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  1. #1
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Default Advice for an ENFP with anxiety

    Hi everybody.

    I'm a nearly-18 ENfP who is in the middle of her first term in university.

    I have a couple issues that are preventing me from being able to get things done consistently.

    1) I have a messed up sleeping schedule. It's been messed up for as long as I can remember. It's worse now that I'm in college because I don't have consistent times of the day that I'm forced to wake up at. I get tired at the worst times (right before class) and wake up at ungodly hours. Yesterday I went to sleep at 7am, woke up at 5pm and slept again until 11pm. It's 1:30am now and I'm fully awake and clearheaded lol. The only times in my life I can recall sleeping normally for an extended period of time is when I've been on vacation in other countries (jet lag + time zone difference + pressure to sleep and wake up normally so I can enjoy myself), and then the habit extends for a couple weeks after I return home. Then afterwards I go back to my old ways. I've tried melatonin and nyquil, but the effects I get from them aren't exactly ideal. I've tried not eating around bedtime and cutting caffeine, I've tried having snacks before bed; nothing produces reliable results.

    2) For the past two years, I've struggled with depression and anxiety. The symptoms are mostly gone now, and I've been off medication for a couple months. I don't get panic attacks anymore, but occasionally when I'm feeling a lot of stress I will go a little crazy and it'll prevent me from getting stuff done properly, or from getting out of the house and going to classes and other appointments. I haven't been able to handle stress as well as I used to before all of my medical problems. The messed up sleeping thing definitely contributes to my anxiety.

    I've always made to-do lists. They do help, but it sucks because in the middle of the day I'll feel ridiculously tired and not be able to feel better even with food or coffee, so I just have to sleep. Then I don't get a lot of stuff done, and that just makes me even more anxious. I try to go easy on myself because negative self-talk only makes things worse, and I've been more accomodating to my limitations and trying to figure out how I can use the strengths that I still have. I don't want to get frustrated with myself, but at the same time, I don't want my aspirations to all go to hell because my functioning and productivity is just so unpredictable right now.

    Thanks for reading all of this, guys. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    sparkly sparkly rainbow excretions

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    holy shit am I a feeler?
    if you like my avatar, it's because i took it myself! : D

  2. #2
    Senior Member typologywhore's Avatar
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    Aw, this sounds annoying I relate a lot; I'm in my second year of uni and the first was pretty much eaten up with severe depression/anxiety :/

    Hmmm. -tries to be helpful-

    Maybe with the sleeping thing, it help to establish a positive morning routine that you actively want to engage in, which will motivate you to get to bed at a reasonable time so you can get up and do it. For instance you could plan to get up at 9:30 so you can go out and grab coffee at 10; then there'll be a reason to go to sleep so you won't miss your coffee-date!

    For negative self-talk/rumination, keeping a journal might be helpful. In my experience, when there's some issue or anxiety just going round and round in your head, the act of writing it down sort of...distances you from it; it puts it in perspective, in a way, as well as making it easier to look over your thought processes and spot illogicalities or habitual ways of thinking that may be keeping you stuck, thereby making it easier to challenge these and move on to more positive modes of thought and behaviour.

    ...or something :/

  3. #3
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darling devotee View Post


    Aw, this sounds annoying I relate a lot; I'm in my second year of uni and the first was pretty much eaten up with severe depression/anxiety :/

    Hmmm. -tries to be helpful-

    Maybe with the sleeping thing, it help to establish a positive morning routine that you actively want to engage in, which will motivate you to get to bed at a reasonable time so you can get up and do it. For instance you could plan to get up at 9:30 so you can go out and grab coffee at 10; then there'll be a reason to go to sleep so you won't miss your coffee-date!

    For negative self-talk/rumination, keeping a journal might be helpful. In my experience, when there's some issue or anxiety just going round and round in your head, the act of writing it down sort of...distances you from it; it puts it in perspective, in a way, as well as making it easier to look over your thought processes and spot illogicalities or habitual ways of thinking that may be keeping you stuck, thereby making it easier to challenge these and move on to more positive modes of thought and behaviour.

    ...or something :/
    Thanks darling.

