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  1. #1
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    Default question for istj's

    When an istj is depressed what do you go through and what does it feel like to be depressed? Do you realize how depressed you are?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Most of the time when I'm depressed, it's because I'm tired. Also, I might get depressed if I've had some drinks. So, practically a lowered state of awareness causes depression in me.

    "Am I missing something?" is mostly the question that keeps circling in my mind. Like many ISTJs, emotions are somewhat foreign to me, and that makes me feel detached from people. I might be asking myself if I have enough of social contacts, and whether they are worth it. Why can't I be more social? Why must it be so damn difficult?

    When I'm depressed, I feel slowed and very tired. Every action requires a double effort. Trying to work just makes my head hurt and feel dizzy. My awareness is lowered, as well as reaction time. Any physical activity quickly gets me exhausted. I can't focus on anything, because everything feels boring. Everything feels gray. People feel shallow and meaningless. I can only see negative things, and how others are probably right now having some very good time. It feels like I'm wasting my time doing nothing of importance, nothing to tell about and nothing remember.

    Yes, I do realize that I'm sometimes depressed. I have even been diagnosed with depression of medium level few years back. We feel better now.

    My depression comes and goes, and it usually isn't related to any immediate event. Lately it has been more on "gone" status, which is nice, but there are still days that make me feel little bit depressed. In such a case, I just try to take easy, do something I really like (a good movie, visit a friend, play a good game) and try to forget all my problems, and sometimes even list my good attributes.

    How come?
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    When I'm depressed, I feel slowed and very tired. Every action requires a double effort. Trying to work just makes my head hurt and feel dizzy. My awareness is lowered, as well as reaction time. Any physical activity quickly gets me exhausted. I can't focus on anything, because everything feels boring. Everything feels gray. People feel shallow and meaningless. I can only see negative things, and how others are probably right now having some very good time. It feels like I'm wasting my time doing nothing of importance, nothing to tell about and nothing remember.
    +1

    I've had that a few times before, usually due to overworking myself in some way. I naturally cut out people and anything considered pleasurable when I have to knuckle down to it. Usually I can cope somehow. There have been times when the isolation and boredom leads to me questioning the point of it all; I question the purpose of my life. I feel incapable of doing anything, literally just walking into another room gets me down. I like what Halla says about, "Everything feels grey". I usually get quite nostalgic as well, remembering random past events, and sometimes it feels like my life is a virtual reality. It's like, "What am I doing and how did I get here?" and I get a different perspective on people I'm close to, like I'm analysing them from a distance and they're strange to me.
    When I'm depressed over anything non-work related it leads to thoughts of self-destruction, and at this point I have been known to start smoking again, drink heavily and alone etc. I blame myself when I feel crap.

    I'm not sure if I've ever been clinically depressed because I've never seen a doctor. I imagine not, since after a couple of weeks the clouds tend to lift. I've never been so depressed I couldn't get out of bed. I feel 'down' pretty much most of the time at the moment.

    I don't think my natural negativity, and I imagine this is the case for all ISTJs, really helps. It makes me more inclined to look on the dark side. It's quite stressful because there's a pull between wanting to give up and just let go and the pull of responsibility, knowing what you must do.

    But yes, why do you ask? I'm guessing there's a reason...

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    Thanks very much for your insights. It really helps me to understand. I ask because my good friend who is an ISTJ (we studied Myers Briggs and Ennea together) isolates a lot when he is depressed and I am just not trying to take it too personal. Why do you feel the need to cut out people in your life? Even when you have such good friends?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esfpmary View Post
    I ask because my good friend who is an ISTJ (we studied Myers Briggs and Ennea together) isolates a lot when he is depressed and I am just not trying to take it too personal. Why do you feel the need to cut out people in your life? Even when you have such good friends?
    I don't know the specific case, but in general, a depression is a long-term condition that is not related to any specific person or event. It's complicated, and it's very difficult to say what causes the depression. There probably ain't any specific reason to single out. And depression feeds itself, so it can be really difficult to break.

    But usually friends, stress-free environment and stable life will get you ahead. In depression, person's mood becomes very flat, and he loses interest in much about everything. One should not feel offended, should a depressed person try to isolate himself/herself. Especially introverts tend to do this, since they have a much less of a need for a company. And introverts are probably more likely being passive about connecting, than actually cutting off these connections. It must probably feel horrible for such an connection-oriented person as ESFP, but we ISTJs are perfectly happy with just ourselves. Well, not always, as we can see here.

    I'd say depression is a mood-disorder first, rather than mental disorder. In a case of ISTJ, it can project itself as a visions of doom and grayness of things. ISTJs become overtly logical and their F-side will diminish. So, don't try to reason them back to their senses, it won't work. It might even worsen it.

    Saying things like "Cheer up! Let's throw a party!" is probably the most awful thing to say to a depressed ISTJ. It's so wrong in many levels. Depressed person can't just 'cheer up', since it's their mood that has the disorder in the first place! It's like telling a wheel-chair patient to run.

    So, what to do with a depressed person then? Well, showing that you care is a starter. But it mustn't be too forced. Just sit down, and listen to whatever he/she has to say. Forget about whatever happened to you today, and just make it all about his/her feelings.

    What really helped me was that I was able to share my thoughts with a friend. And that I managed to force myself to meet new people. And that I added some more content into my life. And some other things too.

