Melancholy | INFJ Forum

Melancholy

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Shaz, Jan 1, 2009.

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  1. Shaz

    Shaz Community Member

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    What is your relationship with melancholy? It is a dominant feeling in my life and I was wondering if it was the case for all INFJs, or most. When I looked up the definition of it I found two meanings which are quite different :

    1. Sadness or depression of the spirits; gloom.
    2. Pensive reflection or contemplation.

    I find it interesting that the same word could define those two ideas, yet I do often find them entangled in me. When I browse the forum I read a lot of people writing about feeling down or oppressed by the world, and it can be part of it.
    But do you also feel this sort of nostalgia of something that yet doesn't really exist, this soothing sadness, this impression of floating somewhere outside of tangible reality... Or whatever form it takes for you?

    I find this side of melancholy positive, great for writing and creating in general, and necessary to my mental health. Yet the line between creative melancholy and destructive melancholy is sometimes blurry. I can get trapped in it sometimes, not wanting to go back to the real world. I don't quite control it. Can you? I guess it would loose a lot of its power if you did. Mhh...
     
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  2. dylan

    dylan Bearded Dancing King

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    I find it's a dominant feeling in my life as well. I've battled depression since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Maybe earlier, but I wasn't diagnosed as being depressed until then.

    [Side note: I remember that day... my parents had brought me to see a therapist, and after spending some time with me, he called my parents in, and told them "Dylan is depressed." And I remember thinking, "No duh, idiot! I coulda told you that if you just asked!" I wonder how my life might have been different if I were "diagnosed" as INFJ instead, and my depression treated as a symptom of INFJ sensitivity, lonliness, and the difficulty (especially for a child) of sorting through and expressing complex ideas and emotions. Being clued in at an early age to the ins and outs of the INFJ personality would have helped me cope with a lot of things over the years.]

    Throughout my life I've passed in and out of melancholic periods, sometimes feeling it more, sometimes less, but at this point I just kind of accept it as always being there, something I'm never getting away from. Even those times when I feel "happy" I can tell it's waiting there, just under the surface, ready to pop back out and make me miserable again.

    As far as a "soothing sadness," something that can be used creatively... I don't really experience it like that. It actually tends to stymie me creatively, because I'll fall into either the "what's the point" or "it's not good enough" bottomless holes (sometmes both). Soothing, no, but comfortable, yes, in the sense that it's just so familiar to me. It doesn't feel great, but it is a well known feeling, and I know it's operational parameters. Although the idea that I'm comfortable in melancholy because I've felt it for so much of my life I find... depressing. (And it begins again.)
     
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  3. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    No kidding!
     
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  4. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    Ditto to all of it!!!

    In particular the "soothing sadness" bit!
     
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  5. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    Pensive and reflective... definitely. At least, I think so.

    Sadness or depression... I'm not sure.
     
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  6. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    When I'm depressed I don't feel anything at all, it's a cold dead place.

    When I get into a melancholic state it can be a sweet but sorrowful feeling. I've learned and realized a lot of truths when I've been there. But there is a strange temptation to want to go further down the path which turns into 'overmuch sorrow' which can lead to a pity party. The whole thing can be hellish getting out of.
    Now when melancholy comes over me I acknowledge it but try not to selfishly let myself be absorbed.
    It's like solitude and isolation, the lines get blurred at a certain point.
     
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  7. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    O M G I can truly relate! I almost always feel oppressed and inhibited, even though I'm a halfcaste and not fully like you INFJ's..

    Psychology would probably label all o this in the category of dissociation. Horrible as it sounds, individualism is not taken into consideration! :/

    In my case when this happens; I am in a desperate state of agony and sadness, hoping inside that someone will come and save me from my tragic hoplessness and sadness. If 'so' many tears fall I will most likely wake up the next day having a blunted affect, (which is a severe reduction in the expression of feeling because no feelings is felt).
     
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    #7 Pristinegirl, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  8. moonbabyam

    moonbabyam Regular Poster

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    I feel like this everyday!
    It is refreshing to read these posts. I've seen 3 therapists and been on 3 different kinds of anti-depressants.
    Im still not sure about the therapy thing, and can't afford it anyway...
    but pharmacutecials (sp?)as far as that goes I can't take at all. They make me feel like a zombie, or worse than I already did before. Prozac made me actually want to kill myself...which is something I think about but am not at all interested in.
    Now I work out a lot, dance a lot, spend a lot of time trying to distract myself on top of taking flower essences, 5-htp, and other oils and scents which I find to help with my mood a lot. It is too bad I forget about the essences when I am stressed though because I end up not using them.
    I keep trying to remind myself, b/c I did have a therapist who refrenced this once and they told me that, there had to be people like us in the world or certain things wouldn't get done. Maybe that is a little sterotyping but...I still found it helpful and apparent trait in reading your post. (As well as the others on the thread).
    I just wish the melancholy didn't make me so sad because then I get moody, snappy and drive everyone else nuts.
    Anyway...cool
    Thanks!
    :llama:
     
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  9. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    I've always had a strong tendency toward Melancholy. I first became aware of it around the age of 9. It lifts from time to time, but I'm inclined to drift into it (and get stuck) for very long periods.

    It's not a positive state for me. Perhaps because I often feel weary when I'm feeling melancholy. I find it interferes with my life. Yes, in the past it was often a trigger for and enhancement of my creativity, but in my current stage of life, it really gets in the way and sometimes prevents me from doing things that might ultimately improve my life.
     
