Emotional problems & INFJ | INFJ Forum

Emotional problems & INFJ

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by wee, Feb 27, 2010.

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  1. wee

    wee Newbie

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    I noticed that many people around me, including myself, who are INFJs, have some emotional or mental disorders, or they lean to that kind of problems. Is that because we are ''too sensitive'' to others and everybody seems diffrent from us so we don't fit in? Or is it because we can't deal with everyday situations, and everything get us more than it has to (what ever that means)?

    Maybe, it's too simple or even stupid question, or both of reasons I wrote are true, or something else, but I can't except that's just coincidence, or only some personal issues from past, childhood etc.



    What do you think?

    And there is something else I was wondering.. Are we the type we are because of others, they made us that way trough our life, so the way we feel is consequence, or is that cause of our ''troubles'', or little of both?

    I apologise for my grammatical mistakes and if I hadn't been clear enough. I tryed to explain the best I could. Maybe I'm on completly wrong track so be patient, please. :)
     
    #1 wee, Feb 27, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
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  2. Simonmagus

    Simonmagus Newbie

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    Hello wee

    I used to be very emotional and overwhelmed by sadness, worry and so on, and I used to think that I was "too sensitive" as you describe. I don't know if I (or we) do feel things more intensely than others (how can we ever know that?) -- but it does feel that way sometimes. I still feel things very intensely but it bothers me less than it used to.

    Why? A couple of possible reasons. (1) I've learned to see my sensitivity as a strength and to use it to work for me. I trained as a psychiatrist and I realised that my sensitivity and extreme empathy is one of the things that makes me good at what I do. (2) I've learned to use techniques such as buddhist mindfulness meditation to accept myself for what I am, and to aceept my moods for what they are. Moods never killed anyone -- over-reacting to moods can kill you, but that's another matter.

    Moving on to the second question: why are we this way? Are we made this way or is it a result of life experience? My answer is both. And also, as you get older you can make choices and grow and change. You won't necessarily be an INFJ for life.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    Being hypersensitive is both a blessing and a curse, but I understand what you are talking bout. I often see things between the lines that many other's miss, and it causes me to feel sort of alone and misunderstood in the world. Like that big picture thing that many people disregard, and get on our backs because they think we apparently need to live for the moment. Well, as much as that would be healthy for us sometimes, it just isn't so easy to do because for me at least, I feel anxiety and a less degree of security for what's ahead of me. Also, I dislike surprises, lol...

    So yea, I'm not sure if I am hearing you, but I just thought I'd share my thoughts.
     
  4. Questingpoet

    Questingpoet Not Afraid to Use His Beard
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    Two great answers there wee. The question you are asking is the old "nature vs nurture" debate. Are we born the way we are, or is it our upbringing? In the past I would have said it is both. The more I look into this though, the more I think it is mostly hardwired into us. In other words, its how we are born. I think enviroment still plays a part, but it's a much smaller part than I used to think.

    Yeah, we INFJ's are a sensitive lot. That is a given. You can learn to control and see your feelings differently as you age though. For me it took a very long time. And the longer it takes, the more you may miss out. The sooner you begin your self-exploration, the sooner you can emerge from the cocoon!

    As far as INFJ's being more prone to mental disorders, my thoughts are "No." We are more internal and probably better able to heal ourselves than other types that don't look inside. And how many INFJ's have you really known? I am over 40 and have only met a few that I can say for sure were INFJ.
     
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    #4 Questingpoet, Feb 28, 2010
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  5. OP
    wee

    wee Newbie

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    Well, 2 of them.. :) And for one, I'm not sure. I was in some mood last night so it seemed a big deal. I think I wrote mostly about me. I have so much problems because of my sensitivity, and can't deal with it. I'm learning but it's too slow, and never good enough. There are some other problems beside that, and now I think it's not fair of me to put everything on that.

    Questingpoint, I hope you're right that our looking inside help us. I like that viewpoint. :)

    Thanx everybody for sharing your thoughts, it helps me in learning and handling situations better.
     
