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  1. #1
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    Default Depression and type changes

    Anecdotal background information:
    I have been struggling with persistent general depression including a few bouts of clinical depression for several years. My symptoms have increased as I have gotten older to the point of it being debilitating in my lack of motivation. It kind of crept up on me until one day I realized that everything in my life was completely out of whack and up until then I did not care about it. I thought this was normal. It was a surreal experience. I am currently being tested for Celiac Disease (which both my grandfather and father have and I have been able to self diagnose myself with a definite degree of certainty ) and after doing a little digging, I found that the gut acts as a second brain! For those who are not familiar with Celiac Disease, it is an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye grains. Approximately 30% of the population in Europe has it, but in America it is almost like a hidden epidemic with 98% of Celiacs going undiagnosed. The problem is that most people do not have the "classic" Celiac symptoms (I don't), and many show none at all. Anyway, the gut is damaged when ingesting gluten because of an autoimmune response, the body attacks the gluten as a foreign invader, thus causing damage to the intestines. So damaged intestines= mental disorders.

    I was curious to know about depression and how it affects one's type. As a child (no signs of depression), I would say I would most likely type as an ENFJ, or maybe XNFJ..I suppose a kind of shy ENFJ, but I warmed up to strangers fairly quickly, and once warmed up was very outgoing, chatty, and dramatic(much the the chagrin of some less tolerant older folks). Around the time this depression set in (around 12 or 13), I became more and more introverted as Ni and Ti took precedence over my extroverted functions. I only recently discovered this gut-brain connection, though I have been suspecting Celiac Disease for well over a year now. Mental illness is a very common symptom among Celiacs, namely, depression and mental fog.

    Does anyone have a similar experience or know how type is affected by mental illness?

  2. #2
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    I don't know, but apparently I was very sweet and extroverted until I hit my head falling out of a tree in preschool.

    Crazy things can change your perceived type.
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  3. #3
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Depressed extroverts become more introverted. I remember reading a study on how introverts are more likely to be depressed, but maybe this is because of depressed extroverts mistyping themselves as introverts.

    Though INFJs are one of the more sociable introverts. And I think becoming a little more introverted compared to how you were as a little kid is a somewhat common theme with people, depression or not.

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    As a small side issue (based on the one post), changes to people's personality based on head trauma and brain damage is well-documented in the scientific circles and anecdotally. Trauma can also cause changes in brain wiring directly OR modify behavior into pain-avoidant patterns, thus changing expressed personality.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I think a lot of time by yourself can definitely make one rely more on introverted functions. I think I use both my Fi and Ti a bit more than the average ENFP and although not a loner per se, I always spent a lot of time by myself since I was a kid (used to play alone too and didn't have any close friends for the most part).

    People say type doesn't change, but one's behavior surely can. If you consciously act a certain kind of way for an extended period of time that is bound to change you at a subconscious level and therefor at a cognitive level too. It's all well and good when people say type doesn't change, but if you consistently type as something different, then you are supposedly satisfying the criteria that makes you a XXXX, so that typing should be accurate, no?

    I mean, what is one's "accurate type" anyway? And why can't the maturing process that takes place at a young age and that makes an ENP become either an ENTP or an ENFP, not be reproduced at a later date due to extraordinary life circumstances?

  6. #6
    A Benign Tumor PoprocksAndCoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Depressed extroverts become more introverted. I remember reading a study on how introverts are more likely to be depressed, but maybe this is because of depressed extroverts mistyping themselves as introverts.
    I concur.
    "In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present." -Francis Bacon

    "No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." -George Chakiris

  7. #7
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    One theory about (non-chronic) depression is that it is a somewhat adaptive response; it forces the individual to attend to inner psychological conflict by taking away the energy and motivation to interact with the outside world. It seems like it could be adaptive for extraverts who are ignoring inner conflict.

    It seems less likely to be as adaptive for introverts, especially if the underlying cause for the introvert's depression is failing to connect meaningfully with the outside world.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I think a lot of time by yourself can definitely make one rely more on introverted functions. I think I use both my Fi and Ti a bit more than the average ENFP and although not a loner per se, I always spent a lot of time by myself since I was a kid (used to play alone too and didn't have any close friends for the most part).

    People say type doesn't change, but one's behavior surely can. If you consciously act a certain kind of way for an extended period of time that is bound to change you at a subconscious level and therefor at a cognitive level too. It's all well and good when people say type doesn't change, but if you consistently type as something different, then you are supposedly satisfying the criteria that makes you a XXXX, so that typing should be accurate, no?

    I mean, what is one's "accurate type" anyway? And why can't the maturing process that takes place at a young age and that makes an ENP become either an ENTP or an ENFP, not be reproduced at a later date due to extraordinary life circumstances?
    Hmmm...interesting. I think certain factors in my life have caused me to loose contact with people (not really a choice per se)...and I started to develop/utilize certain introverted functions normally underused. I just wonder if this will cause a permanent change or temporary.

  9. #9
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    Somewhat of a tangential response, but I think the two biggest factors which help people combat depression are regular aerobic exercise and having positive, rewarding friendships.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Somewhat of a tangential response, but I think the two biggest factors which help people combat depression are regular aerobic exercise and having positive, rewarding friendships.
    What if one of the reasons they are depressed is because they can't seem to have a positive rewarding friendship... because they are depressed??

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