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  10. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    OMG YOU JUST VERIFIED MY THEORY ON THAT SSRI'S (antidepressants) are SHIT! They did exactly this to me as well and I was only on them for a couple of days. It must be the NF that is the most significant characteristic among us people as feel for each other, everything and anything. Basically we are the happiest kind of people but also prone to be the ones who fall the deepest!

    So are we special ?
     
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  11. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    I have also tried SSRI's in the past, with negative emotional AND physical consequences and now have a full-blown wariness of them.

    I've been to several different doctors (specialists) over the past 10 years, and every one of them prescribed Paxil for me, saying there was nothing actually wrong with me; that I was just depressed.

    My OB/GYN prescribed Paxil for my symptoms. 7 days later I was in an ambulance on the way to the ER with a burst ovarian cyst. I switched doctors after that.

    A Gastroenterologist prescribed Paxil for my symptoms. I demanded bloodwork. Results showed gluten intolerance. They didn't even call me with the results; I had to call them. Dietary change improved symptoms.

    Primary Care Physician prescribed Paxil for my symptoms. 12 days later I was going into shock in an ambulance on my way to be hospitalized for a week with erlichiosis (tick-borne illness) and Epstein Barr Virus.

    I think the prescription of SSRI's by physicians who are NOT psychiatrists has become a reprehensible epidemic, and this class of drugs should be restricted to being prescribed only by licensed psychiatrists. Then maybe the rest of the medical community can go back to diagnosing illness, rather than shoving people out the door as quickly as possible with a potentially dangerous pacifier.

    I will never take them again.
     
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  12. Ambrosia Lemon

    Ambrosia Lemon Regular Poster

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    I know I feel this way almost daily. I try to shake it off, but sometimes it seems stronger than me. But I know it helps with my writing and painting,though it seems to make me want to distance myself from people all that much more. And I really don't need to do that anymore.
     
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  13. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    I've always been the way I am - sort of middle of the road depression. Not enough to take pills (although I have occasional bad spells that last two or three weeks) but not "normal" enough to feel 100% happy. Because I feel this way most of the time I usually ignore it, until I suddenly feel happy for no apparent reason (which has happened - rare occurrence, again).

    But do I like who I am? Sure I do! I'm very ok with who I am. But sometimes when the down times are very down I either wait it out or seek help. I know the feelings pass, though. If depression to euphoria were scales from 1-10 (1 being suicidal and 10 manic), I think I hover around "4" 90% of the time. Every once in a blue moon I'll hit 2 or 7, but I think "normal" for me is 4.
     
  14. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    Interesting scaling like that!!

    If depression to euphoria were scales from:
    1-10 (1 being suicidal and 10 manic)

    2 when I am in total uncherished tornmenting anguish. 30 %
    3 when I am dissatisfied, missunderstoo, hurt and sad 40 %
    8 is the number where I am content. (I'm hard on myself) 20 %
    9 when I am cherished, loved and supersatisfied with life 10 %
     
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    #14 Pristinegirl, Jan 7, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  15. PoetOfDreams

    PoetOfDreams Shadow Queen

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    I do feel depress or melancholy most of the time. I guess it is "normal" now and not something that is wrong with me. After so many thoughts that I am going crazy because no one seems to be always THIS sad. What a relief, I think.
     
  16. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I get melancholy a lot...sometimes as a sad sort, but mostly as sort of a pensive, deep sort of reflection, usually pretty gloomy. I've come to accept it as being normal for me to be like that a little bit more than normal people; I think it comes with being more reflective on life in general.

    However, I have been genuinely depressed before, and I know the difference between being melancholy and being stuck in a rut.
     
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  17. Tonic

    Tonic Newbie

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    I am melancholy quite often, but I think it's because I wish relationships were deeper, more meaningful and that people reached further for their potential.

    One thing that I do not think applies to my melancholy is a lack of love for myself. I love myself and being me. I wouldn't choose to be in any other skin. It's other people I have a problem with. Dammit! :m180:
     
  18. TK*

    TK* Community Member

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    There was a time in my life when I oozed melancholy, I fed off of being melancholy which made me more melancholy and on and on it went. I've realized that constantly being melancholy led me to all sorts of issues that I don't want to get into right now. Being sad and depressed fueled my creativity, it forced out my feelings through an artistic outlet. Now that I recognize my feelings for what they are, I don't need my outlet as much--which is sad, because I find it harder and harder to write!

    I was taking the easy way out by just writing when I felt sad rather than actually sitting down to work out my feelings. I'm becoming a stronger writer now that I have to dig inside of myself, and not a mood, to write the good stuff!
     
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  19. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    Yea I feel the exact same way.

    Or I feel like life could be improved upon in some way, but I can't figure out how to do it...and then I get bored.

    I find I am least melancholy when my life is horrible (no job, bad relationships, bad living situation), because then I get focused on the challenge of making concrete improvements.

    It's when I'm most materially secure that I guess I have the time to be melancholy...so bizarre...so then I can't even enjoy what I've worked for.

    When I actually work through my melancholy I feel I get a touch of something more real...more divine....I feel there is some quiet beauty to melancholy that I can't really describe in adequate terms. (Not to unnecessarily glorify it or anything)
     
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