    The 23 best things to say to someone who Is Depressed

    Worst Things to Say to Someone Who Is Depressed
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by esfpmary View Post
    Thanks very much for your insights. It really helps me to understand. I ask because my good friend who is an ISTJ (we studied Myers Briggs and Ennea together) isolates a lot when he is depressed and I am just not trying to take it too personal. Why do you feel the need to cut out people in your life? Even when you have such good friends?
    Well like Habba said, there can be a lot of reasons or there may be no specific reason, it's just that's how you feel.

    If you're saying your friend isolates himself once he is already depressed, I would say this has a lot to do with the introversion side of him. Possibly it's to do with recollecting himself, recentring his thoughts. It just does some good to be alone for a while to think; maybe we ISTJs do that in the hope that we can rationalise ourselves out of it.
    Personally, if I'm feeling particularly down and negative I may retreat from my friends for a couple of reasons. Might be that I just don't want them to see me like that, I want to spare them from me in that mood. It could be that energy to keep myself at an acceptable balance of happiness/sadness is added to the mental energy it usually takes me to socialise, which means I feel really exhausted and worse than before. Perhaps I simply don't think that they understand what I'm feeling, so it's annoying if they try to cheer me up when I know it's not going to work (I agree with Habba here, "Cheer up" is just the last thing you want to hear.)

    Basically, as long as you're always there when your friend needs you, you're doing the best you can. I'd get worried if your friend goes for a long period (more than a couple of weeks/month) without even speaking to anybody though, even when it's not in person. Like I said, the isolation can make things worse in extremes.

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    Thank you for your meaningful insights. What you write is very helpful. I did notice a pattern of drinking and stress before the depressions set in. You are right that it is never a good idea to just tell to cheer up. Indeed it doesn't work that way and I try to be understanding as much as I can. However, my good friend does snap at me and gets manipulative when alcohol is in the mix. That makes it hard and makes me walk on eggshells more when around. It would make it easier if there were a better communication but when isolations sets in it is already too late. It's interesting you talk about the pattern of being introverted. We once talked about this and he considers himself more extraverted. I guess ISTJ's are the most extroverts amongst the introverts.

  8. #8
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    I don't know how much of a help this is. I was in a major depression for 6 1/2 years. It was caused by my father being in a tragic accident at the same time that I moved in between states without any siblings at the age of 13. I quit school and stayed in my room on my computer. I just had no interest in life at all beyond what was going on online.

    I didn't say anything outward depressive. It was more in the things I did. I gave up on school, didn't want to participate in real life. At one point, I thought my parents didn't care about me at all, and I tried running away. They tried making me go to school and I acted like I had fake injuries or illnesses to get out of it. It was more of a complete and utter disregard for everything and everyone around me. I think I just retreated into my head and acted like the outside world didn't exist.

    I went to see specialists all the time. I ended up taking 80mg of Paxil a day and I think that did it for me. It was just a really slow process. Seeing the specialists was really hard because I had zero interest in opening up to a complete stranger, and I saw no reason in being there because I didn't think I had a problem. Now, if I went to see a specialist, I'd talk to them in full ISTJ mode. I'd be like, "Okay, this is what I feel is wrong with me. Tell me what I have to take, and give me a list of things to do so that I can be normal again."

    Now, out of the depression, if something is really getting to me too much, I just do the same thing but on a MUCH lower scale. I retreat into my head, but still tend to my daily needs. An INFJ I work with, when something's getting to me, she'll refer to it as one of my mental breakdowns. I just go into porcupine mode around friends and reduce every relationship to acquaintance temporarily. I think now my SJness has really kicked in, because I feel guilty for being inactive. I don't know if that's a feeling caused by the depression or being an SJ. If I'm not doing something productive, I feel like there's something wrong with me.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by esfpmary View Post
    Thanks very much for your insights. It really helps me to understand. I ask because my good friend who is an ISTJ (we studied Myers Briggs and Ennea together) isolates a lot when he is depressed and I am just not trying to take it too personal. Why do you feel the need to cut out people in your life? Even when you have such good friends?
    I would also point out (speaking from my introverted self) that the "good friend" of an ISTJ doesn't often know how valuable they are. The more the introversion, the more that good friend becomes the touchstone with the rest of the world. The confusing thing to that friend is the introvert's need to internalize what was shared between them, and isolation necessary to do so may be misinterperted as being "cut out". I obivously can't speak as any type of authority for your situation - I just know that when I get depressed it's because something "didn't fit" somehow. The order I cherish is upset. Perhaps someone gives me some information that helps me to make sense of it all - but I need to be alone and think about it.

    Best of luck
    ...doesn't work or play well with others...

  10. #10
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Condor View Post
    I would also point out (speaking from my introverted self) that the "good friend" of an ISTJ doesn't often know how valuable they are. The more the introversion, the more that good friend becomes the touchstone with the rest of the world. The confusing thing to that friend is the introvert's need to internalize what was shared between them, and isolation necessary to do so may be misinterperted as being "cut out". I obivously can't speak as any type of authority for your situation - I just know that when I get depressed it's because something "didn't fit" somehow. The order I cherish is upset. Perhaps someone gives me some information that helps me to make sense of it all - but I need to be alone and think about it.

    Best of luck
    Exactly. Some people become close to us, and we know it, but we don't do something outwardly expressive to let them know it. We have to remind ourselves to let other people know that we appreciate and cherish the relationship. I keep myself closed off emotionally though from the majority of the world, so those people are few and far between. Most of them to me are INFJ girls, though. Heh.


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