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I have read that people who are ISFJ often suffer from Psychosomatic illnesses. Can anyone relate to this? I know I do have some unexplained aches and pains and yet my doctors cannot seem to figure out what is wrong..
 

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How can you verify that something is psychosomatic? If you feel pain, you feel pain. Everything (including "real" pain) is in your head.... There are things like fibromyalgia that simply don't have any (known) reason....
 

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I've read the same thing, and I think it has validity despite it being hard to know what is real or not. I'm a recovered anorexic and I know that that largely came from an inability to cope with things that were going on in life. I'm convince for any ISFJ that experiences psychosamatic illnesses that they are suffering from doormat syndrome. We typically are just in emotional pain and have no outlet, so in comes the mentally or self inflicted pain to serve as a physical emulation of emotional illnesses that aren't being treated.

ISFJs don't call attention to themselves. We live a very implicit life and it's hard to speak up or even recognize when we're hurting emotionally. So it stands to reason that many of us create physical symptoms to draw attention to ourselves when we otherwise wouldn't receive it.
 

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I used to get psychosomatical pains and aches alot. I still get different problems. I think the key is, regarding linnifae's question, that psychosomaical things will be...less direct, if that makes sense. I can get a tension headache after having a bad day, but what I'd call a more psychosomatical pain would be if I was feeling guilty deep down, but in denial about the guilt, and got inexplicable headaches.

Or displaced - drinking, self-injury, eating problems.

Psychosomatic problems have an emotional root, not just a...physical one.

So in a sense, yes, it is real pain, it's just distinct (another variation) in that it's caused by...less tangible matters.

It's like saying that mental illness is basically some physical malfunction - like a broken leg, or bug, - only it's...a tad less tangible. But still, you can reduce it to biology/social factors.


I suppose if you were to call stress anything that had negative impact on the body, it's just as much an injury as being hit with a rock.
 

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I have read that people who are ISFJ often suffer from Psychosomatic illnesses. Can anyone relate to this? I know I do have some unexplained aches and pains and yet my doctors cannot seem to figure out what is wrong..
Never heard this before and really, I don't believe a second of it.
I think anyone can be a hypochondriac.... I think anyone can have psychosomatic illnesses. I know that INFJ can get physically ill when their life is full of stress and they can not have enough time alone to regenerate themselves.

Don't believe everything you read. I think most of it is hogwash.
 

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I think anyone can have psychosomatic illnesses. I know that INFJ can get physically ill when their life is full of stress and they can not have enough time alone to regenerate themselves.
I'll agree with this, psychosomatical problems are universal, but I think they're not so surprising in ISFJs, and IFJs generally. With Fe as a function in an already partway reserved, unexpressive individual it's not so difficult, in theory, for feelings to be easier to not pay attention to.
 

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I'm with krwheel and liminality on this as well. When I was younger, I used to pop advil all the time. Like, 18 a day, because I had a "headache." My head really did seem to hurt, but as I've gotten older and gotten away from some of the problems and emotional hurts that I used to experience I don't seem to have those headaches anymore. I recognized when I got into college that I was popping pills because I thought they'd take my pain away, but the real pain was in my heart, not my head.
 

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I'm with krwheel and liminality on this as well. When I was younger, I used to pop advil all the time. Like, 18 a day, because I had a "headache." My head really did seem to hurt, but as I've gotten older and gotten away from some of the problems and emotional hurts that I used to experience I don't seem to have those headaches anymore. I recognized when I got into college that I was popping pills because I thought they'd take my pain away, but the real pain was in my heart, not my head.
Sorry, but that just seems surreal to me. I had a less than worse than ideal childhood, and I have never felt the need to take pills or medicate that way. I am thinking this has more to do with 'coping' skills than personality type.
 

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Sorry, but that just seems surreal to me. I had a less than worse than ideal childhood, and I have never felt the need to take pills or medicate that way. I am thinking this has more to do with 'coping' skills than personality type.
It's not a thing that is a part or defines all ISFJs, it's that they are more prone than most types. And when you think about how emotionally closed off most ISFJs are, it really makes sense that many will cope through a pyschosomatic illness. So it is about coping skills, but ISFJs are more likely to use this to cope.

And I'm glad you didn't ever use pyschosomatic illness. I think that gives hope to ISFJs that there are other methods for dealing with life.
 

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It's not a thing that is a part or defines all ISFJs, it's that they are more prone than most types. And when you think about how emotionally closed off most ISFJs are, it really makes sense that many will cope through a pyschosomatic illness. So it is about coping skills, but ISFJs are more likely to use this to cope.

And I'm glad you didn't ever use pyschosomatic illness. I think that gives hope to ISFJs that there are other methods for dealing with life.
A long line of.....
My paternal grandmother was ISFJ
My mother is ISFJ
My father is ESFJ

truely, we are a very screwed up family, of that there can be no doubt. But none of us has ever used or needed illness of any kind. In fact we avoid it altogether. Workaholic may be a better choice of 'ailment' LOL
Every one of us are workaholics.
Then again, so is my INFJ!
 