  6. soulseeker

    soulseeker Permanent Fixture

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    I don't really know why I'm like this but... I do think that I started to feel like this because of my past... something happened then I became more connected to my emotions and now.... I'm too sensitive/emotional


    yeah I don't understand myself right now.. but :hug: :hug:
     
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  7. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    All people have their own mental 'disorders' (or rather, 'specifics'), but INFJs are less aggressive in their kinds of oddness, which puts them in more vulnerable positions. Yes, I think the most powerful basis for type development is interaction with other people, and INFJs often have abusive family member(s) in some way (eg: ESTJ), which is not their fault, and doesn't make them inferior by any means. For all I know it seems such struggles help them to be wonderful people later in life.

    My expectation for the future is that all MBTI types blend in gradually. That is, their extreme forms tend to become less and less extreme. This in turn makes the other types less extreme, and so on. Both the badness and the goodness, in extremes, may get to blur. Extremes are sign for primitiveness.
     
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    #7 enfp can be shy, Feb 28, 2010
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  8. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    I'm also wondering if INFJ's are more likely to seek help, and then are more likely to be diagnosed with things. I think we might be more likely to seek help because we tend to be very introspective and think a lot on both sides of any issue. We're also more likely to seek an outside opinion to verify or unverify our conclusions. It seems likely to me that as 'counselors' we are willing to seek any opinion that will help us to decide one way or another on the things that bother us. Great question by the way. :)
     
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  9. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    I agree with this whole sentiment, especially the parts in bold.

    My whole life I've been the victim of people treating me badly because I am 'odd'. More often than not, these are ESTJs who have insisted, with a great deal of demanding, that something was very wrong with me that needed to be fixed. I've lost a lot of jobs because of some hateful ESTJ bosses who just couldn't accept my manner or my methods, despite having superior results. For example, I was once fired for not pushing hard enough when I was the top salesperson in the region, not store, not district, not state - region. My boss was convinced that I was doing it wrong. No, really. He insisted that I switch to high pressure sales and 'the formula', because my low pressure sales and being genuine with people weren't effective enough. And then a year later, I had the exact same thing happen again. Top salesperson in the region. Not effective because I didn't do things the 'standard' way. ESTJs. Ugh.

    I don't know if these experiences cause us to be wonderful people though. I've always felt that I've had to fight to stay the way I am in a world filled with frustrations and obstacles designed to try to beat it out of me. It's as if life is constantly trying to force me to 'turn to the dark side' and make me become hateful, bitter, and selfish ...but for some reason, I just can't... even in the face of them. It's just not my nature, and if I can get away from these sources for even a moment, I come right back to myself very quickly as if those things never happened. I think it is just our nature.

    If anything, I think INFJ emotional problems stem from the abuse we have to deal with for being 'odd'. To put this in practical tangible terms... If someone had a disability that you could point to, like being in a wheelchair or carrying a blind person's cane, or even had a mental disorder that prevented them from working, people make accommodations. But if you have a personality that certain people just can't accept, and therefore won't let you work, even when you're great at your job, it's worse than having a legitimate disability because the person with the disability requires fair treatment under the law, as well as on an everyday moral level. They get pitied, sometimes treated poorly, but when it all boils down, people accept and support them and their condition. When you're just a little odd, there is no pity or sympathy, and there sure isn't any provision. You're just out on the street. Next.

    Having to deal with things like this, whether in careers, relationships, friendships, or any other kind of social situation is in my opinion what causes us to have our emotional issues. If a parent constantly told their child that they would never amount to anything if they don't change from being retarded or having paulsy, people would be outraged. (And I'm not saying that doesn't happen) But, when a parent does the same to their kid for being 'odd', somehow it's acceptable to society. Somehow it's okay because people assume that we can change who we are. The problem is, our cognitive function preferences are as inherent as Down's Syndrome or any other condition. I know I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill, but the cumulative effects are what cause us a lot of problems over time.
     
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    #9 VH, Mar 1, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
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  10. Raccoon Love

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    I can totally ralate my parents who are ESTJ and ESFJ respectively have always thought I was some sort of ''black sheep'' in the family and old me things like well you must have been switched at the time of your birth which really hurts me, they have told me I was weird, needed professional help etc..and for a long time I have diagnosed myself with multiple disorders and have thought of becoming hateful, but no matter what I can't..I keep some sort of hope in humanity, that I wan to help people and well I told myself people might hate me, but I must be strong and just reply with as much respect and love as possible.
     
  11. OP
    wee

    wee Newbie

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    I completly agree with everything you wrote. And thank you so much. I allways felt diffrent, odd, even in kindergarten. It's not something you wanna tell people around, not diffrent in some good way, or being special, or that I looked diffrent, just sad, lonely inside because they can't get you.

