Written By Kirsten Moodie
How Each Myers-Briggs Type Deals with Depression
Depression is certainly a painful beast, one that can overtake and burden people’s lives. In some cases depression is a situational occurrence, while other times it a serious clinical illness. If you or someone you love suffers from depression, it is important to remember to seek professional help. It is always good to do research, and to attempt to better understand your situation- but there are times when reading a few articles, just is not enough to help. We do not presume to understand each person’s plights and struggles, we just utilize a tool- that tool being the Myers-Briggs personality typing- as a way to better understand ourselves. With that being said, here are some ways that each Myers-Briggs type deals with their depression, as well as how it shows itself.
INFJs can often suffer from depression, this is likely because of their compassionate nature. INFJs see things, and they notice what is going on in the world around them. While some people can shut themselves off to the pain of the world- INFJs feel everything and are incapable of closing themselves off from it. This can cause them a lot of pain and heartache in their lives, especially when they see so many people who lack compassion or a desire to help change things. INFJs can go into a depressive state, if they feel powerless to help others- or if they simply feel overwhelmed by the world around them. They know that they are meant for greater things, and they strive to make a real difference in the world. Sometimes though, the INFJ will become saddened by the pressure that they place upon themselves- especially if they feel like they aren’t making any progress. This depression can overwhelm them, but they need to let go of their guilt and realize that they are doing their best. It is more than acceptable to take time for themselves- in order to heal and replenish their souls. Their depression can often show itself as self-abuse, and the INFJ may become even harder on themselves than usual.
It is important for the INFJ to remember, that even the smallest difference is a truly a big deal. Many people in the world aren’t even trying- while the INFJ is doing whatever they can to ease the suffering of those around them. Simply committing one small act, can change someone’s life- and if anyone is capable of showing this kind of life-changing kindness, it is the INFJ.
ENFJs often feel extremely guilty when they experience feelings of depression. It is difficult for the ENFJ to take the time to tend to their own emotions, which can actually lead to these depressive feelings. They simply do not feel like it is fair for them to take time for themselves, since they are primarily focused on tending to the needs of others. If the ENFJ is feeling overwhelmed by their depression, it might exhibit itself in various ways. The ENFJ will often attempt to work even harder, in hopes of completely ignoring their depressive state. This will lead to a crash, which might cause the ENFJ to fail to accomplish their usual tasks. This is completely unlike the ENFJ, which makes it hard not to notice the change. They will often experience worsened feelings of depression, if they do not feel the support of their loved ones. ENFJs are always there for the people closest to them, which makes it hard for them to carry on if they feel like they are failing them.
It is important for the people who love the ENFJ to show them as much support as possible. They need to feel appreciated for their hard work- they also need to feel acceptance so that they can let go of the guilt that they feel for not being able to be present during their depressive times.
INFPs are unfortunately prone to depression, in many different forms. This is most likely because of their naturally sensitive souls, which make them wonderful people, but also causes them to feel things on a much deeper level. INFPs simply cannot disconnect from the pain around them, and might struggle to avoid these feelings. They are very caring individuals, and will often feel guilty if they believe they aren’t doing enough for others. Sometimes INFPs can suffer from depressed feelings, simply because they do not feel understood by people. They are oftentimes very different from the norm, and do not fit into the sometimes shallow stereotypes of the world. This can cause the INFP to feel alienated, and misunderstood in a painful way. INFPs who are depressed might actually start to show their emotions to others, more willingly than usual. This is often because they are searching for someone who will understand them, and who can help them through this sadness.
It is important for the INFP to feel supported during these times. Simply being there for them is enough, this might include just sitting in silence for a while. Just knowing that the people they love are not judging them, helps the INFP immensely.
