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  1. #1
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    Default How to pull out female INTJ out of depression

    Hi all,

    this is my first post on the NT forum I think...

    I've a friend who is an INTJ and is undergoing therapy for depression. What can I do as an INFJ to help? What 'language' can I speak?

    I no longer recognize the courageous woman I once knew and admired. She's been made redundant recently and prior to that, has been bullied by a boss from hell. My friend has always been a straight-shooter but the conniving bitch finally got her out of a job in which she excelled. My friend's competency was called into question at every turn. She's had to keep good records of every decision she made because everything got twisted to make her appear at fault...

    Any INTJ who's been through similar hell and back?

    I've always known any INTJ in my life to be so self-reliant and never seen an INTJ fall apart like that. It's worrisome. But then the last few years have been very rough for her. You cannot keep on working in a toxic environment without it finally chipping away at your defenses. To make matters worse, her hubby is not really that supportive though she insists "he's put up with her so much" and it bothers me but I cannot and should not interfere, only listen.

    Thank you for reading my rant... Any feedback would be appreciated.

    I.Cloud.

  2. #2
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    you sound like a very good friend

    Speaking as someone who has both been through depression and is standing beside my ENTJ friend who was there for me, listening and patience and understanding are the best things you can offer. It's painful and scary on both sides of the fence, as the depressed person and as a supportive friend, as I'm now learning.

    My ENTJ is a very strong extrovert, I know how much he hates spending time alone, and yet part of the reason he is depressed has to do with some money he owes me. So there are times where, if there is no one else around to hang out with, he would rather be alone than spend time with me. I can't even describe how much that hurts me, but my point is that the language of understanding is really important right now. As you've mentioned she is someone you no longer recognize, simply keep that in mind if she does or says something that hurts you because it's not about you. Be there when she needs you, LISTEN, if you sense she is about to do something really harmful (ie. hurt herself, reckless behaviour, etc.) then absolutely try to protect her by any means, but in the end there isn't a whole lot YOU can do, she must pull herself out of this.

    Also, I stumbled across this thread when I was looking to answer similar questions about my ENTJ, it may help you: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...epression.html
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  3. #3
    Senior Member thescientist's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear what your friend is going through.

    I'm a female INTJ and have been down the depression road. It was chronic for a few years so it was a constant battle. It is more recently lifting and I have been feeling SO much better.

    What are your friend's symptoms if I may ask? Is she isolating herself? Not eating? Over-eating? Does she feel like a failure?

    I had a great ENFJ friend who would read me like a book. She was capable of telling me all the great and positive things about me. It really helped my self-esteem, because no matter how hard I tried, I could only see my failures, as small and petty as they were. I could never focus on my good attributes. Some re-affirmative words could be of tremendous help for her.

    If she's isolating herself...(she may not like this) try to get her out of her head. Invite her out, keep her mentally busy on other things. We will need our alone time, but during depression we will want it excessively. It's not healthy. We ruminate in our minds for far too long and it only makes us feel worse. Exercise is great for upping those serotonin levels. Maybe get her to join a gym? It could be empowering for her.

    I did other things personally to lift the depression. Medication worked temporarily for me, but I disliked how it made me feel zombie-like. So I turned to natural medicine recently. Turns out I was deficient in some key vitamins and minerals that aid in the production of serotonin. I changed my diet, cut out almost all sugars/starches, dairy, yeast. It was a sort of detox diet. It sounds drastic, but I had already tried everything else...and I was so tired of feeling the way I did. I was skeptical from the start. But it has WORKED. I can cope so much better. I'm not sure if she needs to go this route since her depression seems to be situational and not chronic like mine, but it wouldn't hurt to make sure she's taking multi-vitamins and B-Complex. I can feel a difference in my mood when I take them.

  4. #4
    ThatGirl
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    Best thing you can do for your friend is be there unconditionally. Treat them as the person they used to be, not by who they have become. Point out opportunities you think your friend would have picked up on by themselves before without guiding them to a specific action. Be patient.

    If your friend is anything like me, they will be trying to rebuild a foundation of that confidence that took a life time the first time. That confidence where nothing is ever left to chance, and they are the masters of their own destiny.

    Capability and autonomy is what NTJs prize in themselves. If your whole foundation crashes, it may take a while to figure out how to rebuild it again with out beating themselves up in the process.

    From what I know, NTJs are solution driven. They wont stop till it is fixed. The more of a perfectionist they are, the longer the battle.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    you sound like a very good friend

    ...

    mentioned she is someone you no longer recognize, simply keep that in mind if she does or says something that hurts you because it's not about you. Be there when she needs you, LISTEN, if you sense she is about to do something really harmful (ie. hurt herself, reckless behaviour, etc.) then absolutely try to protect her by any means, but in the end there isn't a whole lot YOU can do, she must pull herself out of this.

