In this blog post, we will understand INTP depression, how it is caused, the signs of depression, and what to do in case of INTP depression. Finally, we will list out suggestions if you suspect someone you know to be depressed.
Depression manifests differently in different people. However, people with certain personality traits are more prone to developing depression. For example, for individuals with an INTP personality, particular triggers can worsen their depression.
Logic Creates Extra Confusion
INTPs incline toward finding rational and logical answers when they feel depressed. Although their analytical thinking helps them in many ways, it debilitates them when dealing with emotions.
Even when their emotions are overwhelming, they seek to use their rationality in comprehending their problem. This way of functioning may not be easy as, sometimes, their depression manifests suddenly and not in a way that allows clarity in finding solutions.
INTPs frequently have an ongoing fight between their heart and mind, and they usually incline toward their rational thinking. They fail to understand that depression is often not easy to understand. Therefore, they choose logic at the expense of their feelings, which they end up suppressing.
Difficulty Opening Up
Talking about their feelings is not a strong suit for INTPs. Mostly, they suppress their emotions and rationalize their situations. They look for logic in understanding their issues and do not express themselves easily. When they experience depression, they do not share it with others, even when they know it is right.
Depression is harder when faced alone, and INTPs fail to understand the vitality of talking to others about one’s feelings when depressed. Finding a mental health practitioner is especially necessary at this time. Mental health professionals typically teach patients more adaptive, healthier ways to cope with and appropriately express their feelings.
Isolation Worsens their Condition
When in difficult situations, INTPs often isolate themselves as they believe this would help them refuel. However, most times, it makes things worse for them. Generally, withdrawing themselves from the outside world allows them to engage in problem-solving in several ways. With that said, during times of depression, it makes it much worse for them.
Such withdrawal leads to robbing them of ways that would, in reality, help them gain better insight into their circumstance, and eventually, even feel better.
Although withdrawing is their natural response, it is best to understand that reaching out to closed ones in the smallest ways could help them. Sometimes, our natural reactions to stressful situations may be the very thing that worsens our condition.
Lack of Self-Care
INTPs get consumed in their depression to the point of neglecting self-care. Not engaging in necessary self-care, such as taking care of one’s body, could worsen their mental health. INTPs often find themselves feeling unwell and fatigued. They tend to prioritize other things while neglecting their needs for extended periods.
As seen in Dr. Drenth’s book, The INTP: Personality, Careers, Relationships, & the Quest for Truth and Meaning, depression can be caused by inauthentic functioning concerned with personality type. This inauthentic functioning would include living in a manner that robs their Ti and Ne of purposeful engagement for INTPs.
Initially, such functioning would elicit dissatisfaction, restlessness, and indifference. Eventually, these feelings would lead to depression.
Depression may also be the result of a lack of purpose in their existence. They want to contribute to the world. They may perceive that the world does not need them. Ongoing events of “failure” or a constant feeling of hopelessness in all aspects of life may also be challenging for INTPs.
Their difficulties in coping with meaninglessness could play a massive role in influencing their depression. This sense of meaninglessness could pervade either specific aspects of or their entire life.
Signs that Indicate Depression
This section is not meant for diagnosing oneself. It contains a list of possible indications of depression so that one can immediately seek professional help.
Signs that could mean depression include:
- Social withdrawal;
- Lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities;
- A sense of hopelessness
- Changes in sleep (either too little or excessive sleeping);
- Difficulty in concentration;
- Thoughts or attempts at self-harm or suicide;
- Changes in appetite (decreased or increased);
- Unexplainable physical symptoms (e.g., pain);
- Prolonged periods of sadness;
- Lack of energy even for necessary self-care activities; and
- Irritability or anxiety.
If one may have some of the signs mentioned above, here is a list of suggestions:
This suggestion is the most important of all. Seeking timely and appropriate treatment from a professional is the ideal thing to do. Get a closed one to help you reach out to a professional if you find it challenging to do it yourself.
Immediate attention is required, mainly if there are thoughts of self-harm or suicide. The following suggestions are just temporary management of problems. Seeking help from a professional is the most recommended approach.
Isolation at this time worsens the situation. Trying to reach out to closed ones in the smallest ways could help. Try being honest and letting them know how you are feeling and how they can help you.