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Sorry, but that just seems surreal to me. I had a less than worse than ideal childhood, and I have never felt the need to take pills or medicate that way. I am thinking this has more to do with 'coping' skills than personality type.

I never said it had anything to do with my type - I said that I could relate with the other people in this thread who have felt pain and have tried to find ways to cope with it. I was only expressing the way that I did at one time in my life. :) It wasn't a need for an illness, or anything like that. I honestly did not understand the source of my pain.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I apologize if I have upset any of you for creating this thread...:sad:

From personal experience, I know I am not able to cope as well with certain situations in life like perhaps other people are able to..I internalize everything and suppress many emotions.. To me, I never saw it has creating an unexplained illness to get attention from anyone.. but I just never understood what it could be and that's when I discovered psychosomatic illnesses..

I do believe it has to do with coping skills and that is why I asked if any ISFJ's have experienced this as well, since some of us might not have outlets for our strong feelings and emotions...
 

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No worries Mila, no one is upset. :) It's an interesting question, and I think it's important to discuss.
 
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I think to say it's about needing or using illness is the wrong way to phrase it. It's not something a person really creates, like Mila says, it's a reaction a person might involuntarily come out with, or I suppose you could say, a coping method - in that other problems can get supressed.

I honestly did not understand the source of my pain.
I also have a hard time identifying the cause of 'stress' in myself, or pain, even that I am stressed. For a long time it would be other people telling me I looked tired, or asking if I was okay and then me identifying the feelings and tensions, or feeling displaced discomfort/pain/tension - emotionally and physically.
 

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It's interesting to me now, how much I've grown emotionally. Now I recognize the stress and pain (most of the time) but I still have a tendency to act as though it isn't there. I find myself unable to break out of this habit. It's like I don't want people to know I'm weak and hurt and I try to avoid discussing it as much as possible. I'm not even sure why. I think that I feel vulnerable because of it - and I don't want anyone to have a weapon like that. Also, the things that hurt me have a tendency to blow over, and then being hurt by them seems so silly to me. Trying to talk about those things becomes something that seems like a waste of time.
 

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It's interesting to me now, how much I've grown emotionally. Now I recognize the stress and pain (most of the time) but I still have a tendency to act as though it isn't there. I find myself unable to break out of this habit. It's like I don't want people to know I'm weak and hurt and I try to avoid discussing it as much as possible. I'm not even sure why. I think that I feel vulnerable because of it - and I don't want anyone to have a weapon like that. Also, the things that hurt me have a tendency to blow over, and then being hurt by them seems so silly to me. Trying to talk about those things becomes something that seems like a waste of time.
A further picture into the mind of an ISFJ. It's like this war between avoiding vulnerability and allowing it so that intimacy can be developed. ISFJs definitely have an interesting emotional maturation process though. I'm in the same boat of trying to manage all the things I recognize emotionally, on my own. It's an interesting spectrum, because I think for ISFJs, we really don't need a lot of people to know what's going on in our lives, because we frankly don't need more than a few people that are close to us. But then again, we can't get too rigid or we get too alone. I've felt like I've been able to strike a better balance as I've grown though.
 

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Also, the things that hurt me have a tendency to blow over, and then being hurt by them seems so silly to me. Trying to talk about those things becomes something that seems like a waste of time.
And I swear trying to put it into words on the spot is near impossible, my head gets mixed up and I just feel anxious and start to loose track of what I'm upset about, or rather why it upsets me.
 

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This is also true for me too. I can sit here and feel so lost and hurt, and not even realize the cause of it. Some things register immediately, but most of the time I really have to sit down and think about it so I can sort out what is actually bothering me so I can attempt to deal with it.
 

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This is also true for me too. I can sit here and feel so lost and hurt, and not even realize the cause of it. Some things register immediately, but most of the time I really have to sit down and think about it so I can sort out what is actually bothering me so I can attempt to deal with it.
I start writing things down, like a letter to my best friend.
whatever comes out. It really does help. I am no good with a journal, but I am good at sending email to my love, he IS my best friend. Sometimes he answers and sometimes not, because he KNOWS that I am working it out in my mind, finding the solution. Only when he sees me begin to falter without finding the solution does he say much. Sometimes I write the email, and save it over night and read it again and add to it, or delete from it, or I just save it in draft and never send it at all. The important thing for me is to SEE the thoughts OUTSIDE my head so that I can better define the problem and hopefully the solution. I also see that I am using the word 'problem'.... maybe not always appropriate, we all have obstacles or maybe we just need to define a simpler path.... but I hope you understand where I am coming from. Sometimes seeing my thoughts helps me think about them more clearly with another perspective.
 
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