment situations where, because of downsizing and cutbacks, more responsibility is place on an individual than is humanly possible to accomplish. Most corporations and government agencies just want 'the job done' and care little for the burden placed on those below upper management levels. One begins to feel iadequate and the pressure of retaining one's position because of responsibilities outside the workplace, trap one in an endless loop of internal pressure regarding inadequacy/responsibility/depression.
I would assume that this occurs as well in families where an older sibling is set in a position of 'taking care' of younger siblings whether because of both parents being employed or because of parental neglect in general.
I have fallen into this, but have the tenacity to finally walk away from a situation such as this.

It's more prevalent in people who have an internal locus of control - yes, you believe that you are responsible for making your own world, but if things go wrong you will blame yourself. Those whingers who think the world owes them a living also blame everyone else when things go wrong and that is protective!!!
I have never blamed anyone else unless it was obvious that the conditions were instigated by someone external. Self-blame was ingrained in me during childhood by never being able to 'live up to' parental expectations or receiving praise for accomplishments. This will carry on througout life until awareness of its features and implications becomes self-evident by asking one's self why one judges one's self harshly and where this judgement derives from.
Yes, "you are responsible for making your own world, but if things go wrong you will blame yourself", but it is not to wallow in the self-pity of blame, rather to consider what one did to have events 'go wrong' and to either learn from them or reflect on if one's expectations were in error for the situation.

It's more prevalent in people who are not doing a job/role which matches their level of ability or corresponds to their interests or values - I think that one is self-explanatory
And is probably the situation in the vast majority of people's lives.
Been there. Done that multiple times and find myself drifting into familiar patterns which set this up again, though I am better at catching myself doing this and changing course.

It's more prevalent in people who do not have a strong supportive social network - that doesn't mean you have lots of friends, it means you have people who you feel understand you and have your interests at heart and behave accordingly.
Possibly the most telling point for any Introvert and the most difficult to resolve.

It's more prevalent in people who mess around with their patterns of sleep, food and exercise
You mean there are patterns for these? :D

I think INTPs more than any type are the *least* helped by psychiatry, psychotherapy and counselling but unfortunately most often referred, especially as teenagers in the US if this forum is anything to go by. This is because the predominant 'wisdom' is that talking about your problems helps - NOT for an INTP! It mostly makes things worse through confusing, compounding and scaring the INTP, making them feel more and more inadequate and fucked up for no being able to engage in the process especially as the counsellors are usually 'nice' people who just want to help - so the INTP is made to feel bad for apparently 'resisting' help or 'rejecting' it.
During my childhood and adolescence children were rarely referred to psychiatrists or psychologists as they are now, though school counselors were becoming more a part of the administration. The attitude that they presented, in my experiences of them, of 'being a friend' would alienate one immediately, especially if one's position was one of distrusting adults and rebellion against the norms they imposed. Many of my sessions with school counselors comprised of 'getting in touch' with my feelings and seeing how I could 'co-operate'.
Just the mere rememberance of those sessions invokes a small fetal scream from my psyche. :D

1. Finding a point of power. You might not be able to control other people, your teachers, your parents, your partner, your boss, your friends, but there are some things you can control - maybe how much time you spend with them, what you choose to share, things you can do which they can't control like blogging, writing, forums etc. Making plans for changing your life towards a point where you have more control - being educated, financially independent, living somewhere else and so on - this will vary from person to person of course!
In my opinion, this is the most important point. It took reviewing my ast to remember those times in my life when I possessed the most 'self-power'. In doing this, I arrived at a central group of personal attributes and skills which were inherently mine. One can then plan one's course from there. In times of exterior pressure, recalling these attributes/skills centres me, similar to a martial arts practicioner finding centre.

2. Develop your ability to discern which things are to do with you and which are to do with other people. Take responsibility when appropriate but don't be afraid to put the blame out there when appropriate. The corny old Serenity Prayer is actually quite good for this! You don't need to believe in God to get the wisdom of it.
I would say that this is one of the most difficult patterns to break out of if it has been ingrained since childhood, being as it is tied with the conditioning of inadequacy to perform to someone else's standards, such as parents.

