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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone list what they believe to be the order of how we behave and react to things, based on the severity of depression? I guess I'm curious, because I've hit a very low point. I need to figure out where I stand and what I need to do in order to climb out of the hole that I'm in, if its even possible. I'm just tired of acting like I'm fine, when I'm clearly losing touch of who I am.
 

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First of all, getting out is always possible.

Second, asking for help is a massive step.

If your willing, want to talk about whats wrong? Anything and if you want everything. Talking it out, even not for advice but to vent can help.

The stages though as I have gone through it:

1. Keep trying but growing resentment unease.
2. Stop caring.
3. Find flaws with self.
4. Ignore commitments and sleep alot.
5. Push away everyone. While hoping they fight back to stay.
6. Rock Bottom - Can go one of two ways, do or die.

But from experience, it will end, even if it doesn't feel like it will. Everything ends. Real friends and family will support you and be there even if you go through these phases,

The fact that you are asking for help is already a massive step :). Hope I helped.
 

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Here's how I dealt/ am dealing with my depression. I followed Maslow's Heiarch of Needs. First, I secured my basic needs. I found a reliable place to live (with my parents lol), found a good paying-stable job (not ideal but it'll do) and kept up with hygiene and basic health and fitness. Being poor, hungry, sick and/or out of shape only worsens depression and makes it harder to escape. Once my physiological and security needs were met, I shifted gears to my Social needs. At first, I thought this meant having a group of friends, a girlfriend and a extravagant social life. On account of my "self" being so different from the people around me, I found these things difficult to obtain. But, once I realized "to love others is to love yourself" and stopped worrying about how I was accepted and started accepting others unconditionally(-ish), a community started gathering around me. And, though I havent found many like minded individuals IRL, I've found plenty of stimulating minds online (particularly PerC). Though I'm still working on my Social needs, I feel I have achieved/am achieving significant progress in Esteem Needs and Actualization needs as I follow my passions, reach out to others, educate myself and bulk up the list of skills and benefits I have to offer the world. This process have been invaluable.

Of course it doesn't hurt to read positive literature and compound a list of inspiring quotes and advice. This helps in developing a positive mindset. This will help as you struggle (and it will be a struggle) to get escape depression. You will trip, stumble and even fall backward. At times, it'll feel as if your doomed to live a worthless, meaningless, loveless existence but, even if you don't believe it yourself, know that you will escape it. Depression is a pitch black maze.

But above all, have someone you can talk to; Even if its through through e-mail or PM ( I volunteer :-D ).
 

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naturally baked

I'm sorry you are going through a low point. I find for me rising above depression has been about building energy within myself. Whether it be by meditation or being around positive people. Maybe you are sensitive and current relationships you have may be keeping you down. It is like a negative space art drawing being an INFJ I think. Sometimes removing or clearing something or someone is more essential than "changing" or adding if that makes sense.

You may want to try going within yourself and pulling some deep questions from the sea of emotion you may be feeling and trying to "define" what it is that is bothering you. And then seperate that from daily routines and activities. If you are noticing reactive behavior. Write down where you feel reactive and come up with a new solution on how you'll handle those situations. Maybe lacking awareness will allow reactive behavior to continue. I don't have any simple answers but I hope some of these thoughts help.
 

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You might want to consider medicinal help if you think that your depression may be clinical (as opposed to situational). I had clinical depression and this was kind of how it went for me:

1. Start to feel overwhelmed with tasks that used to be routine
2. Withdrawal from social circle or interaction in order to complete tasks/combat increasing anxiety
3. Notice that activities that once gave you pleasure, you now find tedious, uninspiring, distracting, or unfulfilling
4. Begin to neglect responsibilities or continually question how "necessary" completing a certain task is (like going to class, dressing well, going to an event, or grocery shopping)
5. Become severely withdrawn and only maintain enough contact to not garner too much suspicion about increasing apathy or anxiety
6. Start to hate self and attribute inactivity to laziness or poor self-control
7. May seek out advice from close friends but ultimately find such interactions unrewarding or unhelpful. May find self indulging in "impulsive" behavior in an effort to relieve anxiety or to try and find joy (spending money where you were once frugal, eating out more often when you usually cook, skipping an appointment you were dreading, etc.)
8. Begin experiencing repetitive, negative thoughts that are difficult to "turn off"
9. Lose all interests in activities or people in favor of sleeping, engaging in mind-numbing activities that pass time as opposed to give joy
10. Hate self, hate life, feel no meaningful connections with people or with the course of your life

I've been at stage 10, and for me, it was very difficult to try and get out without medication. It was probably possible, but it took so much effort, that I found it beneficial to get therapy and medication, find a way out of my depression, and then wean myself off both therapy and meds in order to take control of my own life. While I was depressed, I would try meditation, prayer, trying to establish and keep to a routine (to ground me) but found all my efforts were futile. I inevitably felt terrible and found no comfort in meditation (it did not lift me from my depression), and when I tried to stick to a routine, any little variance made me feel terrible and worthless.

