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Discussion Starter #1
This is one aspect I dislike about myself. Actually, it's more of a love-hate thing; on one end, it gives me inspiration to write, draw and the like. On the other, it completely screws up my day and impairs my ability to socialize, work or do much at all.

It's almost like dwelling on past failures--I know that's a major INTP problem. Visualizing it in your head, reworking "what could/should have been," beating yourself up for it... except for me, it's with feelings. Things people have said that triggered a response, actions, even a completely impartial news story--I just seem to internalize it and then other thoughts pile up on top of it, until it's one festering, goddamn emotional party. So let's say the emotion is sadness. I'm worried about someone, I feel sad on their behalf--and then I can't seem to get out of it! Trying to cheer myself up feels horrible--completely inappropriate. It's like playing "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" at a funeral.

Music plays a huge role in this. I usually listen to things congruent with my feelings--sad, slow, melancholic, etc. Social situations and external stimuli don't help, either. More than anything, I want to withdraw and just reflect on my thoughts and feelings. Doesn't matter what the occasion is. I find that, on the days when I should be happiest, my mood takes a sharp turn for the worse. I'm not depressed or anything--but I do have a lot of things on my mind, subconscious or otherwise, that are triggered by X and then refuse to go away. Usually the mood passes after a day. But what the hell?

I also find that, after I have an uplifting or happy moment, my mood quickly plummets. As if all of the plans and hopes I had a moment before are moot and being reevaluated. After my 16th birthday party, all I could think about was the future, how different it'll be, and how all of my friends and family would eventually die. Previous to that, the day had been great. Today, I felt great about confronting some of my problems, but now I feel sluggish and have no freaking idea what to do. I want to change the world one minute, and the next I resign myself to mediocrity.

And I reiterate--I have no mental illness or disorder that I know of. It must just be my insane temperament. I know some INTP's have similar problems. So I'm curious: how do you deal with this? Does it affect you significantly, too? Can you trace it to something relevant in your life?

I know my main problem is that I'm watching people self-destruct around me, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. It's frustrating. Simply detaching is the easy way out, sure, and I used to do that. In hindsight, cutting off from the people you love is a fucked up way to deal with things. But at the same time, it's so painful to be vulnerable...

*sigh* :dry:
I think I'm slowly turning into an INFP.
 

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I have done this for the longest time, and it doesn't seem as if I'll be getting out of it any time soon. (Is it bad that I don't want to...?)

It only takes one thing to set it off. And then after that my mind just overflows. Memories, images, thoughts, "woulda coulda shoulda," all these things just flood my mind and there's no staving it off, it just completely overtakes me until I can't control it anymore. And sometimes it's little tiny insignificant things that happened years ago that no sane person would ever remember or care about. But usually it's big things, conceptual things, that I feel and that hurt me. One minute I'm having amazing and awesome visions of the future, and of the world I want to create; the next, I feel utterly useless and inadequate, and I keep spiraling down, down, down into a sea of depression from which there is no escape...

So I withdraw. I leave. I detach. I go hide in my room with the lights out and the shades drawn and the covers over my head, with my headphones in my ears and my music blasting my sorrow. It's the only thing that helps. It's the only way I can cope.

And I make sure no one sees me because the interaction will literally just kill me. I hate people trying to cheer me up and make me feel better. I hate them even bothering me while I'm wallowing amidst my sorrow and despair. I want them to leave me alone, let me hurt in peace, and then move on.
 

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MOTM Feb 2010
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You two sound like me from the ages of 15-19. Happiness would bring me dread and the only solace I could find was in cranking death metal.

I suspect that it has something to to with trying to turn Ti and Si into an Fe emulator... which is impossible. The only cure for this is learning to become more comfortable with the actual Fe function, which is horrible to even imagine coming from the Ti perspective. When Fe expresses itself, it asks the body and emotion to conform to reality. Ti reacts by going into shock because by its nature, it remains fixed and moves reality around itself. They are just incompatible and the more you identify with one, the more the other slips into the shadow of unconsciousness. The INTP then responds to a repressed Fe by becoming hyper logical, but also by looking at the string of emotions and their context through Si, which can at least acknowledge the pain, but only as a fixed string running backwards in time. I suspect this is what causes most INTP depression as we identify with this Si and when we use it to find patterns of suffering in our past, we begin to identify our very essence with this. Tragic, no?

I see the cure as obviously being becoming more familiar with Fe. This first needs to be done by identifying less with Ti, which sounds impossible at first, but is easy to accomplish. Meditation, yoga and exercise will help this tremendously as they expand the notion of "I" (which is Ti/Ne/Si) beyond with which we are most familiar. Once "I" becomes a little more loosely defined, You can find ways to reincorporate Fe. At first, this is horrifying, but once you get the hang of it, a little sorrow and joy from time to time is infinitely more meaningful and satisfying than trying to turn the rich tapestry of emotion into a faded, distant hum.
 

