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Discussion Starter #1
I am writing this on behalf of my good friend who is an INTJ and came to me asking if I could think of any possible solutions for him. He reports feeling total numbness, apathy and disinterest in everyday life. He determines his goals by asking, "If I killed myself today, what would I regret not doing?" Before, his answer was "See what life is like in another country, and experience it for yourself." Well, now he has done this, for three years, and the only reasons he has to live, which he reports not feeling strongly about at all, are his wife, dog, the possibility of witnessing further space expoloration/ colonization, and playing more video games. He is very good at video games, and is good friends with a number of game developers of different games in which he is one of the top players in the world. These are highly competitive real time strategy and MMORP games.


I am personally concerned as he is pretty interested in morbid things, such as a collection of suicide notes written by people that were released on the internet recently for the benefit of psychological research.


Today he asked me if I'd ever taken anti-depressants (which I had) and what the effects were like. Being an INTJ, he won't accept anything that will inhibit his ability to do his job or his overall cognitivve functioning, which is how he derives his self worth, welf esteem, etc. (Please Understand Me 2 by Keirsey identifies this).


So, I think he just wishes he wasn't so emotionally numb, and is looking for something that would make him feel better about life. Philisophically he has been a fatalist for years, and I honestly believe him when he says he wouldn't care if
he died tommorrow.


He used to do alot of ecstasy, for a few years of high school, and he says it was after that that he became so apathetic. So it seems like drug use has definitely shaped his present cognitive workings.


I am just wondering if anyone can offer any ideas to help my friend. We are both living in China right now, and due to my interest in psychology I am basically the unnofficial counselor/psychologist of my immediate group of ex-pat friends.


My best idea so far is to look up naturopathic/nutritional remdies for deppression and start from there, as my friend definitely won't accept anything with negative cognitive side effects.


Any suggestions?
 

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@sundown, do you know his enneagram type? Was there anything specific that led to the depression or not? If he took quite a bit of ecstasy while he was still a teenager it could have affected his serotonin receptors permanently, which could have created an imbalance in his brain, making him more prone to depression - this would be pretty hard to fix without meds. It's quite hard to give advice on this sort of thing without knowing the person though.
 

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[QUOTE=sundown;2477346]
He used to do a lot of ecstasy, for a few years of high school, and he says it was after that that he became so apathetic. So it seems like drug use has definitely shaped his present cognitive workings.


I am just wondering if anyone can offer any ideas to help my friend. We are both living in China right now, and due to my interest in psychology I am basically the unnofficial counselor/psychologist of my immediate group of ex-pat friends.


My best idea so far is to look up naturopathic/nutritional remdies for deppression and start from there, as my friend definitely won't accept anything with negative cognitive side effects.

Any suggestions?[/QUOTE]

"He used a lot of ecstasy"
Well that's obviously not good, do you know what his current age is and the time he did the ecstasy? Withdrawal can come into play if not a lot time passed, and are you sure he isn't taking any other drug, being the ones on the streets/without prescription, that effects the brain.



You could always try to replenish the serotonin and norepinephrine levels in his brain.

Tryptophan is found in food and it's a precursor of serotonin, meaning that tryptophan is needed to make serotonin.
Foods highest in Tryptophan

Increasing Norepinephrine can also help him. Tryosine helps to build dopamine, and later on dopamine synthesizes into epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Tyrosine

Antidepressants work by increasing these two substances in the brain. The extracellular increase of these Neurotransmitters, Serotonin and Norepinephrine, occurs because they block the re uptake process.

Note: Research also found that omega-3 might help some people with depression. This is only research, meaning we don't know a lot.


If this diet doesn't help, or for some reason he's getting worse he should seek medical help immediately. In this stage he would be better off taking medications to increase his neurotransmitters.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Pillow He hasn't taken ex in years. He drinks occasionally with friends about once a month, but other than that he isn't on any kind of medication or drugs. He isn't exactly a negative person, and doesn't report necessarily being depressed, but he does report feeling essentially completed disassociated from the world around him. He has no emotional ties.
@Hawkx Thanks for the information, I will convey this to him tomorrow. He is currently 22, and did ex starting around maybe 14 through high school. Went on alot of weekend binges with his closest friends. He maybe tried it once in the last two/three years, but it wasn't remotely recently.
 