Even at like, stage 4, it was difficult for people to lift me out of my depression. I would talk to them, they would be understanding and genuine, and it would make me feel good, but after a few hours I would feel terrible about myself again. For minor bouts of depression, I find that establishing and sticking to a routine was very helpful because at the end of the day, I could feel good about having accomplished "goals." If I start to not accomplish these goals, I make the goals smaller and more of them (instead of "clean house" it became "wash dishes," "fold laundry" and "take out trash") and that makes me feel better.

However, I think the biggest indicator of maybe something is seriously wrong is realizing that activities that you used to enjoy are no longer fun. I think that should have been my first clue that something major was wrong (because even when I was depressed, there seemed to be NO WAY to give myself even temporary relief when I could no longer enjoy or appreciate my favorite pastimes).
 

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Wow I realized I was depressed, but I didn't think it was as bad as it seems to be, something about seeing myself at the bottom of a list of ten is kind intense. Thanks for putting that up and opening this thread
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You might want to consider medicinal help if you think that your depression may be clinical (as opposed to situational). I had clinical depression and this was kind of how it went for me:

1. Start to feel overwhelmed with tasks that used to be routine
2. Withdrawal from social circle or interaction in order to complete tasks/combat increasing anxiety
3. Notice that activities that once gave you pleasure, you now find tedious, uninspiring, distracting, or unfulfilling
4. Begin to neglect responsibilities or continually question how "necessary" completing a certain task is (like going to class, dressing well, going to an event, or grocery shopping)
5. Become severely withdrawn and only maintain enough contact to not garner too much suspicion about increasing apathy or anxiety
6. Start to hate self and attribute inactivity to laziness or poor self-control
7. May seek out advice from close friends but ultimately find such interactions unrewarding or unhelpful. May find self indulging in "impulsive" behavior in an effort to relieve anxiety or to try and find joy (spending money where you were once frugal, eating out more often when you usually cook, skipping an appointment you were dreading, etc.)
8. Begin experiencing repetitive, negative thoughts that are difficult to "turn off"
9. Lose all interests in activities or people in favor of sleeping, engaging in mind-numbing activities that pass time as opposed to give joy
10. Hate self, hate life, feel no meaningful connections with people or with the course of your life

I've been at stage 10, and for me, it was very difficult to try and get out without medication. It was probably possible, but it took so much effort, that I found it beneficial to get therapy and medication, find a way out of my depression, and then wean myself off both therapy and meds in order to take control of my own life. While I was depressed, I would try meditation, prayer, trying to establish and keep to a routine (to ground me) but found all my efforts were futile. I inevitably felt terrible and found no comfort in meditation (it did not lift me from my depression), and when I tried to stick to a routine, any little variance made me feel terrible and worthless.

Even at like, stage 4, it was difficult for people to lift me out of my depression. I would talk to them, they would be understanding and genuine, and it would make me feel good, but after a few hours I would feel terrible about myself again. For minor bouts of depression, I find that establishing and sticking to a routine was very helpful because at the end of the day, I could feel good about having accomplished "goals." If I start to not accomplish these goals, I make the goals smaller and more of them (instead of "clean house" it became "wash dishes," "fold laundry" and "take out trash") and that makes me feel better.

However, I think the biggest indicator of maybe something is seriously wrong is realizing that activities that you used to enjoy are no longer fun. I think that should have been my first clue that something major was wrong (because even when I was depressed, there seemed to be NO WAY to give myself even temporary relief when I could no longer enjoy or appreciate my favorite pastimes).
Thanks, I was looking for something like this. I've definitely been at a 10 quite a bit, but it sort of comes and goes. I usually hover between 7 and 9 most days. Maybe it is clinical depression, never really seen a doctor for it and I honestly haven't cared enough to go.
 

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If you'd accept the levels of a type 4 from the Enneagram that may be useful:

Healthy Levels Level 1 (At Their Best): Profoundly creative, expressing the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. Inspired, self-renewing and regenerating: able to transform all their experiences into something valuable: self-creative.
Level 2: Self-aware, introspective, on the "search for self," aware of feelings and inner impulses. Sensitive and intuitive both to self and others: gentle, tactful, compassionate.
Level 3: Highly personal, individualistic, "true to self." Self-revealing, emotionally honest, humane. Ironic view of self and life: can be serious and funny, vulnerable and emotionally strong.
Average Levels Level 4: Take an artistic, romantic orientation to life, creating a beautiful, aesthetic environment to cultivate and prolong personal feelings. Heighten reality through fantasy, passionate feelings, and the imagination.

