MBTI and depression/bipolar disorders article. | INFJ Forum

MBTI and depression/bipolar disorders article.

Sep 20, 2009
Just some interesting article I found on this website: http://www.mcmanweb.com/personally.html

which might explain the correlation between depression, isolation, and bpolar disorder with MBTI, and why do some statistics seem to be so different then thought before...though I don't agree with some things stated here, and the conclusion rubbed me the wrong way because it seemed like at the end the E's got the better end of the article as almost always...what do you think?

''it started out as a whim, but turned into an eye-opener. In May 2003, I asked my Newsletter readers to take an online Myers-Briggs personality test and email the results, along with their diagnosis. Although this was strictly a readers' poll and not a scientific study, and bearing in mind the risks inherent in pigeonholing personalities, the findings were striking enough to indicate I might be on to something. The Myers-Briggs

The Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) begins with eight personality functions in contrasting pairs - Introvert (I) or Extrovert (E), Intuitive (N) or Sensing (S), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). The Introvert/Extrovert dichotomy relates to people drawing their energy from being alone or with people rather than simply being either shy or outgoing. Thinking and Feeling are self-explanatory. Sensors tend to focus on the here and now while Intuitives look for meaning and possibilities. Judgers prefer structure in their lives over the messy flexibility of Perceivers.
Combining six of the functions yields four temperaments: Guardians (SJ), who value tradition and seek security; Artisans (SP), who are sensation-seekers and hands-on people, Idealists (NF), abstract and conceptual, and Rationals (NT), born scientists and engineers.
Falling within these four temperaments are 16 distinct personality types, defined according to the eight paired personality functions, thus INFP, ESTJ, etc.
Very Introverted, Very Idealistic

Approximately 150 responses were received, and of these the first 100 were analyzed (a nice even number for this maths-challenged individual). Most readers also sent in their diagnosis, nearly all with depression or bipolar disorder. Since most people with bipolar disorder are depressed more than manic, it is safe to conclude that this poll was dealing with a mostly-depressed population, without further breaking down the figures. Approximately three-quarters of the respondents were women, which about matched the Newsletter's readership.
The first eye-popping result was 83 percent of those who replied were introverts, which sharply contrasts with the 25 percent to be found in the general population. According to one reader, who had a strong extrovert score four years ago and a much weaker one when responding to this poll: "Over the last four years I've sunk into a very isolated existence. The mania has worsened despite changes in medication/dosages and I spend most of my time sleeping and avoiding large social functions. I do slightly better in small social gatherings, but up until just a couple of months ago I didn't go anywhere or see anyone other than my immediate family within our house."
Guardians and artisans make up 40-45 and 35-40 percent of the general population, respectively, yet accounted for just 15 and 11 percent of this one. Instead, we had 41 percent idealists, who comprise but eight percent of the general population, and 23 percent rationals, who can be found in seven percent of the population.
The best is yet to come: Among the idealists were 17 INFJs and 14 INFPs, the largest populations in this study, the "mystics" and "dreamers," respectively, who only account for one percent each of the general population. Idealists have turned up in higher than expected numbers in at least two online MBTI tests, which may explain the large turnout here. Another confounding variable could be that loners who are drawn to the internet are not representative of the wider population of those who have depression or bipolar.
Nevertheless, it is fair to conclude that the nature of depression and the isolation that derives from any type of mental illness strongly influences our tendency to seek comfort in our own inner world. Whether the reverse may be true, that our personalities may place us at higher risk of an episode or may exacerbate symptoms, remains to be seen.
Other Findings

In addition to the 83 introverts and 17 extroverts, the poll turned up 64 intuitives, 36 sensors; 36 thinkers, 64 feelers, 59 judgers, and 41 perceivers. Among the general population, 60 percent of women are feelers and the same percentage of men thinkers, which might account for the preponderance of feelers in this poll, but the real surprise may be the respectable showing by the thinkers. Although our moods tend to define us, those of us with bipolar disorder even when symptom-free tend to have racing thoughts that can turn us into Platos on Starbucks. On the depressive end of the scale are the brooding and ruminating Hamlets.
The either-or nature of these choices strongly suggests that the MBTI fails to adequately accommodate those of us who both think and feel intensely, where a more reliable measure would probably find us doing a lot of both. This is not a fatal flaw of the MBTI, but is one that clearly needs addressing if ever the test were to be used on a large scale among those with mood disorders.
More personality types: Among the introverts - Add to the 17 INFJs and 14 INFPs, 13 ISFJs (found in six percent of the general population), nine ISFPs, eight ISTJs, four INTPs, and two ISTPs. To sum it up in one sentence, if these were the only people (and this includes me) at an all-night open bar celebration, everyone would be home by nine.
As for the extroverts: Possibly because it was just one letter off INFP, there were seven ENFPs,
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MBTI and depressive/bipolar disorders article

I am something of a fan of John McManamy and read this article several years ago. Though, like you, I don't agree with all of it, it was part of the impetus for the sticky thread "Got a Question about Mood Disorder?" Thanks for printing it out here. I'll stop now because I'm hypomanic this morning and could chatter on for pages.
If suddenly everybody's so sick, maybe it's not human nature.

MBTI and depressive/bipolar disorders article

If suddenly everybody's so sick, maybe it's not human nature.


Could you elaborate a little? I'm confused by your post, unless you meant to say "maybe it is human nature."