Today’s blog post aims at understanding Anxiety and Depression in the INFJ personality type. We start with a brief overview of the INFJ personality type followed by exploring the reasons as to why the people having INFJ personality are more prone to developing anxiety and depression, the ways people with the INFJ personality type function in anxiety and depression and lastly we understand ways in which people of this personality type can be helped to cope with their issues.
INFJ: Anxiety and depression
The INFJ personality type is often perceived as detached, moody, silent, angry, and even depressed. Often, the INFJs themselves make a direct connection with dysphoria, therefore they often tend to self-identify themselves as depressed.
Further, because the INFJs have an active inner mind and are sensitive to outside stimulus, they are also prone to developing anxiety. Because of the number of thoughts going through their mind, they are likely to experience heightened anxiety if they do not get any time alone to process the thoughts. One major consideration with people having the INFJ personality type is that these individuals are relatively good at hiding their emotions and therefore it may be difficult for them to realise that they may be suffering from anxiety and depression.
INFJ personality type:
- The INFJ type is often called the Advocate and is associated with Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and judging types.
- They have a deep and thoughtful imagination and it is their inner vision, personal values, and a quiet and principled vision which guides them through life.
- These individuals have a deep sense of idealism and integrity and although they are dreamers, they work hard to achieve their dreams and goals.
- They are complex and versatile and often speak with passion and conviction, especially when they talk about their ideals.
- They are generally soft spoken and prefer to maintain peace rather than challenge others.
- They are known as the advocates as they have the need to do what is right and also have a world where right things are done. They often channel their strengths such as creativity, imagination and sensitivity to ensure the right things take place and they are full of compassion.
- They are deeply troubled by injustice and step up to help when they see helplessness and unfairness.
- They are warm and sensitive and value deep authentic relationships. Additionally, they also enjoy reconnecting with themselves and often take time alone to decompress, recharge and process their thoughts and feelings.
Why is the INFJ type more prone to anxiety and depression?
INFJ and anxiety:
The INFJ personality type feels exhausted and anxious when they are exposed to too much social interaction. This majorly happens because they have an innate need to have time for themselves and find themselves torn between wanting to give time to others and to self. Because of this, they may find it difficult to set appropriate boundaries.
If the INFJs do not get enough time to recharge, they may experience heightened anxiety, which is very similar to social anxiety.
- Personal guilt:
The INFJs take a lot of pressure to keep others happy and take care of others, a result of which they experience excessive amounts of guilt. They tend to deal with guilt almost all their lives as they experience guilt over the smallest things, even when it is not their fault.
They tend to experience anxiety as they constantly doubt their actions and they have the need to constantly care for others. They often ruminate over their mistakes in order to analyse things they could have done differently. This indicates that they experience difficulty when it comes to setting boundaries in personal relationships.
- Social anxiety:
Even though they may seem introverted, the INFJs are comfortable in social interactions and in fact look forward to it. However, a major hindrance comes in the form of social anxiety, wherein, even though they may appear as very social people, with a need to impress and please others, they often are comfortable in spending time with only a few close people around them as too much interaction, with too little personal space makes them anxious.
- Other factors that cause anxiety:
Having conflicts with others, especially in close relationships.
Last minute changes
Having to deal with too many things at one time
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INFJ and Depression:
On the outset, the INFJ type may seem detached in nature, but they spend more time reflecting on their problems and prefer not sharing them, which can be a key factor for them to be prone to depression. Further, one of the dominant functions of the INFJs which is introverted intuition (IN) also makes them more vulnerable to depression.
As the INFJs are intuitive in nature, they are able to gauge a potential problem even before it actually occurs. This makes them more prone to worry and if they are unable to find a solution to the upcoming problem, they tend to experience hopelessness, which are classic depressive symptoms.
The INFJs are constantly in search of a meaning and purpose in their lives.they often feel lost and directionless. Further, although they have the need to fit in with others, they are typically non-conforming in nature. They are rational and logical in their thoughts, which makes them choose a difficult career path. Because they often feel lost and confused,they are more likely to struggle with depression.
