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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default ISTPs and depression

    So my ex-husband is an ISTP. We get along really well nowdays. When we were together there were times where he would become very depressed or unhappy with the world around him. This would come across as withdrawn and mean and could last months at a time. He would still engage in activities he enjoyed but it was like everyone around him needed to be at his level of misanthropic misery. No happy puppy smiles or silliness allowed in the house by me or the kid or we would get our heads bitten off.

    For me this translated into months of feeling suppressed and trapped and confined. I learned to ignore even the harshest of cutting, biting, mean bitterness, as I understood he was very unhappy at these times.

    For an NFP, I developed a very, very thick skin. Towards the end of the relationship, I would very actively push his own crap back on him, force him to take responsibility for things he needed to do, and let him know that he could be miserable, but that we didnt need to feel his misery-but it took about six years for me to learn to do this. It actually worked okay for several years before we broke up over other things.

    Nowdays he is dating a very sweet EXFP of some sort, very sensitive and adorable, really caring. He had a friend pass away recently and became very depressed again. He came over to my house and started complaining about his whiny bitch of a girlfriend freaking out because he wasnt around and then complaining that the only reason she lived with him was because she didnt have anywhere else to go.

    I explained it had nothing to do with her and everything to do with him and he needed to STFU and quit giving her a hard time and deal with his own issues. I also explained that she obviously loved him quite a lot to tolerate him and his kids and he needed to treat her with respect and not be a total douchebag.

    He mumbled apologies and has been treating her much better, but I wasnt sure if there is another better alternative I could pass along to him, rather than just telling him not to be such an asshole.

    ISTPs

    How do you deal with being totally bummed out or depressed? Any guidance on things to pass along to the ISTP in question?

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    He sounds like a jerk. A depressed jerk, maybe, but mostly a jerk. I'm not sure guidance will really do much for him, he needs to man up and stop being a dick.

    I'd certainly like to think I'm not like that when I'm depressed!
    -end of thread-

  3. #3
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Depressed ISTPs?

    I've never been up at half-ten! What happens?!?
    JiNe
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    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

  4. #4
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Randomnity said it.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    If I'm unhappy the thing the tends to make me happiest is being by myself so I can sort things out. I tend to isolate myself from others.

    I understand why he's so stressed about his SO complaining about him not being around (prevents him from getting quality alone time), but he's dealing with it poorly.

    ---------------------------

    Suggested solution:
    He should set up a way to check in with his SO at certain times to discuss practical concerns and get in some designated "them" time and then have his own time for himself. This doesn't have to be structured (times, dates, etc.), but it may be.

    As frequently as necessary to suit his partner, but infrequently enough so he can get his alone time and get back to being better again.* This should all be discussed and understood with the SO - the understanding part may be difficult for some personalities, who may (irrationally) feel rejection when their partner tells them he'd like to be alone.

    It should be clear that he can't just "drop out" of the relationship whenever he wants because there are expectations of what his partner wants/needs.

    ---------------------------

    If he's really (clinically) depressed that's a medical/psychiatric concern and should be addressed with therapy or drugs.



    *It should be noted that if his partner wants more time with him than he feels comfortable with even when he isn't in a 'low' phase, this will be a continuing source of tension in the relationship. A compelling reason, in my opinion, why introverts will be best matched with other introverts and extroverts with other extroverts.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  6. #6

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    Well, I can't speak for all ISTPs, but when I get depressed I get depressed. There are many things that can trigger it, and it manifests as a kind of reaction to a previous elated state... almost like being a manic depressive... and these elation/depression periods last for weeks and months. During depressed times I have no desire to have social contact with anyone, and when someone is around it is very irritating. Also, during elated times is when I do really uncharacteristic things (at least from my perspective), and that is what I think makes ISTPs appear so reckless and flighty when internally ISTPs are rather calm and methodical.

    Granted, your ex-husband sounds trying (though I'm sure your account is colored with your xNFP slant), but I think that your reactions aren't helping him. The fact that he sought out your company/sympathy during his depression is actually an impressive leap of faith on his part, and telling him to STFU at that moment will only make him retreat and not want to seek you out again. You're spot on, it's almost like a passive-aggressive behavior. My impression is that he didn't really have gripes with his current gf, it was just an excuse for the deeper reason he's visiting--that he wants you to comfort him for his friend passing away, and just in general.

