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Discussion Starter #1
It seems many INFPs have depression, or at least existential depression (what is this world and where do I belong?).

For me it seems to come from an identity crisis. I don't know who I am, and I am afraid when I find out I won't like me. The more I integrate myself, work on my "shadow", and accept myself as I am - the better my depression has become and the more I overcome.

I also see it as this. INFPs, being the original optimists, get beaten down by life. They see that most people don't share their philosophy, and that will never change (or at least not in this lifetime). Indeed the world can be cruel and I really believe that crushed me at some point. And then we become cynical, but under that the original optimist calls out, and this causes confusion, depression, anger, etc.

Any thoughts? Do you have the INFP blues? What has helped, if anything, and what do you think the challenge is of overcoming it?

I also think changing my perspective has helped. One of those things is learning that you don't find yourself - you create yourself.
 

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Indeed, I have the INFP "Blues." I have clinical depression, and sometimes I just get depressed for no reason. Whenever I'm feeling depressed, I feel like my spirit is broken and I feel numb and hopeless. It gets especially bad in during Winter, as the sun isn't shining as strongly. November through February is horrible and I just don't want to crawl out of bed.

I find that going out for walks and exercising really helps. It releases endorphins, a chemical that makes you feel happy. Also, listening to music, playing an instrument, and drawing/painting or any form of artwork helps with expressing your feelings. I'm not exactly sure, but I think that music can elevate endorphin levels as well (If someone wants to add to this point, feel free to do so.) Finding someone to talk to always helps, but in excess, it can make you dwell on your problems even more.

The challenge I've faced of overcoming it was that I lived in an adverse environment all of my life. I lived with abusive parents and I live in an area with a high amount of ethnic tension and I never had enough money for counseling or getting medication or finding any professional I can talk to for my problems. No matter how hard I tried thinking positive, there was negative stimuli all around me that just reminded me more and more of how this world can just suck sometimes.
 

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I think mine also has a lot to do with adverse environments. I too grew up with abuse in the family and also extra-familial things... severe abuse, not going to go into details though. Complex PTSD.

I am just coming out of a lifelong depression. It's like when you get glasses for the first time - the world hasn't changed, only how you look at it. It's really, really awesome. It'd be cool to pool together our experiences with it. I find myself taking pictures of the sky, laughing, waking up rested, things like that. Considering I was suicidal for years not long ago (ending maybe 6 months ago), this is pretty extreme for me.
 

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I think mine also has a lot to do with adverse environments. I too grew up with abuse in the family and also extra-familial things... severe abuse, not going to go into details though. Complex PTSD.

I am just coming out of a lifelong depression. It's like when you get glasses for the first time - the world hasn't changed, only how you look at it. It's really, really awesome. It'd be cool to pool together our experiences with it. I find myself taking pictures of the sky, laughing, waking up rested, things like that. Considering I was suicidal for years not long ago (ending maybe 6 months ago), this is pretty extreme for me.
How did you manage to come out?
 
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I also think changing my perspective has helped. One of those things is learning that you don't find yourself - you create yourself.
First of all, let me sincerely say this to you, I LOVE YOU! This comes from my heart, not from an empty attempt to make you feel better. I am happy you have been able to come through many of your earlier difficulties, and am proud of you. :)

I came to a similar conclusion. I am he whom I create as I grow along. For many years I lived within a bubble of fear, hiding from change, and trying to fulfill people's expectations from me (which was very unfulfilling and self-defeating, as I just could not be the way they wanted me to be.) When I finally burst out of that bubble, I started to experiment with old and new things in life, and it obviously began to show on the outside. I have concluded that while recreating myself, I am now who I was meant to be all along. I didn't fake my new self, this is ME. But I had to recreate myself in order to "find" myself. I've grown in unexpected ways (still a work in progress), being things I wasn't before, just to discover this was me all along, hiding in that old, now burst bubble.

I encourage you to keep growing, experimenting, challenging yourself. You are a beautiful human being, deserving of all beautiful things. Life is certainly beautiful after all, and you deserve to partake of its gorgeousness! So happy for you, but don't lose hope when things get tough. It's a growing process, and you are really doing well. :) Keep laughing, walking, taking care of yourself, doing exercise as suggested above (if you feel that's the path for you-I think it is good), have nice "thinking" walks, pamper yourself with all your love. Just keep creating yourself, in order to "find" who you are in this world-you already have the key!