ENFPs often go through their depression in various stages, but this can be very difficult for them to overcome. These usually happy-go-lucky people, will begin disconnecting from the world around them. When a depressed ENFP goes too long without taking notice to their depressive state, they will begin to lash out at those around them. They are usually very considerate of the feelings of others, but when depressed they will unintentionally snap at the people closest to them. They might even seek out ways to tease people, but in a less playful way than they usually do. This can make the ENFP difficult to be around, especially for people who are more sensitive to the teasing. They will often find dark humor even more appealing when they are feeling depressed, and will be drawn to the darker side of their personality.
The most important thing for an ENFP who is feeling depressed- is simply to pay attention to their depression. Instead of trying to pretend that everything is okay, they need to express what they are feeling to others. Talking about it, and admitting what is going on- is the most important step for an ENFP. It might be difficult to open up about what they are experiencing, but it is the best solution for them in the long run.
Depression can be a real struggle for INTJs, mostly because they are logic minded individuals. Depression often causes rather irrational thoughts, which is something that can be extremely frustrating for the rational mind of the INTJ. When an INTJ feels overwhelmed by their feelings of depression, they will often attempt to search for things that can quell this problem. They might try diving into things that have helped them feel happy before, but some of these things are not the mostly healthy outlets. INTJs might resort to drinking or reckless behavior, in order to find a happier state of mind. This will often fail to help the INTJ feel better, since they will quickly feel guilty for indulging in pointless things that will not move them forward in any positive way.
INTJs in this state of mind need to learn to focus on what they are good at, and trust in their instincts once again. Being in a depressive state can be extremely difficult for the INTJ to break out of, mostly because they will not ask for help and might even revert into themselves.
An ENTJ who is suffering from depression, will often lose sight of what is important to them. They will feel rather useless, like their skills are not being properly utilized. This is very difficult for ENTJs to endure, especially since they are normally driven and hardworking people. ENTJs are very good at keeping their depression hidden from others, because they simply don’t want others to perceive this as a weakness. Sometimes the ENTJ will throw themselves into their work, in order to keep themselves distracted.
In order for the ENTJ to open up to people about their depression, they need to completely trust them. To an ENTJ it is important that they can rely on the people around them. If they believe that they can sincerely trust someone, then they will be more inclined to open up to that person.
INTPs are normally very controlled, especially when it comes to their emotions. When they are suffering from depression, it often shows itself in stages. Initially the INTP will attempt to push themselves, and might even try new things in order to break out of their sadness. They might spend some time attempting to socialize with others, when the depression first arises. After they attempt to socialize though, the INTP will often feel exhausted and need to revert inward. They might spend long periods of time alone, in hopes of easing their discomfort. Their indifference might make it rather hard for others to even notice that the INTP is depressed. An INTP who is extremely depressed, will have emotional outbursts, and this can be extremely surprising to those around them- since the INTP is normally so reserved with their emotions. If they are feeling pressured from those closest to them, it might result in them snapping at those people.
INTPs need to feel like they have a safe place, without feeling pressure from those around them. They need to be allowed to feel whatever they are feeling, and honestly just need space to figure things out.
If an ENTP feels pigeonholed, or trapped in their current situation- it can cause them to feel depressed. It is especially difficult if an ENTP feels like they won’t be able to accomplish their goals, or explore the possibilities that they dream about. They might appear rather down, and incapable of trying new things that they enjoy. They might become caught up in a schedule, which will feel extremely monotonous for them.
It is important for the ENTP to set goals that makes them feel motivated and inspired. When they become stuck in a rut of inactivity, it can truly bring them down. They need to allow themselves to dive into subjects that they truly feel passionate about, not things that they are simply forced to do. In order to pull out of their state of mind, the ENTP needs to focus on their own desires, instead of the expectations of others.
When an ISTJ is feeling depressed, they will often keep to themselves and might be hard to reach. They will continue performing their daily tasks, and might dive harder into their work. They will often seclude themselves from others, and will appear less enthused by time with loved ones. Following their routine can be good for the ISTJ, but it is also great if they can find something physical to help them pull out of their own heads. Finding logical and practical ways to ease their depression, can really help the ISTJ. Eating healthy, getting exercise, and spending relaxed time with loved ones- can all be great ways to help them feel much more at ease.