Level 5: To stay in touch with feelings, they interiorize everything, taking everything personally, but become self-absorbed and introverted, moody and hypersensitive, shy and self-conscious, unable to be spontaneous or to "get out of themselves." Stay withdrawn to protect their self-image and to buy time to sort out feelings.

Level 6: Gradually think that they are different from others, and feel that they are exempt from living as everyone else does. They become melancholy dreamers, disdainful, decadent, and sensual, living in a fantasy world. Self-pity and envy of others leads to self-indulgence, and to becoming increasingly impractical, unproductive, effete, and precious.
Unhealthy Levels Level 7: When dreams fail, become self-inhibiting and angry at self, depressed and alienated from self and others, blocked and emotionally paralyzed. Ashamed of self, fatigued and unable to function.

Level 8: Tormented by delusional self-contempt, self-reproaches, self-hatred, and morbid thoughts: everything is a source of torment. Blaming others, they drive away anyone who tries to help them.

Level 9: Despairing, feel hopeless and become self-destructive, possibly abusing alcohol or drugs to escape. In the extreme: emotional breakdown or suicide is likely. Generally corresponds to the Avoidant, Depressive, and Narcissistic personality disorders.
 

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naturally baked

I'm sorry you are going through a low point. I find for me rising above depression has been about building energy within myself. Whether it be by meditation or being around positive people. Maybe you are sensitive and current relationships you have may be keeping you down. It is like a negative space art drawing being an INFJ I think. Sometimes removing or clearing something or someone is more essential than "changing" or adding if that makes sense.

You may want to try going within yourself and pulling some deep questions from the sea of emotion you may be feeling and trying to "define" what it is that is bothering you. And then seperate that from daily routines and activities. If you are noticing reactive behavior. Write down where you feel reactive and come up with a new solution on how you'll handle those situations. Maybe lacking awareness will allow reactive behavior to continue. I don't have any simple answers but I hope some of these thoughts help.
for me this is perfect advice! This is pretty much exactly how I deal with the lows as well.
 

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naturally baked

Yep. I'm accustomed to depression. And both of my best friends are INFJ's too so I'm familiar with INFJ land. Loss of identity is interesting. That happens to me too. I've found it is because of dispersement of energy. Sometimes over thinking the past or the future or not having good barriers when dealing with others causes the inside to feel like it is erroding.

As above posted exercise is very important. In the process get to know "you" and your likes and dislikes. I think it is a challenge to be an INFJ because I've found constant outside pressure questioning the way I approach things or who I am because I think differently. To get a good perspective of who I am compared to who others are plus understanding where they are coming from and where I am coming from helps the loss of identity a bit. But that is a complicated feeling that has a lot of factors to why it is being experienced.

What is your goal naturally baked? Maybe we INFJ's can help you with that? I find a trap that a lot of INFJ's may fall into is getting into cycles of self improvement or "looking" for things or feeling they have to create things that are already there. Like "meaning" for example. Creating meaningful experiences in the moment. But lets say that the full picture is not revealed in the moment. Does that mean that meaning is lost? Oh being in the "Now" that has been an issue for my best friend and I. I've finally understood energetically what that means. We can discuss that too. Can we believe that all people, things and events are meaningful? Without judging their purpose or "understanding" everything?

*sigh* I'm trying to say something here but I didn't get enough sleep so I'm rambling.

naturally baked you are so sweet I'm sorry that you are suffering. I can never get your name right in my mind - I always think "half baked" and I think of ice cream! Hahaha
 
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Oh, about stages. Maybe worry less about a stage (allow yourself to be flowing like water). Yes you can be down, but let that not define you. How can you be at your best potential in the moment right now, given all of your flaws and excellence. Also I've read a lot in Kabbalah on depression.

The first remedy is to reach out and show love to others to restore energy and pull yourself out of constant thinking of self in the mind. Let's say I'm feeling lonely. I can get out my phone book and call all of my friends I feel I've neglected and offer my company.

Depression is an opponent's guame. Part of it is hindering your soul so that you can't share your light with the world. But "light" discussion and opponent is a totally different conversation. Have you found out which stage of depression you are in and the frequency of that? Are you getting treatment for your depression?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@Female INFJ: Thank you for sharing such valuable information, as for what my goal is? Hmm.. well I have a few, finishing school in a career I'll be happy in, having meaningful relationships with others, reaching my peak levels of fitness/health, and well, finding an inner understanding of myself. I'm not sure why you say I'm sweet though, I'm really not. I'm maybe at a level 7 on the enneagram scale posted above and it really just fluctuates, at times I can really feel like I'm at a level 9. And no, I'm not getting treatment nor have I sought any type of help.
 

