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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Unhappy how to make infp to not eat unhealthy food?

    so heres the deal. i got this infp friend who is obese, tries to lose weight, and acts like a heroin addict when it comes to ben & jerry's, soda, junk food etc. he manages to stay away from them occasionally(usually due to bets or other agreements made with other people(he even made a "formal" contract that he had to sign once with our friend)), but relapses eventually(usually instantly after these bets or agreements end). he has done this for about 3 years. usually it starts from something like one ice cream or something and he always thinks that he can stop after this, but 90% of times he cant. during these relapses he goes crazy, about everything he eats for food is junk food and he eats other crap daily.

    he is on heavy anti-psychotic medication and they make this craving for crap food even worse, but its not all because of them, they just make it bit worse.

    he is also addicted to nicotine and have stopped smoking few times but relapsed, he says its easier to stay away from junk food/candy when he smokes. he stopped smoking few days ago, because he had some mild complications(that basically just scared him) caused by nicotine and his medication. now after stopped smoking he started to eat crap again.

    he clearly has some addiction problems(luckily he never got addicted to alcohol, but he also has slight addiction when it comes to slot machines) that he tries to fill with either nicotine or eating crap. he says that he needs something like that to keep him happy. i have tried explaining that he shouldnt treat this problem just forcing himself to stay out of junk food, but that he should treat this addiction problem as a whole, he knows it but doesent do anything about it, even tho he doesent like it(or he likes to eat crap, but overally doesent like to have addictions).

    he knows that he shouldnt eat crap that much and should stay away from it completely, because he cant just have a ben & jerry's once in a while, because he simply cant do it once in a while.

    everyone in our circle of friends have tried to help him, support him, scare him, guilt trip him etc etc and nothing seems to work. and everyone are getting bored/stopped to even try much anymore because nothing works on him. i think im the only one who still believes that he might be able to do it some day..

    anyone got some suggestions on how to help him with this or what not to do? help would be very much appreciated.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Adasta's Avatar
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    Once again, I only speak from personal experience, lest the MBTI police attack me for not knowing enough about function theory.

    It is sometimes hard to take advice as an INFP because it feels like criticism. Your friend is almost certainly ignoring the facts of the matter because it's easier just to daydream. In terms of my own health, I had two personal revolutions. When I was about 18 I realised that I was far, far too skinny ever to play sport, which is what I wanted to start doing again. I researched everything about nutrition and started going to the gym. I became really dedicated in that because it fit into my own world view. Rather than being "criticised" by other people, I took my own initiative - this is the key point. You need to construct your advice in a positive way that forces him to change things, but in a way which makes it appear as if he is the one in control.

    I really enjoy exercise (as an INFP) - I enjoy its physicality as I "respect" its difference from the ideological and non-corporeal world I tend to inhabit. Plus, it's personal, so I don't have to deal with anyone else - this is significant.
    That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
    Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
    Of any world where promises were kept,
    Or one could weep because another wept.

  3. #3
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Can he ride a bike?

    Some anti-psychotics make you gain wait. Why is he taking them?

  4. #4
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    Arrange a crime that he gets caught for. In prison I presume there is scheduled and healthy meals.

  5. #5
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    Once again, I only speak from personal experience, lest the MBTI police attack me for not knowing enough about function theory.

    It is sometimes hard to take advice as an INFP because it feels like criticism. Your friend is almost certainly ignoring the facts of the matter because it's easier just to daydream. In terms of my own health, I had two personal revolutions. When I was about 18 I realised that I was far, far too skinny ever to play sport, which is what I wanted to start doing again. I researched everything about nutrition and started going to the gym. I became really dedicated in that because it fit into my own world view. Rather than being "criticised" by other people, I took my own initiative - this is the key point. You need to construct your advice in a positive way that forces him to change things, but in a way which makes it appear as if he is the one in control.

    I really enjoy exercise (as an INFP) - I enjoy its physicality as I "respect" its difference from the ideological and non-corporeal world I tend to inhabit. Plus, it's personal, so I don't have to deal with anyone else - this is significant.
    he knows about nutrition and how much calories he should eat etc. he did jogging few times a week in the summer(and liked it) and was (imo even bit too much) dedicated to it. but now its winter and its bit hard to jog, not to mention its not fun at all, he is thinking of starting it again in the spring, and im pretty sure that he will. but even when he jogged, it didnt help much on losing weight, because of these relapses. he even turned into vegetarian at some point, but just made fatty vege food and it made him feel weak and that he doesent have enough energy. he used to go to gym, but he couldnt do it for long.

    he does feel usually like being criticized, when we/i offer advices or tell him why the way he does it doesent work much and how he should do. i have tried things like getting him to kick foot bag(hacky sack) with me in the summer more often, since he enjoys it and its even better exercise than jogging and doesent feel like something he has to do, but something that he wants to do, but he is too lazy for that..

    got any exact advices that i should tell him? i cant really figure out positive advices that would make him think that he is in control and forces him to change things.

