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Discussion Starter #1
I am posting this in INFJ because there are positive posts here and some people I find commonality with. I believe I am INFJ. Whatever that is or means aside I came to PerC for two reasons. I want to help people. I need help.

I really need help because I am in a bad place in my mind. I am afraid to get help because I work in a secure facility and seeking mental healthcare can negatively impact my job. So I know I need help and I am afraid to get it. I am paranoid too about if I go to the VA if they will communicate negative things to my employer.

I need both help for my mental health and to know more about the legal repurcussions since it could cost me my job. Yes there are protections against this in the civilian world but the nature of my employment is different.

Maybe somebody knows a place I can start. Today is very bad.
 

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I suppose it depends on what you need help with...

Formal diagnoses or medication prescribed will hit your medical record, which I'm presuming is what you want to avoid. Some things that might stay off the radar are seeking out a personal coach, utilizing an LMFT (for marriage counseling), or locating some community-based organizations in your area where you can pay cash out-of-pocket. If you are dealing with temporary/transitory depression, you can also look into over-the-counter medications (St. John's Wort, 5-HTP, etc..) that can temporarily alleviate some of the worst symptoms - but be very sure to read up on them in full before going down that road.

Paranoia can make things a bit difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to job-related factors. But keep in mind that every person on this board has half a dozen things about them that they're terrified to admit. We all deal with it to one extent or another. Take it slowly, and go easy on yourself. :happy:
 

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Runescribe,
I see, by reading some of your posts that you have been questioned on your type. To me, your are using INFJ functions, you're a Fto me, no doubt about it.
So, to your bad day,..
How badly you feel mentally affected and by what, is hard to tell, and its not something I suppose you want to be specific about.
I guess i just sense a feeling of being trapped in you, and you're seemingly having what may feel to you like a final struggle against those bonds before you admit defeat and settle into your bondage...
Am i anyhwhere near the right track?
If so,.. all I can say is that whatever direction you take, it will be right, not only for you, but for ALL concerned.
Life sometimes requires massive change, the menta stress involved in building up to big life changes can feel like symptoms of mental illness.
I would first start at looking at wether your circumstances are the cause, and if they are, be brave be mindful of your self,.. and change them.
Thats where I would start.
Not easy, but better than being ripped apart mentally by internal opposing forces.
Hugs to you,
G. x
 

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I used to work in such a facility in the Air Force, so I understand somewhat where you are coming from. I assume that you do not feel comfortable sharing the particulars of your situation on the forum, else you would have done so. If it is of a nature that you can share it, and you feel like doing so at some point, perhaps we could offer some insight.

Have you considered seeking outside help, perhaps from someone not affiliated with your job or the VA. An outside counselor. I do not see why you would need to share with them more than you are comfortable with (such as where you work and what you do), and they would be under an obligation to maintain your confidentiality. Sometimes it helps to simply be able to confide everything that is bothering you to a non-judgmental medium.

For me, it often helps to write out precisely what is bothering me, and to share this with someone I trust. It has a cathartic effect, at least for me. By writing it out, I often arrive at truths I could not see before.
 

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A lot of government jobs encourage Therapy and whatever goes on while you are there is private unless you wish to do harm to yourself and or to others. Going to therapy doesn't imply a bad or negative view on you. Knowing that you might need to go and decide not to and let the situation get out of hand can cause a negative view of you. There is a organization called NAMI that you can look into for the legal point of view and for more information about this. I wouldn't suggest going to a VA facility instead go to a civilian place where it wouldn't be put on file in your medical records for VA. There are strict laws for your privacy at Mental Health and you choose who can and can not get any information.
Therapy doesn't mean that you are crazy or anything it's just somebody to talk to and help point out some stuff from and outside looking in way.
Many of our presidents even went to a therapist on weekly basis.
Check out NAMI and see what they have to say and offer for help and support some places have a local office you can go to talk to a NAMI representative.
 

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If you have a religion some people go and talk to their local pastor or religious leader or some person like that. INFJs are reportedly the group that is most likely to use counseling as method of coping with stress and existential crises. I have not been able to find a counselor that is understanding enough of my issues to help me, so I just make up for it by reading books and self-shrinking so to say. Probably another N-dominant counselor can be of good help.

I would also recommend changing something in your surroundings. Take a week and randomly travel somewhere. Do something new. Meet random people. I find that no change in environment for years has a very harrowing effect on my spirit and mental health. But I am not prompted to change the environment in the first place. So it becomes catch22 problem, but eventually something gives and I am propelled to make changes happen. INFJs are not ISTJs and we cannot happily keep in exactly same spot dutifully doing same thing over and over again. We need a break sometimes, some changes, some progress somewhere.