3. Try and do a job or role which is just the right challenge and fits with your interests and values - this is easier said than done especially for INTPs but it is really worth trying. It might involve knuckling down and getting that good education even though you think school sucks because ultimately it'll reduce the risk of ending up in a dead end job working for idiots - I say 'reduce the risk' because most managers are idiots. But this is something really worth putting effort into because it is your ticket to some kind of possibility which you won't have if you have no qualifications. It's easier to drop out and live on an island if you studied physics, engineering and biology!! Really take the time to work out what matters to you - then you are less likely to make a stupid career choice you'll regret. Get independent confirmation of your intelligence, ability and skills - lots of INTPs believe idiot teachers even though they rebel against them. I am speaking from experience here :(
Again, been there, done that. This is especially difficult when those things which matter most to one are definitely 'of the beaten path' and have very little to do with conformity, 'earning a living', or are not relevant to 'being gainfully employed'.

4. Be very selective about who you have as a friend Didyouknow - I promise things will get a lot better when the rest of the world grows up!! ...Find allies at work. INTJs trust no one, we tend to be a bit naive I think.
Naive? Yes. And trusting as well. I rarely make snap judgments concerning another person, or if I do, I tend to ignore this intuition. :D

5. Hard though it may be try to establish good sleep patterns, eat sensibly and exercise regularly. If you are feeling low then go for a brisk walk. I know you don't want to, but there is so much evidence that exercise improves mood, use your reasonable side to force yourself up and out!!
Let's see... My laptop suffices as a suitable pillow. I sense that the second pot of coffee for today is finally brewed. I think I can make it over to the coffee pot, but it is a loooong way. (hmm... perhaps moving the coffee pot next to the desk?) :rolleyes:

Meditation - simple sitting meditation where you allow your thoughts to arise and fade away and your emotions arise and fade away without engaging with them. It's a simple process but hard. Basically just focus on breathing in and out normally, without forcing yourself to and when you notice that you've gone off on a thought or feeling, just stop and go back to noticing your breath. If you practice this regularly, you will gain control over your thoughts, being able to bat away negative thoughts which bring down your mood, and also ride the bad feelings of misery or loneliness because you know they are transient. There is an interesting article here about the effects of mindfulness meditation
Personally, I found a walking meditation more appropriate to my temperment than a sitting one. I choose a quiet path somewhere and become mindful of the pacing of my feet and breathing.

Develop your emotional intelligence - nothing dramatic - you don't have to become a 'feeler'!!, just try and notice what you are feeling (rather than intuiting or thinking or perceiving) because you might be able to nip problematic situations in the bud and protect yourself from going into a more severe or distressing reaction.
This would be the most difficult for me. I seem to have an 'all or nothing' switch when it comes to this, which is usually in the 'nothing' position. I have little problem discussing with other's emotions in a controlled situation, but pausing to 'feel' my own usually becomes an analysation of them.
Truly something I must think about and attempt to work on.

Seriously though, I'm sure that we INTPs are currently living in an age where being remotely serious, saddened by things and finding it hard to be appreciated is even more difficult. We are all supposed to be consumers now to satisfy the capitalist dream and intellectuals are not very popular. Even universities are no longer the bastion of liberal education, just the manufacturer of the workforce. Dark times.
I agree on all three points here. Truly... dark times.
 

snowqueen

mysteriously benevolent
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
mostly in the vast space inside
#98
EB thanks for the thoughtful response. Yes walking meditation is really good too - it's still mindfulness. I used to do retreats and we would do 15 minutes sitting and then 5 minutes walking and then back to sitting. I find birdwatching is a kind of mindfulness meditation!
 