    Really, he just needs some reinforcement that life is still okay (and which you did provide, albeit a bit harshly), and that someone is there for him (like you). The rest just takes time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    oh dear, I sort of wondered off huh?

    So to address Randominity and MDP's comments, yes he CAN be a total asshole, perhaps on the very far extreme edge of assholery. However because I am an ENFP, once I figure out what is normal for a person, I adapt to it and accept them for it. So his typical displays of being an insensitive ass, are him being authentic to what he is, and are consistent enough to be predictable-thus get ignored. I just re-normalize myself to what is and accept him for that behavior and dont hold it against him.

    As he has aged he is growing a very sweet Fe that he shows typically to those he cares about, so oddly, most of the time he is very nice in a childlike way to me.

    However the depressed behavior is much more extreme and much meaner. I can deal with him being mean to be, I dont even notice it anymore, but being mean to the EXFP kinda set off my trigger as one of my Fi values is not being allowing others to be hurt. Ingenue, your description of the fluctuations is very apt and I suspect that you are correct in that I could have been much less harsh. Oddly though, i dont even understand how to comfort him.

    He seems to be doing much better though and mentioned he had being a bit of an ass to my older son and his girlfriend, thus he seems to be claiming it as his own stuff.

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    "ISTPs

    How do you deal with being totally bummed out or depressed? Any guidance on things to pass along to the ISTP in question?"

    hmm...if I get bummed out or depressed I tend not to notice readily. Sometimes, even then it's questionable.

    Breaking a downward mood cycle? Is easy.

    1. Ditch dairy, ditch grains, ditch sugar. Eat only veggies, MEAT!, nuts, and a little fruit. No potatoes, no legumes aka beans including peanuts. No salt or processed foods.
    2. Get adequate sleep.
    3. Do adequate physical activity.

    Everything else will come out in teh' warsh.

  9. #9
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    oh dear, I sort of wondered off huh?

    So to address Randominity and MDP's comments, yes he CAN be a total asshole, perhaps on the very far extreme edge of assholery. However because I am an ENFP, once I figure out what is normal for a person, I adapt to it and accept them for it. So his typical displays of being an insensitive ass, are him being authentic to what he is, and are consistent enough to be predictable-thus get ignored. I just re-normalize myself to what is and accept him for that behavior and dont hold it against him.

    As he has aged he is growing a very sweet Fe that he shows typically to those he cares about, so oddly, most of the time he is very nice in a childlike way to me.

    However the depressed behavior is much more extreme and much meaner. I can deal with him being mean to be, I dont even notice it anymore, but being mean to the EXFP kinda set off my trigger as one of my Fi values is not being allowing others to be hurt. Ingenue, your description of the fluctuations is very apt and I suspect that you are correct in that I could have been much less harsh. Oddly though, i dont even understand how to comfort him.

    He seems to be doing much better though and mentioned he had being a bit of an ass to my older son and his girlfriend, thus he seems to be claiming it as his own stuff.
    I understand that you don't want him to be inauthentic to himself. Being purposefully mean to others is something that really rubs me the wrong way though (though an EFP's description of "mean" might be a little different from the average population, and especially an ISTP - maybe he's just being blunt and not very diplomatic/respectful of others' "feelings", not actually mean? Maybe there's a need for understanding of why he's saying these things, and it's not just because he likes to be "mean"?). He sounds like he might be lacking the knowledge of polite social skills, though you did say his Fe is good so maybe not.

    What's an example of something mean he does? What does he say when you tell him it's mean? Your example of him complaining that she's a whiny bitch is certainly disrespectful (if he was serious) but not mean unless he said it to her face.

    I'm not sure if there's really any guidance you can give if he really is just being mean for no reason. I don't understand those people.

    ---

    When I get depressed I do get more irritable and snappy with people, but because I'm not a complete asshole I know it's wrong for me to snap at people for no reason and I try to contain it or at least apologize and explain that I'm feeling bitchy. Mostly I just want to escape people when I'm depressed, so if FPs aren't letting him do this and are trying to flood him with sunshine and rainbows, he's probably exceptionally annoyed. I haven't been seriously depressed since I was an emo teenager though, and I was ridiculously emotionally unstable then. Now I just have bad days every so often. So I can't really comment if he's actually clinically depressed, but he sounds like he might just be having a bad time - he has a good reason for it. The only thing I can say is be calmly supportive without smothering (i.e. if he goes to a room to be alone, don't follow him, or at least not every time).
    -end of thread-

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