Not Feel Bad About Feeling Bad
It is okay to feel the way you are. Your feelings are genuine, and by feeling terrible about them, the discomfort and distress increase. Try not to associate your entire identity with your feelings; your emotions are only a part of you.
Depression is a common and manageable condition. It is a disorder that is ubiquitous. Therefore, keep in mind that you are not experiencing something uncommon or untreatable.
Practise Relaxation Techniques
Firstly, breathe. There are many relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, available online. These techniques help one maintain their calm and composure, even if temporarily.
By avoiding to care for oneself, the problem worsens. It need not be elaborate – just simple activities like taking a shower and eating or drinking something nutritious or even going for a walk outdoors. When feeling overwhelmed, try to say no to those who add to your work whenever possible.
Paying better attention to physical needs can help boost one’s mood. INTPs need to be told in a way that strikes a chord with their logical mind that tending to physical health is vital for overall well-being.
Things to Do if Someone You Know is Depressed
If you know somebody who you think may be depressed, there are ways to help them. Some of these ways include:
Do Not Trivialize Their Problems
There may be an urge to tell people exhibiting depression symptoms that what they are going through is not so bad or that other people have it worse. Although your intentions may be in the right place, saying such things could invalidate their feelings and cause a sense of guilt.
They may blame themselves for feeling how they do when people think that “everything is just fine.” It is not that you cannot instill a sense of hope in them regarding the future. You need to validate their feelings and convey that they are not to blame for feeling the way they do. Doing so would show them that you are empathetic.
Help Them Take Help
Get them to seek help from a mental health professional. Depression is a severe mental health disorder, which you need to treat the way you would if it were a physical illness. Therefore, encourage them to see a professional who would then diagnose and provide interventions as required.
If they feel hopeless or ashamed of their problem, they may not feel motivated to seek help. Therefore, you must provide support and encouragement; offer to make the required arrangements to seek help.
Be There for Them
You can be there for them by:
- Listening to them talk about their problems, whether in person or via call;
- Inviting them to engage in activities that may bring them joy. Sometimes, they may not be up for it, so do not take it personally and feel offended. However, they will gather that you are there for them and interested to be around them from your offer;
- Be patient and calm and actively listen to them while expressing adequate concern;
- Extend an offer to help them any way you can. It may be difficult for them to reach out, so try asking something along the lines of, “is there anything I can do to help?”;
- If you suspect that they are having self-harm/suicidal ideations or thoughts, treat it with utmost priority, and get them to seek help immediately.
In this blog post, we learned more about INTP depression. We gained insight into the causes of INTP depression, its signs, and how to manage it. Lastly, we also understood how to help someone we know who may be depressed.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions: INTP Depression
Do INTPs get sad?
Yes, INTPs do get sad. They often become upset when they lose track of the positivity in life. INTPs typically focus on the negatives, feel hopeless, appear indifferent, and isolate themselves. They get sad when they feel like they are not making a difference to the lives of the people around them, and if they feel like people misunderstand their intentions.
Which personality type has the highest chance of suffering from depression?
People with high scores on neuroticism and introversion have the highest chance of suffering from depression. These two personality types are the most likely to have negative styles of thinking.
Do INTPs get lonely?
Yes, INTPs get lonely. They feel lonely, even when closed ones surround them. They have trouble opening up to people as they feel profound emotions but cannot express and deal appropriately.
How can you help INTPs when they are sad?
There are a few basic ways to help INTPs when they are sad, such as:
Give them space;
Do not try too hard to cheer them up;
Approach them with a non-judgemental outlook; and
Express your concern to them and let them know you are there for them whenever they need you.
Is there a reason INTPs are considered weird?
INTPs are not weird but may seem so because they struggle to fit in. They have a unique outlook on and responses to the world. It is a rare personality type, making them feel awkward and like misfits, making them seem weird.
Which MBTI personality type has the highest IQ?
ENFPs are the most likely to have the highest IQ.
Is there a specific personality type that cheats the most?
Four personality types are most likely to cheat, namely:
Is there a personality type most likely to have psychopathic tendencies?
ESTPs are most likely to have psychopathic tendencies. They rely on logical thinking at the moment and also spontaneously analyze due to their secondarily introverted style of thinking.