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  1. #1
    Junior Member TexasChaos's Avatar
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    Default How does chronic illness affect type?

    I'm new to all this typing stuff, but I am wondering how a chronic illness could affect one's type? I am assuming it could greatly mask aspects of it.

    For example, if one suffers from depression, that could greatly alter an extrovert towards introversion, no?

    And yes, I suffer from chronic illness. Lyme Disease, to be exact, which comes with all kinds of goodies -- joint pain, muscle pain, neuropathy, and scads of neurological symptoms.

    I am just looking for guidance in finding my "true" type, rather than what my poor health has driven me to.

    TIA!

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasChaos View Post
    I'm new to all this typing stuff, but I am wondering how a chronic illness could affect one's type? I am assuming it could greatly mask aspects of it.

    For example, if one suffers from depression, that could greatly alter an extrovert towards introversion, no?

    And yes, I suffer from chronic illness. Lyme Disease, to be exact, which comes with all kinds of goodies -- joint pain, muscle pain, neuropathy, and scads of neurological symptoms.

    I am just looking for guidance in finding my "true" type, rather than what my poor health has driven me to.

    TIA!
    I believe that chronic illness can mask a person's type.
    How about if you try to remember how you were between the ages of 10 and 20?
    Would that be more like the authentic you, or were you ill then, too?

  3. #3
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasChaos View Post
    I'm new to all this typing stuff, but I am wondering how a chronic illness could affect one's type? I am assuming it could greatly mask aspects of it.

    For example, if one suffers from depression, that could greatly alter an extrovert towards introversion, no?

    And yes, I suffer from chronic illness. Lyme Disease, to be exact, which comes with all kinds of goodies -- joint pain, muscle pain, neuropathy, and scads of neurological symptoms.

    I am just looking for guidance in finding my "true" type, rather than what my poor health has driven me to.

    TIA!
    I think it would be highly dependent on what the actual disease is and how serious the symptoms are(unless you just want to know about Lyme Disease). I would expect that T/F and I/E would be the most difficult to pin down since many people would mistake the negative emotions associated with the disease. And like you said...depression could make an E appear to be an I...although the reverse is probably not nearly as common. I don't expect that the S/N spectrum would appear much different, with the exception of an N being more aware of their surroundings and physical feelings (espeically with something like Lyme Disease). I think medication via hard pain killers, etc. would effect the appearance of type much more than actually having the disease.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  4. #4
    Junior Member TexasChaos's Avatar
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    That makes good sense, Metamorphosis (a fellow Texan, wahoo!) The T/F is posing a problem for me. And your observation about the meds is quite astute. I hate how they affect me sometimes, but there are some days when I simply can't function without them.

    INTJMom, good idea. I was not yet sick between the ages of 10 and 20... so I will try to puzzle it out and recall what life was like then. Not that it was that long ago, but it just seems like it!

    I was thinking that maybe I could be E rather than I, but I'm pretty positive that I'm a strong I. Even back in college, before the illness, I would come home from a party and need some quiet time alone! I hate to sit in the middle of a room or with my back to people (like in a restaurant). I used to think it was because I was raised by a military intelligence dad who was always scanning a room and being hypervigilant and observant about everything, but I find that I do it on my own now. When I try to force myself to sit with my back to people, I get really uncomfortable and distracted.

    Anyway, when I take the online type tests, they generally come back as INTJ or INFJ, depending on how I'm feeling that day (or how drugged up I am, LOL).

  5. #5
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Seems like it would have some effect. The loss of energy could cause someone to become more introverted and perceiving in practice, even if it wasn't their normal inclination to be so. I'm not sure how it would effect T/F. It could go any number of ways, really. I don't know if it would have much effect on N/S at all.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #6
    Junior Member TexasChaos's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post, Cafe. I had wondered about the introversion also...
    As for N/S, I suspect that it may be affected too. Sometimes when my neurological symptoms are really bad and my brain is kind of "foggy", it seems like I am much more of a Sensor than an Intuitive. It's as if Sensing requires less thought and energy somehow, that I can do that even if I'm half-asleep. Whereas the Intuition seems much sharper when I am having a "good" day. I hope that makes sense!

  7. #7
    Procrastinating
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasChaos View Post

    I hate to sit in the middle of a room or with my back to people (like in a restaurant). When I try to force myself to sit with my back to people, I get really uncomfortable and distracted.
    Me too. In most settings, I will be found with my back to a corner, preferably facing and some distance from the entrance.

    I went through a bout of clinical depression years ago and it definitely made me more introverted. It also messed with my "normal" T functioning. The circular thinking was extremely foreign and annoying and why I said "I don't recognize me."

  8. #8
    Junior Member TexasChaos's Avatar
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    Seanan, your comment made an old REM song pop into my head...
    "That's me in the corner... that's me in the spotlight, I'm losing my religion."

    Yeah, totally random, I know. I have music in my head constantly and sometimes it drives me crazy! It's better than the voices though.

