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Discussion Starter #1
So this week life threw me a curve ball.

My happy, cool, and popular younger bro left a suicide note with a friend earlier this week (he is 5+ years younger than me). We found him before he was able to do anything - and I suspect - without validation - that he wouldn't actually..you know..attempt it. But I'm glad we don't have to find out.

I got a call from my mom all teared up asking me to drive them to the emergency room. I immediately left work and did such. I was stuck there for hours on end - from like 3 til well 11PM ish. they did all sorts of tests and what not on him. They then told us that we should take him to this place..its like youth services...he stays there for a few days and works on his mental health.

But this came as a complete shocker. Its not that I'm new to depression. I can't tell you how many times I've helped friends/acquaintances with depression and suicide. I've read at least 6 suicide notes by friends. I just was not expecting it from my little bro. I love hanging out with him and teasing each other. since we are both xNFP's we are very similar and its fun. He's one of my favorites. He's showed very little signs of any possible depression (he told me that he's felt this way for ~2 years). I mean, he's very idealistic - he puts my idealism to shame - and I feel like he hasn't learned like I have that its hard for people/life to live up to idealism.

I know one of the problems is friends. Right now he is a JR in HS. His old group of friends that he has had - and protected from being made fun of - since Elem school have gone a different route that what he wants from life. So they are no longer friends. he did the right thing here...but this also means that he no longer has close friends. Being in HS - the groups are already formed and its hard to get into them. Everyone likes him there's no doubt of that. but he lacks that close bond that is so important. I was lucky to maintain a few friends literally my entire life.

to add to that problem. When he was younger he had a few quirky things about him that was an easy target to make fun of. He loved movies and would always try to direct movies and he loved attention and would humiliate himself to get it. It sounds like some of the ass holes have brought some of this stuff up recently in HS.

My parents were just shell shocked. I was the one that maintained my composure (at least externally, inside..raging typhoon of emotion)...is it because I've seen this before? sorry anyways...

I'm looking for advice here. he's my brother so I feel like this is different than the others I've helped with this. What can I do to help it out? What can/should my family to do ensure that he remains the happy and positive kid he is and to refrain from suicidal thoughts?

and most importantly...how can I help him get those close friends that I'm 99% sure is one of the biggest reasons for this? I was thinking that we need to get him involved with something...a club, groups, service. i mean proximity is the #1 thing to forming friends. But..i don't think he'd like us pushing him to do stuff...so need to...plant the idea in his mind and make him think its his (inception anyone?).

I'm still a little shocked sorry about just rambling. any advice is very welcome!
 

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One thing that scares me more than anything about this...


is that me and my ISFJ brother (2 years younger than me) would as younger kids make fun of him as well. we loved him, but its what brothers do...

me and my ISFJ bro were close - we'd do things together and when ENFP bro would try to involve himself - we'd deny him - and then he'd push harder and get upset that we excluded him, which would make us more firm in our exclusion.

as a kid..when I was in elem school...me and one of my friends would play this game called stink boy. ENFP bro would chase us around...kind of like a game of tag that he could never win. But we called him stink boy b/c he used to smell pretty bad (he was really young...like 5/6/7 years).

but that's not to say that the 3 of us never got along...we had some great times. and we have some great times...

I'm honestly worried that *I*..me...his bro...contributed to this :confused::sad:
 

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I'm still a little shocked sorry about just rambling. any advice is very welcome!
Not at all, Gloosle. I'm no ENFP, but depression afflicts all types.

Like you... I'm convinced that the key to finding great friends in high school is finding people who share the same passions. Perhaps you could talk to some school administration person. They should have a list of the school's clubs.

Breaking into a clique in high school isn't easy, but also not impossible!
 

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Not at all, Gloosle. I'm no ENFP, but depression afflicts all types.

Like you... I'm convinced that the key to finding great friends in high school is finding people who share the same passions. Perhaps you could talk to some school administration person. They should have a list of the school's clubs.

Breaking into a clique in high school isn't easy, but also not impossible!

Thank you.

That is definitely something to consider. I could snag a list and then give it to him and say join some groups you think sound interesting.
 

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Depression scares me. It scares me because it's one of the few social phenomena or disorders that I don't understand, haven't experienced to the slightest degree, and have friends with it that I cannot seem to be able to help. Even with my psych degree I understand it about as much now as I did when I was 14 and my first friend went through it.

Truly, sincerely, wish I could help. But I can't.
 

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Sorry to hear about the situation.. It must be tough considering the fact that you two are very close and a part of you feels as though you want him to be happy, but feel powerless in doing so.

