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Thread: NF child and fears

  1. #11
    Senior Member Array Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicia91 View Post
    Would love to get a bit of feedback about my 11-year old NF son (INFJ, I believe). He is very creative, theoretical and highly imaginative. Unfortunately, his imagination sometimes frightens him and gets in the way of him being more independant. For example, he is very scared of the dark, he claims to 'relive every scary book he's ever read.' He is also disturbed by a lot of what he sees on TV- real and fiction. He saw something about a kid who set a cat on fire, and couldn't get over it for days. He also couldn't sleep at night thinking about the cat.

    He's also ADHD, immature for his age and his psychiatrist has wondered if he also has some anxiety. I'm just wondering if some of these things are typical for an INFJ - or are they outside the norm.

    Thanks.
    Alicia

    Minus the ADHD, he sounds just like me when I was 11. I'm still scared of the dark (I definitely did what your son does with reliving books) and heights and clowns and many other things that frightened me as a child, mostly because I never dismissed them as nonsense. They make perfect sense to me! But, I'm not so scared now that I can't face them.

    What helped me as a child was having cats. They were something known that existed in the house all the time, so that when it was empty and dark, I knew that most sounds were the cats (it was when my parents took the cats away that my fears redoubled until we got a dog). It also helped to have a brother that would go on adventures with me in the dark sometimes, so it was less scary when I had someone with me and I got to explore what I couldn't see. Having my parents help wouldn't have helped very much at all. There was something far more effective about having a friend (my brother) or an animal to go with me in times when I was scared. I think it's because I didn't have an authority figure following me around.

    Anyway, it's taken me a long time to grow up in the sense that most people expect. I've always been rather self-sufficient, but socially, I've never been very independent. Your son may take a lot time to reach that point as well. I think he'll need lots of reassurance, I know I did/do! A lot of the things that are considered socially normal I question as to whether or not it's "okay" for me to do that.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

  2. #12
    ..... Array Intricate Mystic's Avatar
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    When my daughter kept having recurring nightmares about a scene from a children's movie, I discussed it with her and was able to relate it to underlying (unconscious) fears she had about her everyday life. This psychological approach was very helpful to her. Perhaps you could take this approach with your son- help him relate his fears from things he sees on TV or bad dreams to underlying fears that he might be experiencing from an eleven year old boy point of view. Also, with a sensitive child, I think it's extra important to make sure he is only exposed to age-appropriate material on TV and on the internet- no mtv, no Vh1, or any reality shows. The Disney channel is always great for kids. Also, no PG-13 or R movies at the theater OR at home, until they are old enough. Cutting down on exposure to upsetting things that are not appropriate for younger kids to be seeing is always a good idea, in my opinion. Also, since scary books are causing problems, I would be careful of what books are read, as well. These measures would only need to be for the next few years, giving your son time to mature a bit. I took this approach with my two children and they have turned out well.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Array Chloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alicia91 View Post
    He's also ADHD, immature for his age and his psychiatrist has wondered if he also has some anxiety. I'm just wondering if some of these things are typical for an INFJ - or are they outside the norm.
    why is your son going to a shrink?

    all what psychiatry does is forsing people to turn into ESJs... it's disaster for little kid. and meds?
    That will alone turn him into psychiatric case, doubt he was at first.

    btw. I was also very fearful child, not as nuch as your son, but sinilar - I always inagined sone shadows are witches who will kill ne, or was afraid of going to toillet because i thought crocodille will cone and bite ny but, ... and all that was when i was lonely as child... so i guess what i needed then is to talk to sonebody about those fears. or yust feel loved. and that ny parents would understand ny fears and not say to ne they are "irrational" because no way i could know it then, and that's not whay kid needs to hear - nore like needs to feel protected so even if fears are rational he would feel safer.
    surely not going to shrink that will give hin pills.
    anyway, yust want to say there are bunch of untalented psychiatrics, i think actually 99,9% of then... so as you alredy said, they do nore danage than good, ... naybe psychologyst is better option.

    It's determined these days that ADHD is a neutrotransmitter disorder (dopamine mostly) just like many disorders like depression and I think all types can have it!
    Lol. No, it's not determined, it's just one theory about that - mostly incouraged by huge pharmaceutical corporations to make you buy their pills.

  4. #14
    Paragon Gone Wrong Array OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    When my daughter kept having recurring nightmares about a scene from a children's movie, I discussed it with her and was able to relate it to underlying (unconscious) fears she had about her everyday life. This psychological approach was very helpful to her. Perhaps you could take this approach with your son- help him relate his fears from things he sees on TV or bad dreams to underlying fears that he might be experiencing from an eleven year old boy point of view. Also, with a sensitive child, I think it's extra important to make sure he is only exposed to age-appropriate material on TV and on the internet- no mtv, no Vh1, or any reality shows. The Disney channel is always great for kids. Also, no PG-13 or R movies at the theater OR at home, until they are old enough. Cutting down on exposure to upsetting things that are not appropriate for younger kids to be seeing is always a good idea, in my opinion. Also, since scary books are causing problems, I would be careful of what books are read, as well. These measures would only need to be for the next few years, giving your son time to mature a bit. I took this approach with my two children and they have turned out well.

    I agree with this, especially the part about what he is exposed to.

    Even as an adult, I don't watch horror movies or the news much, because I am too easily disturbed, and I was never desensitized to violence the way some people are. As a child, I was not afraid of the dark, but I occasionally had nightmares after being exposed to "scary" things, and it could go on for several nights.