    I sometimes test out "T" and sometimes "F", so I am thinking that is definitely affected. I took a "left brain vs. right brain" test once too and came back almost evenly split down the middle. Of course, that could change if I took it again!
    Last edited by TexasChaos; 02-25-2008 at 12:26 PM. Reason: typo!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I don't expect that the S/N spectrum would appear much different, with the exception of an N being more aware of their surroundings and physical feelings (espeically with something like Lyme Disease). I think medication via hard pain killers, etc. would effect the appearance of type much more than actually having the disease.
    You think a xNxx would be more aware of their physical feelings? lol I'd say during illness and pain, yes, but otherwise probably not as intially well as a xSxx.

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasChaos
    I'm new to all this typing stuff, but I am wondering how a chronic illness could affect one's type? I am assuming it could greatly mask aspects of it.
    TexasChaos, I found it very amusing that when you personally asked me for my thoughts I was in a lot of pain at the time and thus couldn't answer you until now.

    I think that stress and illness do highlight how one might react within Type. I've had Endometriosis since 11 but nobody listened or thought it was serious. Even my first doctor just gave me BC pills, which didn't help for the most part. I was mostly okay, despite the heavy pain, still vibrant and outgoing and happy. Turning 13+ moving + depressions caused by my parents, and having an even worse doctor who just gave me stronger pain killers but refused to believe that I might have Endo after I personally looked into it was upsetting. I'd always complain 'calmly' and not in the frantic state I might be seen during the pain or even if I was in pain speaking to him, I'd hold it back (I don't like showing anyone I'm in pain/sad for anything--). I was 18 when I ran to his office, barged in bawling, and he foolishly commented I might have Endo. Then surgery at 19 confirmed it. For so many years, it was bitter and devastating to be told "it's all in your head" "it doesn't hurt that bad" among others that it didn't even feel good knowing I was justified.

    Depending on how bad it hurts, my reaction and control of hiding the pain alters. If it's somewhat bearable, I claim I'm 100% fine, don't worry about me. As it progresses and it hurts more, I'm incredibly jittery or extremely silently angry, closet myself in my room and don't want anyone near me or I cry so loud people come and then snap at them for coming and THEN beg them not to leave me lololol---sometimes, but only with my lil sis and best/f now. I just lie to everyone else so they'll leave me alone. It becomes shameful later on as I recall how I acted as sometimes I'm not even aware (during the times it was too unbearable or taken to Emerg or I pass out and sleep). OR I don't remember a lot of what happened which feels worse! It used to be entirely stressful to even think I'd act in such a way as I'm normally "put together" and seen that way. No one except family and a few friends know how I become as I stay home for a week or sometimes more, which has made me miss a lot of school at times if I absolutely couldn't go or refused to.

    Only now am I a lot better, if not entirely so. There are also other minor issues, such as Chronic Insomnia since 13 and others, which affect me but they all coalesce to make things worse collectively. So, even though I might pass out from pain, I wake from pain at night and then can't sleep or repeatedly wake up and so on.

    I feel as though I made myself appear as some crazy psycho. I'm more snappy at myself than anyone else. I probably outwardly seem sad or angry but if approached by a stranger put on a "happy" mask. And seethe inside that someone's asking me "Are you okay?" when I'm clearly not!

    I can't speak for all but I'd imagine INFJs might do similarly as I have and as I've read they'd behave somewhat similarly. Citing they're fine even when not asked (sometimes), trying to hard to appear well put together, becoming critical at later stress points or closeting themselves and dissociating from all when it's too much. I think there's a lot of info online for stress within Types but I'm not too sure on illness or Chronic Illness. It's got me curious now!

  10. #10
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasChaos View Post
    I'm new to all this typing stuff, but I am wondering how a chronic illness could affect one's type? I am assuming it could greatly mask aspects of it.

    For example, if one suffers from depression, that could greatly alter an extrovert towards introversion, no?

    And yes, I suffer from chronic illness. Lyme Disease, to be exact, which comes with all kinds of goodies -- joint pain, muscle pain, neuropathy, and scads of neurological symptoms.

    I am just looking for guidance in finding my "true" type, rather than what my poor health has driven me to.

    TIA!
    Have had manic depression for quite a while. Am an intp by type.

    personally, I've found that chronic illness tends to bring out the I stronger, especially if in my case, it's something that causes you to react against the outside world. One gets more inward-drawn. For some though, it may cause them to be more extroverted, as they reach out and try to forget themselves.

    Yes, the T/F is definitely affected. Used to test a strong T, but under influence, the F reveals itself.

    Shadows of the types: Under situations of stress, the shadow of your type reveals itself, often, in a negative way. So INTP's shadow is ESFJ. hence the tendency (according to textbook definition) is to be overly emotional, to cast blame on outside circumstances/people, to be judgmental and to base it solely on little 'facts' that the environment provides.

    it can be seen as a way towards balance though. Since perhaps, the type that gets by best in the world is the XXXX.

    nothing either good or bad, it's just personality, and learning how to manage it; oneself and others.
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

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