Rumination can contribute to both anxiety and depression in the INFJs. Their efforts to solve the problems often get them extensively attached to the process and they over-analyze the situation. They often get stuck in a never ending search for solutions to the problems if they find that the solutions are not good enough. The rumination makes the problem solving difficult. This spiral can push them into depression.
Helping the INFJ:
Helping an INFJ with anxiety:
- Taking one step at a time:
The INFJs need to be given smaller pieces of information or they need to deal with smaller groups of people during interactions, as huge information can lead to an overload. Further, if they do not get their space to recharge and process the information, the anxiety is likely to be fostered.
- Avoiding major life changes:
When anxious, the INFJ must be helped to avoid making major transitions and changes in their lives. They should also avoid making major life decisions. Big and drastic changes can foster their anxiety and rumination.
- Helping them restore themselves:
This can be done by taking the person away from an overburdening stimulus and practicing mindfulness breathing, listening to music or being in a quiet room so that the person is able to process the information obtained. In the long run, proper sleep and identification of anxiety triggers can be helpful.
- Taking regular breaks:
Another way to avoid feeling overwhelmed is to take breaks at regular intervals which will help the INFJs gather themselves before they become too exhausted.
Helping an INFJ with depression:
- Not relying too much on the insights:
Although the INFJs are high on intuition and get to know a potential situation in advance, they may ruminate and experience hopelessness while finding a solution, putting themselves into depression. The INFJ can make a conscious effort to trust others and seek help from them for ideas. This involves understanding that although they are intuitive, they may not have all the solutions.
- Making your own way:
The INFJs often try to seek conventional routes or do things to please others and it may hinder their process of finding meaning. It is necessary for them to consciously create their own path. They need to be made to understand that they need not always suppress their desire. One way of going about this would be taking up things that they like and trying to modify them to get what they want out of life.
- Challenging the expectations:
The INFJs may experience discomfort when their expectations are not met. One way to counter this emotion would be to understand and accept that people may not always fulfil their expectations. Although they may try to change others to fit their expectations, they may not always be successful in doing so. The key to change is not to change others but to make changes in oneself by accepting the reality.this would help them have more peaceful relationships and be happy.
- Getting out of the loop:
When under rumination, the INFJs constantly make a shift between intuition and thinking. This constant cycle without a solution often pushes them into depression. If the INFJs try to replace the thinking element with the feeling element, they are likely to save themselves from rumination.
Rather than isolation and self-pity, INFJs will benefit better if they actively try to seek new perspectives and talk to others. They can access their feeling element through music or art. Feeling would enable them get open their minds and better handle their emotions.
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Frequently Asked Questions:
Which personality type is most likely to have depression?
There are two personality types that are most vulnerable to Depression. People high in neuroticism (high on emotional sensitivity) and introverts are two personality types more likely to suffer depression.
What kind of person should an Infj marry?
Although any two well-developed individuals can have a healthy relationship, INFJ’s natural partner is the ENTP (Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Prospecting) or the ENFP (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting). As the INFJs dominant function is introversion, the person is likely to benefit from a partner high on extraversion.
What job should an Infj have?
Being an INFJ is reflected in these four qualities: Introverted, Intuition, Feeling, and Judging. INFJ person can benefit from careers such as health care, education, social work, human resources, clergy, and the arts.
What is an advocate personality?
The INFJs usually have the advocate or the idealist personality. These people are gentle, caring and creative. They have high moral standards, are idealistic and have a strong future focus.
Can INFJs be leaders?
Yes, because they are insightful and creative, and have s confidence and commitment to projects they believe in. INFJ leaders are often influenced by personal values and they do best in organizations with a mission consistent with these values.
Today’s blog post aimed at understanding Anxiety and Depression in the INFJ personality type. We started with a brief overview of the INFJ personality type followed by exploring the reasons as to why the people having INFJ personality are more prone to developing anxiety and depression, and lastly we understood ways in which people of this personality type can be helped to cope with their issues.
I hope this blog post was successful in providing a deeper insight into the functioning and the thoughts of the INFJs. Please feel free to drop and queries or comments.