Gloosle, I think it'd be neat if the two of you can hang out one-on-one more often without ISFJ brother just for a brief period, and share some heart-to-heart conversations about what's going on in your lives, then venture out to your favorite hobbies, or simply watch a movie together.. Then plan for more activities with ISFJ brother too?

For ENFPs (I'm assuming people in general..) that sense of connection, ESPECIALLY with family is important. If a person has strong ties/roots with their families, the more fulfilling it is mostly when family members like you care deeply about your bother's well-being. It means a whole lot.

It's those special moments that count.. even if it may seem insignificant. I'm sure he'll appreciate it and feel 1000x's better.

Best of luck.
 

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Hey Gloosle,
I feel for ya man! I'm 25 now but when I was in Jr High I had some pretty hardcore suicidal tendencies myself due to constant bullying, feeling like I had no friends. feeling totally worthless etc. Being an ENFP hopefully I can give you a couple of suggestions as to what pulled me out of there.

One of the major turning points for me was attending a camp with youth my age from all over the state, I didn't know anyone when I went there the first time, but I definitely formed some strong bonds with the young people on the camp. There were also a few older guys/leaders on the camp who were a bit quirky too who were loved by everyone on the camp, so that made me realise that just because I was a bit different, its what makes me unique.

Does your brother have someone who is maybe 5 or so years older than him outside of the family that he looks up to that would be a good influence on him? Having a mentor definitely was helpful, having someone visit/hang with you once a week/fortnight to play basketball/go to macdonalds etc was really encouraging.

I would agree with StrawberryLola in that you and him should hang out one-on-one also, as you are an NF you have the same means of thought/expression/perception, you know that words of affirmation mean wonders :wink:

As you mentioned, Trying to find out his interests and get him involved in some sort of social group will do him wonders. For me, punk music/going to shows did wonders for me.

And finally, I think a big part was also family/my mentor praying for me. I know not everyone believes in it, but it's definitely worth a shot :wink:


Don't be too hard on yourself man, we're human, sometimes we do dumb stuff we regret (ie. name calling) but you can always speak with him, apologize and list the positive things you see in him and really affirm him with that.


I think also a big thing to keep in mind is that it will take time, but just be consistent, he needs to know that he's loved and cared for and that you have his back, which to me sounds like you do.

Hope this helps mate!

Peace
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Depression scares me. It scares me because it's one of the few social phenomena or disorders that I don't understand, haven't experienced to the slightest degree, and have friends with it that I cannot seem to be able to help. Even with my psych degree I understand it about as much now as I did when I was 14 and my first friend went through it.

Truly, sincerely, wish I could help. But I can't.

I can relate here...I've never had these thoughts either so its hard for me to understand completely. I've been exposed to it quite a bit now so I think I'm more numb to it since it can be pretty predicable.
 

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Sorry to hear about the situation.. It must be tough considering the fact that you two are very close and a part of you feels as though you want him to be happy, but feel powerless in doing so.

Gloosle, I think it'd be neat if the two of you can hang out one-on-one more often without ISFJ brother just for a brief period, and share some heart-to-heart conversations about what's going on in your lives, then venture out to your favorite hobbies, or simply watch a movie together.. Then plan for more activities with ISFJ brother too?

For ENFPs (I'm assuming people in general..) that sense of connection, ESPECIALLY with family is important. If a person has strong ties/roots with their families, the more fulfilling it is mostly when family members like you care deeply about your bother's well-being. It means a whole lot.

It's those special moments that count.. even if it may seem insignificant. I'm sure he'll appreciate it and feel 1000x's better.
GREAT advice, this is what I"m after. My ISFJ brother is about to move away for a year or two. so that will give me and ENFP bro to hang out without worrying about the other. We have shared some good social fun, but definitely not as much as we could, and rarely on the important social nights...ie Friday, Saturday, etc.
 

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As you mentioned, Trying to find out his interests and get him involved in some sort of social group will do him wonders. For me, punk music/going to shows did wonders for me.

Don't be too hard on yourself man, we're human, sometimes we do dumb stuff we regret (ie. name calling) but you can always speak with him, apologize and list the positive things you see in him and really affirm him with that.

I think also a big thing to keep in mind is that it will take time, but just be consistent, he needs to know that he's loved and cared for and that you have his back, which to me sounds like you do.
He's definitely big into the tunes. Our music taste is nearly identical...partly b/c the music he has I gave him haha. I have gone to a number of concerts with him.

Does your brother have someone who is maybe 5 or so years older than him outside of the family that he looks up to that would be a good influence on him? Having a mentor definitely was helpful, having someone visit/hang with you once a week/fortnight to play basketball/go to macdonalds etc was really encouraging.
..I don't know if he has that or not; if it is is a religious figure most likely.