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The only medicine I would recommend is sativa weed. I really feel like going on a cursing-fueled rant about how messed up it is that weed is illegal, but I will condense it with one phrase directed towards the government: "Fuck you.". Anyways, It will help bring out your Se and help you focus on the true beauty of life by shifting your perspective. Only vaporize or use edibles, never smoke. This in combination with exercise will help. True depression never goes away. It is always doing pushups right outside your door ready to whip your ass. INFJ's (speaking of my own experience here) have a very deep potential for depression because they feel so deeply.. also because our minds really do not care about or fit into (American) society. We are alone.
 

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If you'd accept the levels of a type 4 from the Enneagram that may be useful:

Healthy Levels

Level 1 (At Their Best): Profoundly creative, expressing the personal and the universal, possibly in a work of art. Inspired, self-renewing and regenerating: able to transform all their experiences into something valuable: self-creative.
Level 2: Self-aware, introspective, on the "search for self," aware of feelings and inner impulses. Sensitive and intuitive both to self and others: gentle, tactful, compassionate.
Level 3: Highly personal, individualistic, "true to self." Self-revealing, emotionally honest, humane. Ironic view of self and life: can be serious and funny, vulnerable and emotionally strong.
Average Levels

Level 4: Take an artistic, romantic orientation to life, creating a beautiful, aesthetic environment to cultivate and prolong personal feelings. Heighten reality through fantasy, passionate feelings, and the imagination.

Level 5: To stay in touch with feelings, they interiorize everything, taking everything personally, but become self-absorbed and introverted, moody and hypersensitive, shy and self-conscious, unable to be spontaneous or to "get out of themselves." Stay withdrawn to protect their self-image and to buy time to sort out feelings.

Level 6: Gradually think that they are different from others, and feel that they are exempt from living as everyone else does. They become melancholy dreamers, disdainful, decadent, and sensual, living in a fantasy world. Self-pity and envy of others leads to self-indulgence, and to becoming increasingly impractical, unproductive, effete, and precious.
Unhealthy Levels

Level 7: When dreams fail, become self-inhibiting and angry at self, depressed and alienated from self and others, blocked and emotionally paralyzed. Ashamed of self, fatigued and unable to function.

Level 8: Tormented by delusional self-contempt, self-reproaches, self-hatred, and morbid thoughts: everything is a source of torment. Blaming others, they drive away anyone who tries to help them.

Level 9: Despairing, feel hopeless and become self-destructive, possibly abusing alcohol or drugs to escape. In the extreme: emotional breakdown or suicide is likely. Generally corresponds to the Avoidant, Depressive, and Narcissistic personality disorders.
How the f**k did you figure this out!? I feel like you have to be a genius to put this together
 

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How the f**k did you figure this out!? I feel like you have to be a genius to put this together
I know to Google some things and that the Enneagram Institute tends to have useful information. Now, they are the ones that created the list, not me, and I'd suspect it is the work of numerous people over the years.

There is a similar set of descriptions of 9 levels of health in the Riso-Hudson book, "The Wisdom of the Enneagram," if you want a book reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The only medicine I would recommend is sativa weed. I really feel like going on a cursing-fueled rant about how messed up it is that weed is illegal, but I will condense it with one phrase directed towards the government: "Fuck you.". Anyways, It will help bring out your Se and help you focus on the true beauty of life by shifting your perspective. Only vaporize or use edibles, never smoke. This in combination with exercise will help. True depression never goes away. It is always doing pushups right outside your door ready to whip your ass. INFJ's (speaking of my own experience here) have a very deep potential for depression because they feel so deeply.. also because our minds really do not care about or fit into (American) society. We are alone.
I get what you mean about the weed, I've felt the whole 'Se' enhancement that sativa strains produce. Unfortunately I am terrible and I mean absolutely positively terrible at limiting my drug consumption. I can't even count the number of times I've had anxiety attacks on cannabis, blacked out/passed out drunk, and overdosed on medications. I really wish I could literally beat the shit out of this depression so I can walk out of the door and run some damn laps. It isn't so simple though, the physical and mental exhaustion I feel is just too much for me at the moment.
 

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Birth, life, death. Yep, that covers most of it!

Honestly though I can't describe my own stages of depression. I don't know when I became depressed and I don't really know what tipped me off that I was. It was more along the lines of, "Wait a second... loss of apetite, loss of interest, insomnia, thoughts of suicide... aren't these the symptoms of depression?!" However, I've had my fair share of psychology classes and the same thing is always stressed: There are no specific stages to depression as it is different for every individual. If you or your patient are showing signs of depression it is best to seek counsel immediately.

Before I lost my medical insurance I felt quite a bit better after being placed on medication for anxiety and depression, have you considered trying that?
 
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