    The morning routine thing seems like a good idea.. I used to wake up early to go for a jog and do all sorts of stuff. I'll definitely try that out. I just have to think of a morning schedule now that sounds appealing to me.

    And I do already keep a blog right now where I write all that stuff down. It does seem to help me think things over.

    How have you been coping with life and school this year? What's been different for you?
    sparkly sparkly rainbow excretions

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    holy shit am I a feeler?
    if you like my avatar, it's because i took it myself! : D

  4. #4
    Senior Member typologywhore's Avatar
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    Cool! I can imagine the blog working well

    For me, this year it's pretty much - life's going well; school, not so much XD

    Most of last year's stuff was sort of...long term issues coming to a head. I'd been plagued with fairly severe (and undiagnosed) social anxiety since early adolescence; there were also latent issues of gender identity and sexuality that I was gradually becoming aware of; and also a general, premature-mid-life-crisis "AAA WHERE THE F-CK IS MY LIFE GOING D:" kinda thing going on. I felt disempowered, torn apart and helpless; I HATED the uni environment and its social and academic expectations, but couldn't articulate why, or what I wanted instead.

    12 or so months down the line, it feels like I'm aware of the big latent identity issues that were causing me such an angstgasm, which is a major step. I'm much happier in my own sense of myself; for the first time in a long time/ever, I really feel in touch with who I am and what I really need from life, and I'm learning more all the time And also progressively kicking social anxiety's pasty ass, which feels awesome

    School, on the other hand...A good two years too late, I've realised I'm not really academic/intellectual at all, a small problem when you're doing a intellectually-show-offy degree at a prestigious uni :/ I'm not motivated, at all. I just don't care about it, and don't want to make myself care; it just feels like academics is sucking my energy away from the things I really care about.

    So, the question now is whether to drop out, or...what..

    /ramble
    Sorry if this was inappropriately long D: Just hit my stride for verbalising stuff, I guess.

  5. #5
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darling devotee View Post
    Cool! I can imagine the blog working well

    For me, this year it's pretty much - life's going well; school, not so much XD

    Most of last year's stuff was sort of...long term issues coming to a head. I'd been plagued with fairly severe (and undiagnosed) social anxiety since early adolescence; there were also latent issues of gender identity and sexuality that I was gradually becoming aware of; and also a general, premature-mid-life-crisis "AAA WHERE THE F-CK IS MY LIFE GOING D:" kinda thing going on. I felt disempowered, torn apart and helpless; I HATED the uni environment and its social and academic expectations, but couldn't articulate why, or what I wanted instead.

    12 or so months down the line, it feels like I'm aware of the big latent identity issues that were causing me such an angstgasm, which is a major step. I'm much happier in my own sense of myself; for the first time in a long time/ever, I really feel in touch with who I am and what I really need from life, and I'm learning more all the time And also progressively kicking social anxiety's pasty ass, which feels awesome

    School, on the other hand...A good two years too late, I've realised I'm not really academic/intellectual at all, a small problem when you're doing a intellectually-show-offy degree at a prestigious uni :/ I'm not motivated, at all. I just don't care about it, and don't want to make myself care; it just feels like academics is sucking my energy away from the things I really care about.

    So, the question now is whether to drop out, or...what..

    /ramble
    Sorry if this was inappropriately long D: Just hit my stride for verbalising stuff, I guess.
    Thanks for sharing this I can relate a lot with what you said here.
    sparkly sparkly rainbow excretions

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    holy shit am I a feeler?
    if you like my avatar, it's because i took it myself! : D

  6. #6
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    As far as sleep is concerned, it's all about getting on a schedule. Getting it started is the hard part. I've heard of people restricting their sleep for a few nights and then switching to their new schedule to get the routine going. This would make sure that you're nice and tired on day 1. It helps if you don't have too many situations where you just sleep in until noon, even if you were partying the night before. That might be a lot to ask from a college student, though.

    I also suffered from depression and serious social anxiety and panic when I was a teenager, I wonder how many ENFPs go through this. I'm glad to hear that you're doing better with it.