Caring Wishes,

IcarusDreams
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How did you manage to come out?
That's the million dollar question. I don't think it was one thing.

A big part of it for me was reconnecting to music and starting to write again. It's very therapeutic in many ways and hopefully it is for other people as well.

Not only did I have an idealized version of the world in my head, but also an idealized version of myself. And of course I never measured up to it and thus thought I was very flawed and a huge hypocrite. Learning to accept those things that I don't like about myself - that I can be manipulative, petty, self centered etc, all those things are part of the human condition. Not only did I need to accept it to work on changing it, it's very freeing to not be denying any part of myself. Well, I'm sure I still am but you get what I mean.

Therapy has helped me considerably. Also learning about how I got the way I got, namely non-functional and suicidal. Medication has also helped. I've been involved in these things for several years now, and it's been slow going but it is very worth it. I've had to push myself to deal with uncomfortable things, like feeling anger, facing past trauma, shame and guilt, all sorts of things.

@IcarusDreams, thank you and we definitely see eye to eye. I wish I could make some kind of list as to what has helped me but it's somewhat mysterious to myself what caused this change in attitude. That's the biggest part of it I guess. But it's not so easy as being 'optimistic' or looking on the bright side or whatever, we all know that. That's impossible to do when you're severely depressed.

@brady I'm going to check out the thread, thanks!
 

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Lol, I think my Blog and first real post her pretty much sums up the fact that I have been going through the INFP Blues. Sometimes I think I'm so hardcore into my idealized world that when I take a moment to really look around and see just how crappy things are it really discourages me. It sucks... but I don't think I can give up as much as I sometimes wish I could.
 

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@493dreamer, I smiled so much reading you've been creating.
 

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I've dealt with depression since I was very young. I think a lot of it has to do with growing up in a very fundamentalist religious family. However, I definitely know about the existential-INFP thing as well. One thing I can highly recommend is reading a booked called "The Chemistry of Joy". Gives tons of great insights into lifestyle, nutrition, behaviors, etc. that can help us manage this beast.
 

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I was depressed for half my life, easily. I still get depressed every now and then, but it seems to be getting better.
I think something that has helped me is talking to people. Generally I talk to people online who are going through the same type of things I am, people who can relate to me. When I talk to people who used to be in my shoes, and moved forward, it gives me a lot of hope, and this tends to curb my depressing thoughts enough where I can start living my life again.

As previous posters mentioned, walking or running does help. I have issues walking because of an accident, but when I get out and try, regardless of how far I get, I feel much better. I also play piano, just whatever I feel.
I write at night too, before bed. What I write usually makes no sense. I have one notebook that's labeled Questions, and one that's labeled Answers. Both are full of crap, but it just depends on my writing mood. Usually when I am depressed I tend to ask a lot of questions about who I am, the world, and things going on around me. When I am feeling less depressed I create stories based off of those questions that answer them. It helps me work through my problems.
 

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I also see it as this. INFPs, being the original optimists, get beaten down by life. They see that most people don't share their philosophy, and that will never change (or at least not in this lifetime). Indeed the world can be cruel and I really believe that crushed me at some point. And then we become cynical, but under that the original optimist calls out, and this causes confusion, depression, anger, etc.

Any thoughts? Do you have the INFP blues? What has helped, if anything, and what do you think the challenge is of overcoming it?

I also think changing my perspective has helped. One of those things is learning that you don't find yourself - you create yourself.
I really relate to this part a lot. I'm starting to become cynical, and I don't like that trend. I would love to hold on to my optimistic world view and stay passionate and hopeful about people and my beliefs. I'm fighting to hold on to and cherish my inner optimist. Even though reality can be cruel at times and people can let you down, I don't want to lose hope or let it bring me down too much. (It's hard to reconcile the inner optimist with the often harsh reality and I'm still not there yet.)

One thing that helps me is to focus on individuals rather than an overall world view. I will always find at least a few kind idealistic people out there. And even though I may not be able to change the world, I can inspire individuals as well as be inspired by them. When I focus more on individuals and individual experiences, I'm bound to find something beautiful or optimistic about the experience. Things like that often restore my faith in humanity.
 
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