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I feel the same way most times. I'll dwell on past failures or moments when I embarrass myself and think "If I would've just kept my mouth shut, or done this" or what every my reasoning is.

It doesn't change anything though, and perhaps thats why it feels awful to do this.That makes me want to detach myself, and I do that by thinking that we're just one lonly planet in a great cosmic expanse, but sometimes that backfires and makes me feel meaningless, and I can't even take comfort in that [which I usually do, mind you].

I also feel like an infp sometimes, and that makes me feel all depressed and sulky [I'm actually going through one of those times now]. Gah! Stupid emotions! Tomorrow though, I'll probably feel ready to take on the wordl because that's just how my emotions work :dry:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for the responses!

AkiKaza, I can completely relate. Especially when it comes to interaction--it's frustrating because I can't explain why I feel that way. Not that I would, usually, but that's a whole other issue. I don't want people to worry about me, and in hindsight, those self-absorbed, intense bad moods seem ridiculous. Totally capricious, too. It's almost like I was more emotionally stable when I was depressed--at least it was a constant stream of sadness, not these crazy ups and downs. Usually writing about the moods and coming up with things that might have triggered them helps, but it doesn't cure the apathy and sluggishness that follows them. It's like--I spend so much time internally moaning about feelings and X and other garbage, but I lack the energy to do anything about them. Which only perpetuates the moods. It's infuriating. Since once I feel better, I don't feel as driven to accomplish whatever I felt like doing before.

The INTP then responds to a repressed Fe by becoming hyper logical, but also by looking at the string of emotions and their context through Si, which can at least acknowledge the pain, but only as a fixed string running backwards in time.
^ This. I never thought about it that way, but I definitely see how that can make sense. I used to become hyperlogical and detached. But of late, I've been trying to develop my Feeling side--becoming more in-tune with my emotions, trying to understand where they're coming from, expressing them in front of others, etc... but it's still difficult. Disheartening, too, and scary, because the one thing I've realized about emotions is that they can be all-consuming: I still want to control them, but I can't, so instead I let them run their course, which is like turning over the wheel of a car to a wild, immature kid. That in itself is frustrating, because it messes with my day. I just want to figure out how to bring myself out of those moods, while not necessarily undermining their importance... some people are able to change their moods by listening to upbeat music or surrounding themselves with people, but I can't seem to.

And the worst thing about them is that they make me afraid to act, and make me second-guess my plans for the future, which could lead to a bad decision. I would love to join the Peace Corps, for instance, or study biology and improve the quality of life for people around the world--even in my own backyard. I want to inspire other people and touch their lives, whether that means developing helpful technologies or simply giving them a kind word. Then, all of the sudden, I'm daunted--by the long studies, cultural barriers, personal shortcomings, fear of failure. It doesn't have to be a lofty goal, either. It can be something as simple as "I'm going to get an A in this class" or "I'm going to pick up the phone and call someone who really needs to be comforted." Then it becomes "What if I call and he never speaks to me again? What if I can't reach him? What if I can't make a difference and the problem becomes unfixable and I watch as he self-destructs?"

As an artist, I can definitely appreciate the beauty of sorrow and pain--but it's always in hindsight, never in the moment. I produce my best works when I'm miserable, because it's my catharsis. I'm also most miserable when Ti and Si lock hands, I suppose.

From what I understand, Fe seeks out company and interpersonal relationships, right? So I should try to talk to people when I feel this way? Or am I misinterpreting things?



That makes me want to detach myself, and I do that by thinking that we're just one lonly planet in a great cosmic expanse, but sometimes that backfires and makes me feel meaningless, and I can't even take comfort in that [which I usually do, mind you].
Oh, yes. For me, detachment meant becoming cold and distant towards other people, so that loss and their personal problems wouldn't affect me as much. And when it comes to dwelling on past failures--heck yes. :dry: I do it so much. Embarrassing myself isn't as bad as say, trying to help someone and being dismissed, or putting out an idea and being ridiculed. That hurts. And makes me less likely to reach out or share things with other people...

Hahah, sorry for the huge, tl;dr reponse. XD
 

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I see emotions as indicators of when something is right or wrong. When I'm sad, I need to change something somewhere. Let's say my mum snaps at me and I start crying. I'm not so emotionally unstable that I just burst into tears because somebody got angry at me, so there must be other things messing with me that I haven't addressed yet.

When this happens, I go to my room, curl up in my duvet and cry. Crying is great therapy. I cry and I cry and I cry. As I do this, I think of things that have been bothering me. I find all of the things that have been stressing me out and cry about them. Seeing as I'm already a total emotional mess, it's easier to be totally honest to myself about how I feel.

After a lot of crying and thinking, I usually work out the biggest source of all these crappy feelings. Knowing what causes it really helps to make me feel better. Once I've pinpointed it, I start thinking through what I can do about it. Even if I can't solve the problem, I like to work out my next steps. It's never a good idea to just leave the feelings somewhere and continue putting up with the problem. I need to change something.

