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  1. #1
    SingSmileShine
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    Default NFs and Anxiety/Depression

    Fellow NFs, I feel like we creative, emotional people get the short end of the stick often in the anxiety/depression area. It sucks that such awesome, genuinely wonderful people should get that.

    But, my question is: Do you notice a trend in NFs and depression/anxiety? Do you suffer from it? Are any particular types more susceptible? How do you best cope with it?

    Partly, this is a rant about how I feel that, as an ENFP, a lot of other ENFPs feel very similarly to me. I know that there are people of every type with a disorder like that, but I have noticed during my stumblings across the Interweb that it seems to be a trend in NFs, and particularly ENFPs (since that's what I looked for). I would appreciate it if you could answer my questions, though.

    Any and all thoughts on depression/anxiety welcome.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I actually made a thread about NFP's and anxiety a while back. I thought that the combination of feelings, subjectivity, and thinking of all the possibilities can make you super anxious. I have bad anxiety but counselor told me to stop thinking of everything that could possibly happen next and think of what is definite and don't get ahead of myself and it will help. One of my profs told me the same thing without me asking her and some people close to me have made comments that I'm jumping ahead of things too much and a lot of the things that I think about may not ever be. Because there is always the possibility that if you miss a step in life it could end in things like losing your family, accidentally killing someone, ending up starving and homeless, getting your teeth knocked out of your head, all the ways your house could catch on fire, etc. Then there is always the paranoia of what is going through other people's heads and concern over what people think of you. There's craploads of things that make me nervous or depressed though I have learned to laugh at myself about it. (There are the good possibilities too, of course, but those aren't the ones that make you anxious for the unknown.)

    Most enfp's seem pretty convivial but perhaps a little nervous on the outside sometimes.

    However, I've seen lots of types being anxious or depressed for various reasons so I'm not sure if it has a larger percentage in NF's than other folks. I have to say I can't picture an anxious enfj from what I can think of. They always seem super confident, streamlined and competent, and leadery to me.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
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    by sns.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingSmileShine View Post
    But, my question is: Do you notice a trend in NFs and depression/anxiety?
    I used to think so, but I've seen other types mistype as NF, specifically INFP, often, when they're depressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by SingSmileShine View Post
    Do you suffer from it?
    From time to time. Not to the point of harming myself, but enough to cripple my day to day activity. Shortnsweet pretty much explained it and I was much like that as a youth. Other times, it comes from seemingly no where. It's like I feel hollow, people are moving on, I feel abandoned. I feel like there is nothing significant in my life, and that I'm not significant. Everything seems pointless. I feel as if my mind is trying to escape my body, kind of like derealization. Much of this is probably what they refer to as existential depression.

    Quote Originally Posted by SingSmileShine View Post
    Are any particular types more susceptible?
    Well, I'd imagine others deal with depression differently. There may be a specific coping tendency among specific types. They may seem normal. They may not speak of it, but underneath it all there is turmoil and misery. Some may put on a very good strong extroverted mask even.

    Quote Originally Posted by SingSmileShine View Post
    How do you best cope with it?
    I have a bad habit of isolating myself and trying to deal with it alone. I indulge in some of my favorite past times which includes drawing, listening to music and once in a while, writing. I'm having a bit of that feeling right now actually. That dark, hopeless, depressed feel. I just have to weather it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    wow are you me? yes to both worrying about all the things that might happen in the future and to what other people are thinking/feeling of me...
    did we get a bad deck of cards with our functions? either they are not very useful in the world or I'm just misunderstood by the majority. either way it sucks.
    what is the solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    I actually made a thread about NFP's and anxiety a while back. I thought that the combination of feelings, subjectivity, and thinking of all the possibilities can make you super anxious. I have bad anxiety but counselor told me to stop thinking of everything that could possibly happen next and think of what is definite and don't get ahead of myself and it will help. One of my profs told me the same thing without me asking her and some people close to me have made comments that I'm jumping ahead of things too much and a lot of the things that I think about may not ever be. Because there is always the possibility that if you miss a step in life it could end in things like losing your family, accidentally killing someone, ending up starving and homeless, getting your teeth knocked out of your head, all the ways your house could catch on fire, etc. Then there is always the paranoia of what is going through other people's heads and concern over what people think of you. There's craploads of things that make me nervous or depressed though I have learned to laugh at myself about it. (There are the good possibilities too, of course, but those aren't the ones that make you anxious for the unknown.)

    Most enfp's seem pretty convivial but perhaps a little nervous on the outside sometimes.

    However, I've seen lots of types being anxious or depressed for various reasons so I'm not sure if it has a larger percentage in NF's than other folks. I have to say I can't picture an anxious enfj from what I can think of. They always seem super confident, streamlined and competent, and leadery to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkgraffiti View Post
    wow are you me? yes to both worrying about all the things that might happen in the future and to what other people are thinking/feeling of me...
    did we get a bad deck of cards with our functions? either they are not very useful in the world or I'm just misunderstood by the majority. either way it sucks.
    what is the solution?
    Yes, exactly!! I can't just stop thinking the way I do though I've tried many times. About five years ago, my counselor just told me to take deep breaths and focus on what is in front of me, and forget about alternate possibilities all together. It had some success in stopping major anxiety attacks, but I've modified it to try to just catch myself when I go off onto a spiral and at least adding equally likely good possibilities. Since it's very difficult to be in a totally present meditative-Buddah like state all the time.

    like, "wait, why is my boss looking at me like that? wait, now she's avoiding my gaze. frowning. OMG I'm the worst worker, what did I do, she doesn't want to approach me about something. Okay, recap of the last month. I'm like five minutes late every day!! Not only that, I start reading when I could be doing extra tasks. Someone told her about the reading!! Someone told her that I'm lazy and I probably missed a whole bunch of things and don't consider anything or anyone when I make my decisions! Not only that, I'm a horrible supervisor!! Too supportive of the aides, never firm enough. They are probably totally running amok out there causing trouble and it's totally going under my radar!! Holy crap, I put everyone in a bad mood". Well now I'm more likely to stop mid- crazy spiraling and at least say, "or she could be having a really bad day, maybe just ask her what's wrong, joke around, help her lighten up- it probably means nothing at all, I'm just crazy it's okay. If it's me she'll tell me, i'll try to fix it. I'm so weird. haha. I'm not the sun and my work is not the Earth or the other way around or something. Some poor kid somewhere in the world is not crying for food over a chain of events that I started by reading a book at work, I guess."