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INTJ's need goals like normal people need air. If he doesn't have goals then he needs to lock himself in a closet with a paper and a pen until he does! Not a computer but paper and a pen and maybe some water! Stay in there and piss/crap yourself until you figure out what you want in life! Happiness is a side effect of a life well lived and not an end in itself.

Set your specific goals with definite time lines.
Make plans to achieve your goals.
Work on your goals every day.
Derive happiness and satisfaction knowing your doing something with your life.
 

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@Pillow He hasn't taken ex in years. He drinks occasionally with friends about once a month, but other than that he isn't on any kind of medication or drugs. He isn't exactly a negative person, and doesn't report necessarily being depressed, but he does report feeling essentially completed disassociated from the world around him. He has no emotional ties.
@Hawkx Thanks for the information, I will convey this to him tomorrow. He is currently 22, and did ex starting around maybe 14 through high school. Went on alot of weekend binges with his closest friends. He maybe tried it once in the last two/three years, but it wasn't remotely recently.
The E could still be affecting him if it permanently damaged his serotonin receptors - that's for life, it won't go away. Although I don't know how common that effect is, I don't know too many people who overdid it with that drug, and most of them were adults when they did. If he did it as a teenager though it is more likely to have caused permanent damage.

Also, the reason I asked about enneagram is that INTJs typically have enneagram types in the withdrawn triad (I've heard type 5 and type 9 are both quite common) which could be contributing to his feelings of dissociation. Maybe getting him to get more in touch with his body and to actually stop and think about what emotions he is feeling could help? It helped me get out of depression a while back.
 

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INTJ's need goals like normal people need air. If he doesn't have goals then he needs to lock himself in a closet with a paper and a pen until he does! Not a computer but paper and a pen and maybe some water! Stay in there and piss/crap yourself until you figure out what you want in life! Happiness is a side effect of a life well lived and not an end in itself.

Set your specific goals with definite time lines.
Make plans to achieve your goals.
Work on your goals every day.
Derive happiness and satisfaction knowing your doing something with your life.
Excellent idea, I agree with Hamel's statement in that we need goals in our lives.
Don't know if this is true for every INTJ, but we need goals if you take away our goals you take away our meaning to live. Experience has taught me this point; I used to have depression, but it was caused by my indecisive path in life. I didn't know which career I should go for and what I wanted to do in my life. INTJs without a goal is an absolute chaos.
 

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The E could still be affecting him if it permanently damaged his serotonin receptors - that's for life, it won't go away. Although I don't know how common that effect is, I don't know too many people who overdid it with that drug, and most of them were adults when they did. If he did it as a teenager though it is more likely to have caused permanent damage.

Also, the reason I asked about enneagram is that INTJs typically have enneagram types in the withdrawn triad (I've heard type 5 and type 9 are both quite common) which could be contributing to his feelings of dissociation. Maybe getting him to get more in touch with his body and to actually stop and think about what emotions he is feeling could help? It helped me get out of depression a while back.
5-HT, serotonin receptor, can be built inside the cell, so in time his cells will build new receptors. Also, he should exercise it'll help help him in many ways that's too long to list.

This site lists some steps that you could take to help him
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_tips.htm

If I had to assume, which no student/doctor should, I would have to say that it's very likely that hes just depressed. You should check Hamel's post on how to put him on the right tract. He's very lucky to have a friend that cares about him. I had no support and friends to help me through.
 

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Thanks for all of this. The thing is, he doesn't consider himself depressed, because his philosophy is in line with his current emotional state: 'nothing matters... nothing exciting in life... already done everything he wants to do and doesn't care if he dies tommorrow...' So he isn't experiencing any sort of emotional instability or emotional conflict over his present state. He is just asking me if I can think of any way for him to improve his quality of life, but I don't know how I can change his philisophical outlook when he doesn't give a fuck about anyone or anything and just does things that he can lose himself in (play games) and socialize a bit to relieve his boredom.