One of the major turning points for me was attending a camp with youth my age from all over the state, I didn't know anyone when I went there the first time, but I definitely formed some strong bonds with the young people on the camp. There were also a few older guys/leaders on the camp who were a bit quirky too who were loved by everyone on the camp, so that made me realise that just because I was a bit different, its what makes me unique.
He did something like this for the summer - went on the national scout jamboree. But definitely need to get him involved with something that really gets him going.

I would agree with StrawberryLola in that you and him should hang out one-on-one also, as you are an NF you have the same means of thought/expression/perception, you know that words of affirmation mean wonders :wink:
yep, sure do heh
 

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I'm also an ENFP that has struggled with extreme depression and suicidal tendencies. As some of the posts have indicated, even other ENFPs think that depression just isn't natural for our type. Well, I'd agree that it probably isn't natural, which is good! I think we WANT to be happy.

For me, depression comes from two sources: the feeling of being worthless and misunderstood, and the lack of possibilities. I too had problems in junior high, because I wanted to be myself, and felt repressed and constantly criticized. ENFPs have introverted feeling as our secondary function, so it's very difficult if we feel like we don't have the freedom to really act out our internal value system. Also, we lead with extroverted intuition, meaning we take joy from discovering new possibilities. Basically we like to think of new ideas, and then try them out based on our own personal value system. When one or both of these processes are blocked by something, I believe the result can be extreme depression.

I think that for me, somehow trying to work with boosting self esteem, increasing social connections, and exploring new ideas and possibilities is the best way to overcome and work through depression. Once I can see that yes, there are other options to explore, and that yes, there are people that value me for my own wacky self, it helps lift the depression.

Good luck! I think one of the worst parts of being an ENFP is also the best: we are constantly changing and going back and forth between ideas, so odds are he will bounce back!
 
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That is very interesting. It's interesting that usually the ones who seems to have the best life, and seem to be very happy are usually the ones who are on the brink, ya know?

As for type, I think depression may be more common among ENFP's, just like schizotypal disorder seemsl to be common in INTP's. Whether or not it's a coincidence, I don't know.

p.s. I hope your brother gets better.
 

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I think that for me, somehow trying to work with boosting self esteem, increasing social connections, and exploring new ideas and possibilities is the best way to overcome and work through depression. Once I can see that yes, there are other options to explore, and that yes, there are people that value me for my own wacky self, it helps lift the depression.
Thank you! I definitely agree, that is one thing I've always noticed from him. he can swing to either side of the pendulum very quickly.

He's staying at some place and they are working with him. I finally got to go see him today and he was just like the little bro I remember - happy and quirky. Back to the same ole fun banter we do that is very fun.

They put him on a light dose of prozac yesterday - anyone have any experience with it?

For me, depression comes from two sources: the feeling of being worthless and misunderstood, and the lack of possibilities. I too had problems in junior high, because I wanted to be myself, and felt repressed and constantly criticized. ENFPs have introverted feeling as our secondary function, so it's very difficult if we feel like we don't have the freedom to really act out our internal value system. Also, we lead with extroverted intuition, meaning we take joy from discovering new possibilities. Basically we like to think of new ideas, and then try them out based on our own personal value system. When one or both of these processes are blocked by something, I believe the result can be extreme depression.
This certainly sounds like what he has suffered through. He's learning that the world doesn't even come close to his ideals. and I've gotten hints the last little while that he doesn't feel like he lives up to his expectations on things he really cares about at the moment. He has pretty high standards for himself.

What is one thing that would instantly make an ENFP's day?
 

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I think depression in ENFP's comes from dating Introverts. Just saying.
 

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What is one thing that would instantly make an ENFP's day?[/QUOTE]

I think that for me, it can be a few things. Finding something new and exciting, and being given the resources to explore it is amazing. This is especially true if someone wants to explore it with me! For instance, I'm a linguist and a writer, so if someone volunteers to learn a language with me, or to team write a story, or even just pledge to write something and exchange what we've written, it's really exciting!

Little compliments are really great too. Like people telling me about how when I went out of my way to do something for them, it was really special to them, or telling me something nice about a project I've been working on, or even just that I look pretty today, all can make me feel instantly happy. :happy:

And, similar to the first thing...adventures! I love it if my friends or people I'm in a relationship plan something really special and exciting for us to do. Sometimes, as extroverts, we seem to always get put in charge of thinking of stuff to do, making plans, keeping the conversation going...sometimes it's nice when other people do those things for us, because then we feel like we were finally worth the effort. I think since we tend to be the ones putting forth a lot of extroverted social energy, it can start to feel draining and nonreciprocal.
 
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