    So, you said that you aren't interested in academia and intellectual persuits... what *are* you interested in?
    ‚ĖĶ

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chloe's Avatar
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    if you need to be up early avoid light, even laptop light and tv prolong your circadian rhythm.. for a 30 minutes or an hour.

    that's the trick i've heard of that is scientifically proven, but i've never tested it cos it requieres discipiline

  8. #8
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niffer View Post
    Hi everybody.

    I'm a nearly-18 ENfP who is in the middle of her first term in university.

    I have a couple issues that are preventing me from being able to get things done consistently.

    1) I have a messed up sleeping schedule. It's been messed up for as long as I can remember. It's worse now that I'm in college because I don't have consistent times of the day that I'm forced to wake up at. I get tired at the worst times (right before class) and wake up at ungodly hours. Yesterday I went to sleep at 7am, woke up at 5pm and slept again until 11pm. It's 1:30am now and I'm fully awake and clearheaded lol. The only times in my life I can recall sleeping normally for an extended period of time is when I've been on vacation in other countries (jet lag + time zone difference + pressure to sleep and wake up normally so I can enjoy myself), and then the habit extends for a couple weeks after I return home. Then afterwards I go back to my old ways. I've tried melatonin and nyquil, but the effects I get from them aren't exactly ideal. I've tried not eating around bedtime and cutting caffeine, I've tried having snacks before bed; nothing produces reliable results.

    2) For the past two years, I've struggled with depression and anxiety. The symptoms are mostly gone now, and I've been off medication for a couple months. I don't get panic attacks anymore, but occasionally when I'm feeling a lot of stress I will go a little crazy and it'll prevent me from getting stuff done properly, or from getting out of the house and going to classes and other appointments. I haven't been able to handle stress as well as I used to before all of my medical problems. The messed up sleeping thing definitely contributes to my anxiety.

    I've always made to-do lists. They do help, but it sucks because in the middle of the day I'll feel ridiculously tired and not be able to feel better even with food or coffee, so I just have to sleep. Then I don't get a lot of stuff done, and that just makes me even more anxious. I try to go easy on myself because negative self-talk only makes things worse, and I've been more accomodating to my limitations and trying to figure out how I can use the strengths that I still have. I don't want to get frustrated with myself, but at the same time, I don't want my aspirations to all go to hell because my functioning and productivity is just so unpredictable right now.

    Thanks for reading all of this, guys. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    My younger twin!!!
    I have had the exact same problems. I had them in highschool, in college, and still have them at 26. Melatonin and nyquil were my big sleep aids as well, (but melatonin only kinda works and nyquil stops working after a while and also has that blah effect in the morning.) Panic attacks, sleeplessness, (or excessive sleep or odd sleeping habits and hours.) anxiety- (sometimes like a low level mania, other times depression- severe at times.) The to do lists to help stay on "target." (That fail sometimes.)

    I've seen a few counselors and tried meds. And well, like I said, I still have those problems- a lot of the times physical correction of habits helps.

    Avoid caffeine after a certain hour, avoid alcohol, eat a good diet. And number one for me has been EXERCISE! Cardio- running, specifically for me. During the day. It eliminates panic attacks (for the most part) and also helps zonk me at night.

    I am better off than I was at 18 and starting college, but still have a lot of messed up days, but strict management of these things often helps me get back to normal.

    Other alternate methods that have helped:

    Self hypnosis/ meditation.

    Not catastrophizing everything- trying to think about one thing at a time and stay in the moment- not worrying about the consequences of everything or what will be. (My "good" counselor and a psych professor called me on that one. I didn't even ask the psych prof- she noticed it on her own.)

    Deep breathing- (the kind they teach you to do in psych settings.) Breathing into a paper bag during panic attacks, (though it sounds like you have that one under control.)

    I have my own personalized routines for this stuff, it usually depends on whatever I'm dealing with at the time.
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    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
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  9. #9
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    i've done the sleep thing too. i know how much it sucks! now, i still stay up too late... but at least it's 2 am instead of 8 am. i think the easiest way i've found is to force myself up every day at some early time - me, i now have to get up at 6 am pretty much daily for work - and your body will eventually comply.

    it also helps me if i go outside in the morning. i don't know why... maybe i just like it. but it always seems to kickstart my day.

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