    So I'm still over analyzing some situations but at least trying to steer the analysis towards a dead end or more positive outcome.

    I'm always sure this trait has value in some situations where alternate explanations could be needed, but it's really hard to see the value in it when you are stuck in your own mind being subjective. Positive spiraling possibilities can be great, too. I think they are just less noticeable as they aren't traumatizing or paralyzing you or causing a big ruckus in your head.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  6. #6
    SingSmileShine
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    Thank you so much to everyone who's answered. I really appreciate it and I'm glad that you all have ways to battle it!

  7. #7
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    thank you all. this thread is relevant to my interests because I'm back suffering from anxiety after about 4 years "clean". I'm getting a lot of aggressiveness from my boss and i can't take it at all.

    @SingSmileShine years ago when i first started having anxiety issues what helped me was the phrase "what doesn't bend brake". it's from here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O25LNr_3YQ so instead of fighting an anxiety attack i'd just "ride the wave". it really helps because you stop being afraid of your anxiety attacks. and you know, anxiety feeds on fear. it is the anticipation of future suffering. so when you start accepting that you will survive an attack, then you stop being afraid of them and they naturally reduce.

    nevertheless, i still need suggestions to be less anxious in general. so far the ones that have helped me have been:
    1. meditating
    2. crying
    3. getting angry
    4. talking about the problem with someone
    5. listening to calm music (sigur ros is just amazing at this effect)
    6. listening to rock
    7. distracting yourself in an activity of interest
    8. (not good) controlling it, so it becomes physical pain -> i get gastritis or cervical pain. does anyone also experience similar things? the more i try to control my anxiety the more i get physical pain, and the more i try to ease on the physical pain, the more the anxiety is back. (only in periods when I'm naturally anxious, of course)

  8. #8
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkgraffiti View Post
    thank you all. this thread is relevant to my interests because I'm back suffering from anxiety after about 4 years "clean". I'm getting a lot of aggressiveness from my boss and i can't take it at all.

    @SingSmileShine years ago when i first started having anxiety issues what helped me was the phrase "what doesn't bend brake". it's from here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O25LNr_3YQ so instead of fighting an anxiety attack i'd just "ride the wave". it really helps because you stop being afraid of your anxiety attacks. and you know, anxiety feeds on fear. it is the anticipation of future suffering. so when you start accepting that you will survive an attack, then you stop being afraid of them and they naturally reduce.

    nevertheless, i still need suggestions to be less anxious in general. so far the ones that have helped me have been:
    1. meditating
    2. crying
    3. getting angry
    4. talking about the problem with someone
    5. listening to calm music (sigur ros is just amazing at this effect)
    6. listening to rock
    7. distracting yourself in an activity of interest
    8. (not good) controlling it, so it becomes physical pain -> i get gastritis or cervical pain. does anyone also experience similar things? the more i try to control my anxiety the more i get physical pain, and the more i try to ease on the physical pain, the more the anxiety is back. (only in periods when I'm naturally anxious, of course)
    Ick! No fun.
    Best non pharmacological interventions for me are exercise, diet corrections, plenty of sleep, and deep breathing. If not meds, I'll go for a short jog (if it's just an anxiety jog, it can clear in 10 minutes sometimes), and call a really understanding friend or my mom. (As mentioned above.) And yes!! I agree. It sounds really obvious but "staying calm" during panic attacks really helps. Just kind of letting it do what it's going to do while remembering it won't hurt you. If we're talking about that acute of a level of anxiety, (I've never tried this) but in one of my lectures they told us that people put a lemon in their mouth and it works. The shock and bitterness brings you directly back to the present moment. Goal is to stay focused on the lemon. I've never tried it before.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    ps. this helped me too. i only read like the first 5 pages, skimming, and it was enough anyways
    http://www.2shared.com/document/WjTr...y_Program.html

  10. #10
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    However, I've seen lots of types being anxious or depressed for various reasons so I'm not sure if it has a larger percentage in NF's than other folks. I have to say I can't picture an anxious enfj from what I can think of. They always seem super confident, streamlined and competent, and leadery to me.
    I think when an ENFP is anxious and it's related to type it has a very specific vibe/course that it runs. First, I think especially in female ENFPs people may be totally unaware that the person feels any kind of anxiety. The outside picture is of a sociable, confident, even bubbly or exuberant person. But inside, the anxiety is debilitating and can cause sudden panic attacks. I think for whatever reason, anxiety is often an element of an ENFP's make-up. I think it's the runaway Ne and murky Si symbolism meshing with poignant emo feeling Fi so basically there's just A LOT of *mental* energy that is whirring inside coupled with a lot of emotions experienced daily that need to be sorted and understood. If that doesn't get an outlet all of it turns into generalized anxiety and then degrades

    I think anxiety/depression is also common in INTPs but it takes on a totally different flavor due to our different types. Not blessed with the veneer of sociability and extroversion, it makes INTPs seem even more withdrawn and awkward and probably most people looking on the outside just think the INTP is "awkward" or a curmudgeon.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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