    :kiss: That's something that's giving me hope, that there is meaning to put up with all the bad things that happened and will happen because I, we, can still make a difrence.
     
    #11 wee, Mar 1, 2010
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  12. Basileaux

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    Yah the mental disorder part would be right for me. Depression and all that sort of thing. I saw no objective purpose to the world, and found no philosophies to give me a real sense of meaning. I've always felt it was my duty to be true to my beliefs, and those were some hard years when I believed there was no purpose to life, and it is just annihilation once you die.

    And as far as nature/nurture. Perhaps we all stopped early on in our interactions w/ others and began observing what's going on around us in order to 'figure it out;' thereby withdrawing from the melee and keeping ourselves and our feelings independent of others'. For me I believe in kammic predispositions in part, but that nature is the real shaper of personality.
     
  13. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    My twin brother and I are both INs, but other than that our MBTIs are different. We both have the same 'mental disturbances' that tend to run in our family.

    They manifest differently.

    So I wouldn't think that your personality leads you to be weaker than any other personality type. I think it probably just influences the way your problems manifest themselves.

    I think there also a lot of very stable INFJs around. I see that as a very good thing.

    If anything, being an INFJ with some of these issues, I think we can get caught in an anxiety/tension/ocd trap but we tend to bounce back resiliently and just have to make sure we don't use our willpower and sense of right/wrong to let ourselves get too drained.
     
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    #13 Ecton, Mar 3, 2010
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  14. ritalinkid

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    On point

    Surprises are the worst. Being asked to attend some function or event that you know will be fundamentally useless, 2 hours beforehand by your significant other, expecting you to go. Also the worst. It can work for the worse if you absorb everything all the time, like most hypersensitives, and act on the vibe every time. Personally I dislike being tagged as "psychic" but considering we are such rare creatures, I suppose its a gift to not be common. But a curse everytime you throw the first punch, everytime you know someone is finding a reason to irritate you, knowing when the phone rings if its someone telling you someones dead or just a telemarketer. Always firmly aware of how your wife is viewing you at every moment etc..... I would like some mystery, so I seek it in things others may not see any need for and cannot relate to the inability of explaining things. I feel, I analyze and am usually accurate. A lot of very good poker players are INFJ.
     
  15. justeccentricnotinsane

    justeccentricnotinsane Community Member

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    When it comes to how our personalities come about. There's been some studies on this and in England there is a national study called Child of Our Time, which is a lifelong study of about ten children from birth onwards. Every now and again they go back to the kids and televise an episode catching up with them. Personality is one of the things they studied.

    In all ten, they appeared to be born with personalities (they reacted differently to stimuli) but many changed their personalities to survive.

    Frankly, I was surprised we were born with personalities at all. It doesn't seem like it would be good for survival if we were born with them. Until I read into it, I assumed we were born blank canvases and learned personalities. But that's the way I see the world, I suppose. I still can't quite get my head around the idea of being born with a personality because I can't see what caused it and I do tend to think of things as being made symbolic by human nature rather than naturally being that way.

    Anyway, although we're born with personalities, these are easily overridden. The most obvious way is through parents and immediate family and events that happen when you're young. You tend to take on the personality that fits best to survive the climate you are born into. These were the results of this study, anyway, and that seems to be logical to me. If you were going to be contrary all the way through life, you wouldn't be able to fit into society well.

    When it comes to INFJs and mental disorders. I agree we may be more likely to tell others about it as we like to talk through our emotions. So we are probably more likely to be diagnosed. Also, we're less able to identify ourselves and our Ti goes on a "why?" quest so we are more likely to question who we are, what we're doing, what kind of personality we have anyway. Apart from that, I think I've finally figured out what's wrong with me and to me it's about isolation. I didn't have friends when I was little because I got in a mood with society when I was little (it was stupid) and then I've kind of felt "not part of" since then - wanting to be "part of" but also not wanting to be "part of" (in the sense that I feel I would leave myself behind - if only I knew who I am). But I imagine it is different for everyone. It may simply be that INFJs are more likely to talk about it so you know more about how they feel.

    I tend to be hypersensitive to criticism about my moral standing but not about anything else. I am at best arrogant when it comes to my opinions. In other things, I just don't see it as anything to do with me. You can criticise anything about me and I won't be hypersensitive except my moral standing and character (and any name you could call me that might make me sound like I could hurt another person).