    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    Can he ride a bike?

    Some anti-psychotics make you gain wait. Why is he taking them?
    yes, but i dont think he can do it in snow.

    he has schizophrenic ocd
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Oeufa's Avatar
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    You can't really do anything. He has all the information he needs. He knows what to do, how to do it and what it will do for him. He has to do it for himself and no amount of persuading, coercing, berating, encouraging or anything else is going to do it for him. You know this. Neither positive nor negative external forces will sway him.

    It's nice that you care, but it isn't really your business. You've done what you can, he knows how you feel and how you will help him if he wants it. Now leave him be.
    Ti>Ne>Si>Te>Fi>Ni>Se=Fe

    And yes, there are such things as INTPs who overuse emoticons

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sizzling Berry's Avatar
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    Hello INTP,

    Could I ask you if your friend talked about it to his psychiatrist/therapist? Would he be willing to try it?

    Maybe he would benefit from professional assistance. It can be tricky to try to help him. A professional with training, experience and helpful attitude could be really supportive in the situation. Especially with OCD in the picture.

    And this is how addiction works. It's less about a certain behaviour. The core is that a person uses the behaviour to regulate their mood - like eating to stay happy. So it actually comes more from emotional than information level.

    Best of luck, fingers crossed
    Hot-hearted head

  8. #8
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    ^ my thoughts also

    medication like ritalin or concerta or adderall could potentially be helpful, if they would not interfere with his other meds or his condition. they both decrease appetite and increase motivation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    im pretty sure that he has talked about this with his therapist, but it doesent seem to help. his sessions with his therapist is more like checking that he isnt losing his mind. and more like "how you feeling?" "im fine" etc. than some intense talk about his problem not related to his mental illness. i think he sees his therapist like once a month and its not often enough to work with this imo.

    i dont think his ocd has much anything to do with this, since its more like he thinks that something bad will happen to someone unless he does some ritual. like when he was at his worst, after hugging for bye he had to touch me multiple times until he could touch so that this though wouldnt arise. but he doesent really have this kind of thoughts much anymore because of really heavy medication(he takes 7 pills twice a day, two of 3 different kinds of antipsychotics and one of one kind if i remember right).

    The core is that a person uses the behaviour to regulate their mood - like eating to stay happy. So it actually comes more from emotional than information level.
    interesting point on this regulating his mood, that makes sense. but one tricky thing about this is that once the addiction has evolved further, the person comes dependent to filling the void, not just the substance that he is using for that. kinda hard to explain. like a normal person who havent developed this problem of addictions can do mostly anything that makes him happy to regulate his mood, but person with addiction needs an addiction to regulate it, thats why people with addictions, just move into another after giving up one addiction. like they create tolerance for this regular basis one type of fulfillment for the void, so they cant go jogging one moment they feel down, eat candy on one occasion etc, but instead they develop a habit for one type of filling the void. and imo this is what he needs to get out of, i have explained it to him and he knows it, but he says that he needs some addiction(he didnt use the word addiction, but basically meant it). i have explained to him that once he gets out of this habit of addictive type of fulfillment, he can feel good about things even without it and he knows it, but still is unable to do anything to get out of it, apparently its just too hard for him. like when he was jogging in the summer, he could stop eating, but it was because of the rush that he got from jogging replacing the fulfillment that he got from eating, so basically he didnt get off from addictive type of fulfillment mentality, just replased the addiction with another. and now that he cant go jogging and cant smoke, he just returns to eating.

    i kinda need ideas on how to make him go through this addiction based fulfillment mentality that he has until he can get enjoyment from a broader range of things and how to get him from returning to these addictions, because its really like some heroin addiction, if he does it once, its most likely back to old routines.. i mean it only takes one pizza for him to return to these habits. also he is super ignorant to this fact most the time, especially when he starts to get this graving.

    For Ti types its usually enough that he understands these facts, but apparently its not so with Fi types. what kind of stuff would make him to understand this?

    @skylights
    i dont think its a good idea to add more medication to him.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  10. #10
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    I highly recommend the book "Hungry: The Lessons Learned on the Journey from Fat to Thin." http://www.amazon.com/Hungry-Lessons...2088829&sr=8-1. It talks about a lot of food addiction issues, and the book is a fairly light and interesting read, with a few practical tips, so it may get to him. An example is listing "red / yellow / green" foods.

    Red foods are foods that he CANNOT eat, no matter what, because they will trigger a binge. Those foods are like alcohol to an alcoholic, and must be avoided. Yellow foods are foods that are on the cusp. They don't trigger a binge necessarily, but they are dangerous. Yellow foods either become red or green. Green foods are the foods that he can eat at any time, with no concerns. Things like salad and lean chicken rarely cause food binges in people.

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