I also find that competitive multiplayer online games offer pretty good escape, chance to talk to random people from all over the globe, as well as place to explore the so called dark side in a virtual environment where nobody really gets harmed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I believe I may have a multitude of issues going on. First to the practical point I don't believe counseling or seeking mental health help is bad. I want to do this and I know I need it. My concern as some have pointed out correctly is that there could be fallout from a diagnosis if it is considered in relation to my position. I am presently a sub-contractor and so not protected by the same measures I would be if I was an actual government employee. I am considered for hiring after the next 90 days but I have to be able to pass personal reliability standards.

I don't know what all the rules are and if seeking help now would hurt me professionally.

On the mental side - I have read some about psychological trauma and I think it describes my situation more accurately than something more chronic such as midlife although that probably plays a role. In the last 3 years I've had much of what I built in my life for my family just get wiped out. I worked very hard for 20 years to build a future for them. My wife and I worked for the same startup and we were heavily invested in it. It was a green company that if successful would have helped reduce energy waste and carbon emissions - without going into too much detail it failed to secure further investment after 7 years and began to fall apart in 2007. Eventually they filed bankruptcy. My wife and I along with many of our friends lost our jobs on the same day along with all our investment. For the next 2 years I worked contracting jobs and filled in the gaps from savings. Meanwhile the economy tanked and our other investments became pretty much worthless. The companies I worked for kept losing their contracts so it was hard to stay meaningfully employed. In the interum my oldest daughter started college and I couldn't afford many things I had planned to do for her.

So these dreams we had of building this green company and of securing a future for our children just collapsed. All the years of work we put into it gone. Meanwhile I came very close to losing the house and the car. The job I have now came along just in time to forestall acceleration of our mortgage.

There are all these things that I saw just vanish. There are things from the past too - I think seriously I may have PTSD from some early events. All these doubts that I had shoved to the back of my mind in order to build a future for my family, they come creeping back up as if to say "See, we told you that you would fail."

When I was little I was horribly abused. I don't mean that in any blunted sense. I mean beaten, tortured, scarred, locked up - you name it. I swore I would do everything I could when I was an adult to help people and use my talents to make things better. But everything the last 3 years has just told me again and again that it is coming apart - some days I feel like well maybe I am just a piece of crap like I was told.

I know this is very self-defeating. I have worked so hard for 20 years to get past it. Considering what I was put through as a child I do think I did alright. I mean I've tried to live according to the values I set up for myself. But if you set up this image of yourself and what you are supposed to do and then you fail after so many years - it is psychological trauma. Your self-conception has been destroyed because the way you saw yourself as competant and confident, as a person who overcame so much to help others

I have an opportunity with my new position to turn things around and I am willing to do the work. I am extremely paranoid right now because I think my new coworker is ESTJ. He's very bossy and he isn't my boss if you know what I mean. It is stressing me because I need some stability after all this mess to recover. The idea is in the back of my mind that if I lose this job it all goes away. The house, everything.

It may seem I am being shallow and focusing on money. It isn't the money that bothers me. It is my conception I had of myself as a person who was going to overcome these things and do things to help others in a big way. If you fail then you don't feel like you are who you thought you are.

And frankly I have been engaging in some very self-defeating behavior. I don't do drugs or drink or smoke or anything like that. So thankfully I won't compound things with it - but you can do other things to feed Se and its incessant demand for temporary satisfaction. And those things eat at my moral soul. I really am quite a wreck because the me I thought I was turns out to not be the me that I am. From everything I've read that kind of dissonance is what happens after psychological trauma.

I feel trapped. Goode is right. It feels like a trap. My instinct is to go get help but I am so paranoid that if I seek help then the root of the problem will just explode if it costs me my job.

My kids even notice my mood now and that is very scary. I don't want them to think they are at any kind of risk so I do all I kind to not let them know I am hurting inside.
 

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I don't know that any advice I give will really be that helpful...and it doesn't seem fair to say "If I were you I would do xyz," because I'm NOT you. But, if you really think you need it, wouldn't it be better to seek the medical help even at the risk of losing your job, than to completely lose your grip on your sanity? Not to say you shouldn't explore other options first, but if worst came to worst...for instance, if you were on the brink of taking your life (hopefully not!), it would be critical then for you to take every measure to prevent such a thing; and if you did lose your job in the process, it would still be preferable to losing your life, yk?

I have been down a similar road, though probably a lot less intense (and my livelihood wasn't at stake). I really didn't want to have to go on medication, but everything else I tried just wasn't enough. I finally sought the medical help I needed, and it has completely changed the way my life was headed if I had continued to struggle on unaided. Like, I might have ended up running away eventually if I hadn't gotten help. And I didn't even realize what a deep pit I had been digging for myself until I got on the medication and started climbing out of it.

I will say, from my own experience, that if I were in your situation, I would rather risk my job than risk my sanity. And once I got my sanity back, then I'd worry about picking up the rest of the pieces.

Does your family know what you're struggling with? If not, they need to know so they can help you and support you. Take a good hard look at your finances even, and figure out how you might make things work if you did lose your job. I understand, though, that would be a tough position to be in, especially with the economy the way it is, and there is no guarantee you would be able to find alternative employment. But start looking at other employment options, anyway. Maybe look into the possibility of a career change. Get a Pell grant and go back to school. Whatever it takes.