    I also don't see much correlation with his issues to being an NF, outside of a very active imagination and being extra sensitive.
    "Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself. But it's always with love - So much love it looks like everything else. Charlotte Sometimes - So far away, glass sealed and pretty." - The Cure

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  5. #15
    Senior Member Array amelie's Avatar
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    Your son sounds much like my five-year-old NF - right now, I think she is an ENFJ (with kids, it's not settled until their personality settles in.) She is bright, creative, empathic, and very sensitive. She is frequently frightened by movies and books and things that other children her age have no problem with, and when I ask her more about this, she says that she is upset that she's not able to help the person in the story. She doesn't do well with being alone - most ENFJ children do not, from what I'm reading - they tend to have dark thoughts (sorry I can't cite that source). She has trouble with any sort of punishment or having people displeased with her - even a time out is emotionally painful for her. I have had to really limit her exposure to things that are overstimulating to her, and am working with her on methods to handle her anxiety.

    I think it's great that you have your son in to see someone already - they should be able to give you lots of good ideas. There are some good resources on helping anxious kids cope, Coping Cat comes to mind, and I'm sure the psychiatrist can put in touch with other ideas.

    I think also, it is really important to figure out what's up with your son's fear at night and help him find ways of solving it, as I'm sure you are doing. I had some traumatic things happen to me during my childhood that led to intense fears at night, and I would lay awake feeling terrified. My parents (who were understandably exhausted with my night terrors and my infant sister) forced me to deal with my fears on my own thinking that I was being manipulative with their attention, and even at my age now in my 30's, I've never forgotten how upsetting that was and would never do that to my own children. So I would caution you to take it seriously and do whatever you have to do to find him (and you) some peace, whether that's letting him sleep with a sibling, or having a light on, or whatever, and not ever to make fun of him about it.

  6. #16

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    Thank you so much . I'm going to print this thread and read it more closely with my husband. You have all given me such great info. I know it sounds obvious but we haven't been the best at limiting his exposure to things simply because he has a 15 yo brother and 16 yo sister who do tend to watch things and bring things into the house which "E" ends up seeing out of the corner of his eye. He's also strangely drawn to highly emotional, macabre and well, inappropriate things. Then my husband (entj) thinks he's helping by desensitizing E.

    why is your son going to a shrink?
    Because I no longer let primary care physicians mess around with brain drugs. And because I strongly believe that ADHD is a psychatric condition. I've researched it to death and am very well read on the subject and this is what I choose to believe at this time.

    most ENFJ children do not, from what I'm reading - they tend to have dark thoughts (sorry I can't cite that source).
    My ENFP daughter never had an issue either.

  7. #17
    unscannable Array Tigerlily's Avatar
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    I have spent most of my life afraid and it wasn't until recently that I stopped to realize that I no longer worry constantly. Our son is likely an INFP and he too worries about many things but the thing that stands out the most is death. He is only 8 years old but is thinking of this quite often. I don't freak out but calmly reassure him there is nothing to fear and that we are here for him. I think recently it's because he has taken notice of all the celebrity deaths being reported in the news.

    growing up and to this day, my ISFJ mother thinks I am odd and can't understand the way I think and the honest things I tell my kids. My husband and I are upfront with them and don't believe in candy coating more than we have to so we discuss things like death (when brought up) in hopes that they will understand rather than just brushing the subject under then rug and leaving them to their own conclusions.

    He will be fine because from what you've said here you love him and want him to be happy and as long as he has your love and support he will do well. Guide him towards the things he enjoys (music, art, etc). My mother never encouraged or supported me so this is extremely important to me with our kids.

    Edit: i am still afraid of being alone in the dark and sleep with the hall light on.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Array MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    That was really typical for me at that age, yes. I developed childhood OCD as a means of coping, and wish I'd had access to counseling for it. A professional, just to help him find some healthy coping strategies, might be really helpful. Also, avoiding scary movies. :P
    I think I think more than you think I think.

  9. #19

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    Oh Jen, my son had the death worry too. Actually he was really depressed when he realized that as the youngest person in our family that he 'would be the last one standing.' This caused him so my distress that I took him to the first counsellor.

    BTW, I'm afraid of the dark myself and am also a worrier.

    I was actually OK with it, and thought of it as just his personality until I realized that it was really holding him back and he TOLD us that he didn't want to feel worried and scared all the time.

    Yesterday he asked me if I had considered doing something about my wrinkles (what wrinkles??!!) because seeing my face up close reminded him how old I was and that I wasn't likely to live much longer - and he didn't like to be reminded of that. Ok...hmm.

    I developed childhood OCD as a means of coping, and wish I'd had access to counseling for it
    Thanks for your input Monkeygrass. Actually, it's not anxiety that my son's psychiatrist thinks might be secondary to the ADHD but OCD. He said that having anxiety might be part of a mild OCD, but he wants to get to know him better and see how things are in August.

    I just want to mention that contrary to what I just wrote my son is actually happy and well-adjusted most of the time, it's just that there is this undercurrent of worry and fear that comes out at certain times. But it's strong enough to hold him back.

  10. #20
    Was E.laur Array Laurie's Avatar
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    My extroverted 9 year old child has serious fear issues. We went through weather for a long time, even clouds would scare her. There were many others. I had to learn ways to deal with it the best. The thing I like to stress the most is that fears are GOOD. We have them to protect us and keep us out of bad situations. Everyone just has to learn how much fear is appropriate and makes sense for the situation.

    I thought we were over it but lately it's been movies. I think she doesn't even want to admit being scared anymore because it's embarassing, but I'm trying to work with her through it.

    He seems to have it intensely and has other issues that may make it hard for you to realize, but it isn't totally uncommon.

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