    Also, I stumbled across this thread when I was looking to answer similar questions about my ENTJ, it may help you: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...epression.html


    Thanks, I'll remember that.

    I went through the thread you suggested. What I gather is that depressive INTJs still want to be able to feel 'in control' of their own recovery and that is good news I think.

    I doubt she is about to do something hurtful to herself. But good to keep in mind.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    First of all, for taking the time to share your perspective and for getting out of it eventually and cheers to your upcoming full recovery.

    Yes, she is isolating herself and feeling a lot like a failure.

    Ok, I'll remember to affirm the courageous, competent, very professional, systematic and pro-active person that I knew.

    Ok, plenty of outdoors exercise but not too much crowd at first - must be draining for a depressed person to have to make small talk with strangers.

    Ok for the diet change - give her a project to work on...

    It looks like the depression is situational (workplace harassment) but then, it can easily become entrenched through insufficient care at an early stage or more disappointments at a professional level or lack of emotional support by close ones.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl;

    [B
    Capability and autonomy is what NTJs prize in themselves.[/B] If your whole foundation crashes, it may take a while to figure out how to rebuild it again with out beating themselves up in the process.

    From what I know, NTJs are solution driven. They wont stop till it is fixed. The more of a perfectionist they are, the longer the battle.
    Capability and autonomy is the foundation of the INTJ sense of identity?

    I am trying to wrap my mind around this. I value being competent and capable and also independent. But I would say, to have my sense of identity built on 'capability' and 'autonomy'... Does that mean that the depressive INTJ will beat herself up on being a burden to the spectators of her depression??? Does that mean she cannot stomach one nasty person's calling into question her capability? Why should it matter what some idiot bully think of her abilities? Would that mean that the INTJ has blinkers that make her not SEE caring/concerned/worried family members? Would that 'capability and autonomy filter(?)' make them not see/hear support when it comes because it is not expressed in their 'language'?

    Please correct me if I am wrong or have misunderstood.

  8. #8
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immaculate Cloud View Post
    Capability and autonomy is the foundation of the INTJ sense of identity?

    I am trying to wrap my mind around this. I value being competent and capable and also independent. But I would say, to have my sense of identity built on 'capability' and 'autonomy'... Does that mean that the depressive INTJ will beat herself up on being a burden to the spectators of her depression??? Does that mean she cannot stomach one nasty person's calling into question her capability? Why should it matter what some idiot bully think of her abilities? Would that mean that the INTJ has blinkers that make her not SEE caring/concerned/worried family members? Would that 'capability and autonomy filter(?)' make them not see/hear support when it comes because it is not expressed in their 'language'?
    I have no experience with serious depression, but I can tell you that ThatGirl is essentially correct about autonomy and identity. Remember also that we tend to be our own worst critics. Even while depressed, your friend might not care what some idiot bully thinks about her abilities, but if she perceives herself as less able to do things she used to do with ease, she will be very hard on herself since she is not living up to her own standards. If she feels she is being a burden on friends and family, this may also fuel the self-criticism. Even healthy INTJs like to be self-reliant and independent. Your friend may correctly interpret the intentions of concerned friends and family, but may view the help offered as not the right kind of help, and may even feel insulted or put out by it if it draws (her own) attention to something she used to do for herself. This is a poor analogy, but I would suspect the average INTJ would prefer to be shown how to do something for themselves than to have it done for them. Offers of the second kind may be poorly received, even by healthy INTJs.

    Good luck helping your friend. INTJs can be hard to befriend at the best of times. She is fortunate to have a good friend who will stick by her through this.

  9. #9
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    I wonder, do you think a good idea might be asking them to help you with something? That way they can feel like they are contributing rather than a burden and then they also have the companionship of a friend who cares about them (while you do whatever it is they're helping you with)?
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis;1228561

    but if she perceives [B
    herself[/B] as less able to do things she used to do with ease, she will be very hard on herself since she is not living up to her own standards. If she feels she is being a burden on friends and family, this may also fuel the self-criticism. Even healthy INTJs like to be self-reliant and independent. Your friend may correctly interpret the intentions of concerned friends and family, but may view the help offered as not the right kind of help, and may even feel insulted or put out by it if it draws (her own) attention to something she used to do for herself. This is a poor analogy, but I would suspect the average INTJ would prefer to be shown how to do something for themselves than to have it done for them. Offers of the second kind may be poorly received, even by healthy INTJs..
    Thanks. I'll try to tread lightly, listen more for cues and basically let her call the shots. I don't want her to feel overwhelmed by "the infj on a rescuing mission"...

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