These things about goal setting... I've already asked him what he wants to do, and suggested some possibilities based on things I've heard him express an interest in doing in the past, but he just says he doesn't care enough/is too lazy to bother to do those things.... He is extremely lazy.

So I should just identify those things that he has expressed an interest in doing and push him like a motherfucker to do them?

Also, if he doesn't self-identify as deppressed, should I tell him that he is deppressed and has a problem (so that he should try to fix it) or should I keep this diagnosis from him and just target his symptoms... Is it to his benefit to know that what he is experiencing is actually depression? Would it make him more likely to take steps to help himself?

Thank you all for your help so far.
 

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He is just asking me if I can think of any way for him to improve his quality of life, but I don't know how I can change his philisophical outlook when he doesn't give a fuck about anyone or anything and just does things that he can lose himself in (play games) and socialize a bit to relieve his boredom.
Ding ding ding dingDING DING DING DIIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGGG. There it is. He wants to change his quality of life without fundamentally redefining his philosophy on life. He doesn't recognize that this philosophy is exactly what is causing him to have such a poor quality of life.
 

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Thanks for all of this. The thing is, he doesn't consider himself depressed, because his philosophy is in line with his current emotional state: 'nothing matters... nothing exciting in life... already done everything he wants to do and doesn't care if he dies tommorrow...' So he isn't experiencing any sort of emotional instability or emotional conflict over his present state. He is just asking me if I can think of any way for him to improve his quality of life, but I don't know how I can change his philisophical outlook when he doesn't give a fuck about anyone or anything and just does things that he can lose himself in (play games) and socialize a bit to relieve his boredom.

These things about goal setting... I've already asked him what he wants to do, and suggested some possibilities based on things I've heard him express an interest in doing in the past, but he just says he doesn't care enough/is too lazy to bother to do those things.... He is extremely lazy.

So I should just identify those things that he has expressed an interest in doing and push him like a motherfucker to do them?

Also, if he doesn't self-identify as deppressed, should I tell him that he is deppressed and has a problem (so that he should try to fix it) or should I keep this diagnosis from him and just target his symptoms... Is it to his benefit to know that what he is experiencing is actually depression? Would it make him more likely to take steps to help himself?

Thank you all for your help so far.
'nothing matters... nothing exciting in life... already done everything he wants to do and doesn't care if he dies tommorrow...'

Do you hear anyone who is not depressed say, "I don't care if I die tomorrow". Everyone is different, but everyone has neurochemicals that control the brain in a similar fashion, unless their genes have mutations. For your information, some people who are depressed don't like to show their weakened state.

Read the diagnostic criteria; all doctors go by the book. If he presents these signs then its likely he's depressed. Try to be objective as much as possible.
http://www.guiasalud.es/egpc/traduccion/ingles/depresion/completa/documentos/anexos/Anexo_7_Criterios_ diagnosticos_segun_la_DSM-IV-TR.pdf
http://www.wiley-vch.de/books/sample/3527307850_c01.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_depressive_disorder
(I'm giving you multiple sources so that you use the ones that correspond. I'm not big on using websites would rather have the DSM IV book.)

If you concur with the diagnostic criteria and he still rejects it, I don't know what you can do. It's difficult to change someones opinion. You'll probably have to decide for yourself how to approach him; you know him better than I do.
 

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An INTJ's desires:

"Have you food that leaves one still unsatisfied,
Quicksilver-gold that breaks up in
One's very hands? Can you provide
A game that I can never win,
Procure a girl whose roving eye
Invites the next man even as I lie
In her embrace? A meteoric fame
That fades as quickly as it came?
Show me that fruit that rots before it's plucked
And trees that change their foliage everyday!"

Faust, lines 1680 - 1687.

In essence, your friend needs to be challenged with some new goals. Right now, to me, he sounds like this:

"How uselessly I've labored to collect,
The treasures of the human intellect,
And now I sit and wonder what I've done.
I feel no new strength surging in my soul
I'm not a hairsbreadth taller, I'm not one
Step nearer to the infinite goal."

Faust, lines 1810 - 1815.

Be his Devil and find some new ways to intrigue and enlighten him. And possibly forgo the hug.
 
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