    I don't want to be a bad person because I would find it humiliating. I'd be horribly embarrassed if I was found to be morally in the wrong. It would be very upsetting for me. If I was just wrong in any other way - my work were a pile of shite, my opinions were off. Well I think it's great when I change my opinions and work because I've learned something.

    I've never particularly seen myself as hypersensitive, though. I tend to be quite tough - maybe not with other people, but on the inside. I sort myself out in the end and I'm proud of that. I sort of see myself as a bit invincible sometimes but I think that's because I'm still young enough to think I'm immortal :)
     
    #15 justeccentricnotinsane, Jul 28, 2011
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  16. Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
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    Not sure on the likelihood of seeking help. I had been labelled "moody" my entire life. I was not inclined to seek help b/c I thought I was my biggest expert (due to the introspection.) There is a family history of mental illness that sadly, yes has been handed to me. I had to admit that I could not handle it myself any longer. I am committed to taking medication for the rest of my life and seeing a therapist for the time being to work on my problems.

    The biggest thing the therapist has pointed out to me, which relates heavily to being an INFJ is having boundary issues. Not just learning to say no to someone, but the fear of hurting someone and feeling their hurt is a boundary issue as well. She is helping me see things in a different perspective.

    One thing EVERYONE has to remember is that MB Typing is a great tool for exploring oneself, but to NOT let it entirely define who you are.
     
  17. justeccentricnotinsane

    justeccentricnotinsane Community Member

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    This.
     
  18. technics

    On Holiday

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    Easier said than done, but maybe you should change your field. Sales is usually populated by Sensors. Your strengths are best played in an environment that is suited to your type. Especially when it comes to recognition and climbing the ladder. I used to be in an SJ environment... and I'm now sorrounded by NTJ/NFJ/NFP. It's like heaven!
     
  19. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    I dont think INFJs are really that predisposed to emotional problems... I dont even think INFJs are really deep feelers... most of us come off as T's and have a hard time pinning our feelings down. Maybe you're INFP or ISFP?
     
  20. justeccentricnotinsane

    justeccentricnotinsane Community Member

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    I agree that a predisposition is unlikely. I wouldn't describe mental health as an emotional problem though, it's a cognitive problem. Feelings are derived from thoughts, so thoughts are more important (but I would say that, wouldn't I?) Although I could be either INTJ or INFP using "Fi in distress" (i've recently seen this as an option), I would argue that the basis of my anxieties tend to be a dissonance - experiencing an irrational emotion. The sense of needing order- for my emotions to be justified rather than irrational and the need to be in control of the chaos in my mind - is what usually gets me. As does the feeling of wanting to know who I am, finding that too very hard to pin down. But I think "Fi in distress" would be concerned with not knowing who they are, so there you go. It's hard to distinguish. For instance, knowing "who I am" to me means knowing what my purpose is and what my direction in life should be. It does not include how I feel about things or what my opinions are. I am very certain about what my opinions are, less so about how I feel about things, but I do not connect this to my identity, believing my identity and my believes to be separate and my emotions to be illogical (thus not worth factoring in). This, to me, is the basis of what I would say was a mental health disorder in my case, so it may simply be that different types experience unhappiness in different ways for different reasons. We all construct our identities about certain myths we have of ourselves. Some very firm "I am..." sentences and when these are questioned we can experience mental disturbance and unhappiness - that is, if our self-esteem is low and our positive beliefs in ourselves are fragile and easily disturbed by external influence. I would say, though, that an INFJ (if I am one) has a very hard time left to their devices with this stuff. I tend to order things by externalising and have a practical phobia of chaos, so I feel the need to order, thus externalise. If I do not say aloud what I am thinking, normally discussing how my thoughts are proving a barrier or are dysfunctional, then I will be lost in a swarm of contradictory thoughts that spiral out of control - leading to obsessive behaviour. If I externalise them and recognise that they have their own logic, and particularly if I am challenged by external logic (someone else's point of view, feedback) then I feel better, as I am able to explain to myself my thoughts and mark them as "non pertinent". So that's the only reason I'd say we could be more likely to be diagnosed. If I am right about this then theoretically we are likely to externalise the chaos inside in order to order it - so we are more likely to share our thoughts.

    This is theory, though, I'm not arguing with you in any way.
     
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