This usually helps me deal with build-ups of really horrible emotions, but if I don't want it to get so bad in the first place, I keep a journal for a few days. Writing is also great therapy. It's like talking through your feelings to a shrink without the horrible feeling they're judging you or thinking what medication to put you on. I don't necessarily read through the journals once I've written them - trying to explain what you're going through in words is usually enough to help you understand what's going on.


Point of this post? Release the emotion and confront the problem!
 

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From what I understand, Fe seeks out company and interpersonal relationships, right? So I should try to talk to people when I feel this way? Or am I misinterpreting things?
You don't necessarily need company to work on Fe. Just allow your self to submit to emotions. You can do this in a controlled environment. Company may cause you to fall back on your Ti, which would just get in the way. This is why I advocate yoga and meditation. You can work on the specific parts of your body that harbor the emotions you fear. Check this out.

Lie down on your back and systematically "breath" into each of your chakras, or the hubs of neurological and endocrine activity. Start with your muladhara. I haven't figured out how that exactly functions in women, but for men, that's pretty much the prostate. Next move up to a spot two inches below your navel, and about an inch or so inward. Next, the point between the navel and solar plexus. Then the heart, then the throat. Next, the space between the eyebrows, and then the top of the head. With each breath, feel as if that spot is drawing in the breath and becoming vitalize or energized. Just observe what happens and become more attuned to both the emotions present in that area and more importantly, what sort of bodily tension is present. This tension, you've probably been carrying for some time, so it won't be obvious, much like a distant hum that you've tuned out long ago. If you can bring your awareness back to this tension, you have a chance at letting it go and allowing what it has repressed to announce itself.
 

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This happens to me all the time!!!

If something unpleasant happen esp to my loved ones, I get so sucked into it and it becomes my problem but I'll get over it in a day or two but the whole thing would keep replaying in my mind like a broken tape recorder. Then I start ignoring the person or the problem for awhile..

I used to cut myself to release these pains in life... I just needed to feel the pain until much later when I learned how to cry.

I didn't use to cry much even as a kid, I guess it's got to do with protecting myself, not wanting to appear a weakling. but inside monsters are chasing me all over... and cutting myself was the only way or release I knew.

But these days, I just cry very hard or sleep them away.. I stay in my room all day shut myself from the on goings till I feel better.

And sometimes, I feel I'm turning psychotic cos 1 min I'll be crying like someone die, the next min my tears would just stop and I snapped out of the "mode":wink:
 

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This is another of the numerous ways I am like an INTP.

I have been struggling with this my whole life. The earliest episodes I can remember were in early elementary school. I would wake up in the morning after having a dream (or not having a dream and just thinking about it) that me or someone in my family died and cry for them loosing me or me loosing them depending. As I got older it turned into what you guys have been describing in these posts. I try soooo hard to do lots of things to make the swings & severity & frequency of them less and more manageable. ex. Eating really healthy, excersizing, talk therapy, chiropractor, forcing myself to go out and be social about 1 or 2x a week. I can get so much more done when these moods are not bombarding me all the time and being around people is much more pleasant - for them and for me.

I also find that, after I have an uplifting or happy moment, my mood quickly plummets. As if all of the plans and hopes I had a moment before are moot and being reevaluated.
And what's up with this? I have analyzed it to death. Its almost as if being happy makes me sad. If I am happy, I have these thoughts in the back of my head reminding me of the impending doom of being unhappy awaiting just around the corner that I try to ignore.

Today, I felt great about confronting some of my problems, but now I feel sluggish and have no freaking idea what to do. I want to change the world one minute, and the next I resign myself to mediocrity.
The only thing I have found that makes me truly happy is helping others and I can't do that when I am depressed.

I see emotions as indicators of when something is right or wrong. When I'm sad, I need to change something somewhere.
After a lot of crying and thinking, I usually work out the biggest source of all these crappy feelings. Knowing what causes it really helps to make me feel better. Once I've pinpointed it, I start thinking through what I can do about it. Even if I can't solve the problem, I like to work out my next steps. It's never a good idea to just leave the feelings somewhere and continue putting up with the problem. I need to change something.

This usually helps me deal with build-ups of really horrible emotions
- trying to explain what you're going through in words is usually enough to help you understand what's going on.
There was a point in my life after being heart broken where no amount of crying could dull the pain. This started horrible insomnia. Eventually learning to force myself to figure out exactly what was wrong and take steps to fix it (steps that I could actually take) helped me to be less depressed, moody and become a better person.

I have recently started to regress again though. I need to clean my hole house and catch up on all my errands I suppose. Starting with the simple "duh" stuff usually takes enough stress off to be able to see the other more complicated issues more clearly and be able to fix them without thinking "well I should also be doing this other thing" and then not do anything because of feeling overwhelmed and more depressed at the thought of having so many things to do.
 
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