ESTJs can become depressed if they feel like things in their life really aren’t going their way. They might become more high strung, and go through bouts of manic behavior. They will often attempt to push forward, but this might lead to a crash which causes them to struggle to get out of bed. ESTJs are hardworking people, but sometimes this effort does not always seem to be yielding positive results. When this occurs the ESTJ will find themselves feeling overwhelmed. It is important of them to force themselves into a schedule, since routines are very comforting for the ESTJ. Finding a balance of work and time for themselves, is truly good for the ESTJ.
ISFJs are often seen as happy individuals, who strive to help those around them. When an ISFJ is suffering from depression, they might find themselves more closed off from the world around them. They will often be afraid to step out of their comfort zone, and will attempt to revert to things that have helped them feel better in the past. If these things don’t ease the ISFJs sadness, they will often feel more hopeless. They might find themselves spending time just sitting at home, failing to socialize with their normal group of friends.
Having the support of others is one of the most helpful things for an ISFJ. When they have people around them who express how much they care and want to help the ISFJ, it can really ease their discomfort.
ESFJs suffering from depression or burnout, are often very different than their normal cheery selves. ESFJs care very much for their loved ones, and strive to make them happy. When the ESFJ is feeling depressed, they will often try to overcompensate for this feeling. They will rarely express their sadness to others, and will even feel guilty because of their depression. This desire to push through their situation, will ultimately make things worse for the ESFJ. They might find themselves crashing, which could lead to inactivity.
It is important for the ESFJ to come to terms with their depression, and to accept that it is not their fault. They will tend to blame themselves, which can only make things worse. They need their loved ones to show them support, in order to move forward. They also need enough space to push themselves forward, without feeling pressured by those around them.
ISFPs have very strong values, which can often lead them to conflict in their lives. They hold their values very deeply, and will often become unhappy if they feel them being challenged. If someone close to them continues to push against the ISFPs beliefs, it can cause them to sink into a depression. This can be very difficult for the ISFP to overcome, especially since they only follow a path that they believe is right.
It is best for the ISFP to take time for themselves, and to avoid negative people. They need to be able to absorb positivity in their surroundings, in order to get themselves feeling right again.
ESFPs who are feeling depressed, might attempt to try new and exciting things to pull themselves out of it. They might even attempt to spend money, in order to purchase things that they believe will help them feel better. ESFPs love aesthetics, so anything beautiful will lift them up for the time being. These things of course do not last, which might cause the ESFP to dip into a depressive state where they seem much more down than usual.
When this happens the ESFP needs their loved ones to show them plenty of support and attention. Without people around them the ESFP will find it impossible to pull out of their depression.
If an ISTP is going through depression, the thing that makes them happiest is being by themselves. They might seclude themselves for long periods of time, and will completely alienate themselves from others. ISTPs often will not noticed that they are depressed for a long time, since they don’t usually focus on their own emotions easily. This can cause them to push others away, in hopes of figuring out what is actually going on.
ISTPs need support, but from a distance. If someone attempts to smother them, it will only make the situation much worse. Just knowing that their loved ones are there, and that they can trust them when the time comes to open up- means the world to them.
A depressed ESTP will often try to make themselves busy, focusing on their daily tasks. They might even want to go out every night after work, to spend time with new people and new experiences. ESTPs cannot seem to stay still when they are feeling depressed, and will use activities as a way to keep themselves distracted. This is not something that the ESTP can really keep up with, so eventually they will crash. When they find themselves alone without anything to do, the ESTP will probably feel the depressing weighing on them heavily.
If the ESTP has people who care for them, it will really help them pull through. They need to know that their loved ones will stick by them, no matter what they are going through. They also need to accept their depression, and find ways to heal rather than avoid.
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