#99
Ok to be honest here, I'm bipolar and seeking treatment. I am clear about my problems (not being able to feel happy, anhedonia, and constant sadness and emptiness- the mania does not affect me much and self-loathing). I am medicating, but have not spoken to a counsellor yet. I have thought so much about myself and my problems that it's come to a point where I'm not seeing a counsellor to help me because I don't know, but to test my hypotheses. I don't know why I'm admitting this here, but I'm sort of challenging the psychiatric system to see how effective it is, and to see how far along I was right with my theories.

I am specifically looking to see how they are going to help me with my self loathing. The emotional part of me is still hating myself, in the background, and my thinking side is overseeing myself, seeing how psychotheraphy is going to help me and whether the medication is helping. So far, I haven't gotten any less depressed, although my moods have been a little more stable than before. I don't get TOO depressed, but I'm not getting too hyper either. Life is currently very blank at the moment, and it's a bittersweet experience. bitter because my abilities during my hypomanic moods are not present enough to make me excited about life and sweet because the persistent sadness is not too overwhelming.

i also wonder what it would feel like to live a normal life where there are no extremes of moods. Perhaps the counsellor could help me to realise whatever and whatevers that's missing from my equations so that I can better myself. I don't believe in lying to myself so I want the truth and I want the truth to work.

As for depression prone, I would superficially say yes, because of our highly critical and nitpickish natures, especially since our dominant function is introverted thinking and an underdeveloped extraverted feeling. This could lead us to having a lot of expectations on ourselves and then when we disappoint ourselves, we react negatively, hence depression.

We are the cynics; the Socratics and the questioners because perhaps, our role is to be a check and balance on the perspectives of others. I think it can be positive when it benefits the whole when we use our criticism against the ideas of others who are not very thinking inclined; with the judging character type to mould the movement of our rationality into practicality and the sensing-feeling types to ensure the humane side is not compromised into the decision, we get something that's balanced for the good of the whole.
 

snowqueen

mysteriously benevolent
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
1,360
Location
mostly in the vast space inside
Hi Luciela,

I'm assuming that you have read my entry earlier in this thread? Also you might want to check out two other threads I started to pass on what help I can - one is INTPs and emotional intelligence and the other is the INTPs guide to therapy - if you click on my avatar and select threads I've started you should find them really easily.

If you are on mood stabilising meds then unfortunately you will experience a certain 'flattening' of emotion which obviously is even worse for INTPs who are out of touch with their emotions a lot of the time anyway. So I think you have to consider on balance whether it's better to be stable and be able to get on with your life, or to be emotionally unstable. If you genuinely have bipolar disorder then it's more important to be stable - basically it's just the same as having diabetes where you have to accept that you have to constantly test your sugar levels, eat very carefully, avoid excess alcohol etc - all horrible things for teens to have to do but the alternative is that you can't function and get on in life. So let's start from the premise that you may have accept that you won't be able to feel 'normal' - (but who does - really?).

Ok self-loathing - that's a biggie. Different kinds of therapy will approach this in different ways and to a certain extent they all have a useful perspective to offer but you absolutely have the right to determine for yourself what is useful or not - the thing is that some therapists will not convery this to you - they will make you feel that they know more about you than you know yourself and that you have to 'trust' them or you'll never 'get better'.

Depth therapists (psychotherapy, most counselling) will start from trying to find out what might have led to your self-loathing in your past - unhelpful parenting, mistaken perceptions you've built up about yourself in response to things you didn't fully understand - friendships, school, family situations which have gone wrong, negative messages you've internalised etc.

Cognitive behaviour therapists will help you identify negative thought patterns, challenge their logic and construct more realistic helpful thought patterns.

Solution focused and narrative therapists will get you to focus on the times when you loath yourself less and identify what is happening then, get you to identify what you really want in life, what you're good at, what your strengths are and the small steps you can start to take towards achieving your goals.

The difference between the first two and the SF and NT is that the first two will have a theory about you and what you need to do to get better while the SF/NT make the assumption that you are the expert and will collaborate with you to change your future in the direction you want it to go.

hope that helps and good luck learning to like yourself!

You could just start by writing a list of things you are good at.
 
Top Bottom