From a young adult to an older one :) I don't know if I've been any help, but I had to try...

Okay, so, we simulposted. After reading your last post, a couple things come screaming to mind: TELL YOUR FAMILY WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH. Sure, it might shock them. Sure, it might alarm them. But they dserve to know. They NEED to know.

Secondly, are you just jumping to conclusions about losing your job? What facts do you have to back up your suspicion? It seems to me from your posts that there is an awful lot of assuming going on. You're worried about losing your job if you seek mental help, because you don't want your stability and reliability to be questioned. But, if you DON'T seek medical help, then you are LESS likely to remain stable and reliable than you would be if you got on a helpful medication.
 
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Runescribe,
I am sorry you're feeling bad. I don't know much about the legal issues but I know they are obligated to keep your stuff confidential unless they believe you are a risk to yourself or others. I found this search thingy to help you find a therapist, and also looked up a couple of centers around your area:
Find a Therapist
Healthy Mind Counseling Services
Ebenezer Counseling
Dona E. Diftler, LCSW

Also be mindful that diet and sleep habits that will affect your mental health. Here is some information on diet and brain health:
Even Out Your Mood With Food
How does food affect your mood, Foods that boost energy
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When I encounter other people like this I tell them to have compassion for themselves. So why do I treat myself like a scold? It is confusing.
 

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You're treating yourself this way, because you're acting like the INFJ that you are. perfectionism, high standards, disappointment in yourself.
What some INFJ dont want to accept is that we as a group, tend to need outward validation, to be told we're doing ok,.. by the people that matter to us.
We're all children really, and your childhood was filled with fear, and invalidation, is it any wonder that now, these demins come back to haunt you?
You feel you've failed, and the ghosts of the past come upon you and scream 'faliure' at you. They taunt you, telling you that you always were useless and always will be. But Rune,.. this is your own prefectioism haunting you, it wears the face of the past, but its your own impossibly high standards that taunt you this way.
The little boy inside you just needs to be loved and reassurred.
Let your nearest and dearest do this for you. At some point, INFJ's must recognise that we cant be the 'rock' all the time.
You are a child, we all are, we all want to be hugged, and kissed and told that we are fine the way we are, and that we'll be okay.
I'm telling you, and loving you, and hugging you. This will be alright.
Its a build up, a panicky feeling, of old ghosts and new fears.
I dont think you need mental health help, I think you need to take a breath, and understand that you are not, and never will be prefect, and that not one of us is really who we think we are.
You're alright Rune... really, you are.
This feeling, Ive had it.. not once , but a few times, youre riding the wave, reavched crescendo point, it will abate, I promise.
G. x
 

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:sad: I've been where you are, Rune. Not in exactly the same way, but I know I had many of the same feelings.

Complete control over your environment and circumstances is only an illusion. We can do all that is humanly possible to reach our goals, and still something unexpected and totally out of our control can wreak havoc on all we have accomplished. There is nothing permanent in this world except for the things we can't see. You're value as a person is not connected to anything that you have aquired or lost in this world.

I know it can be agonizingly difficult to overcome feelings of worthlessness instilled in us as children. I don't pretend to have even come close to this. But it's easy enough for me to see that you are not what your upbringing taught you that you are. You are an extraordinarily compassionate, caring, talented, principled, and intelligent man. Just because your company went under and the economy tanked doesn't change any of that.

Whether you decide to find a good counselor, or try to deal with this on your own, just know that there are people out here that you've never met who think the world of you.
 
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I'm really sorry to hear about what you've been through as a child. I can't stand the thought of a child being abused.
The only thing I can think of, are those self help books and tapes for PTSD. It's not a replacement for a therapist, but it's the closest thing to any professional help without a therapist. you can look for books and tapes on amazon, and buy them or download them. If you need any help with downloading just ask.
Try to find stuff that have cognitive behavior approach to them. Stuff that have an emphasis on what you can do now, instead of things that deal with your past, dwelling into it would make it worse.

I saw this 60's horror movie The haunting. The main theme of it that the unnatural exists , and the people who didn't experience it can't believe those who did. The unnatural there is about how unnatural it is for a family to treat a child so badly, that it keeps this adult-child mentally locked in that house forever. That movie was brilliant, but it really made me feel unstable for a few days.
Anything that could show you how to keep your mind off of it would do...
I don't really know any websites that help with this, except for the one I'm posting, maybe you would see something in it that could ease things up for you. Search there for the syndrome.
healthtalkonline.org/
I hope the way you're feeling would change soon...
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, I don't have any advice for you. For what it's worth to you, I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, and I do sincerely hope that your situation improves. I've only been on PerC for a short time, but based on your posts, I've been impressed by the importance and power of your presence here. Your wisdom, insight, and kindness mean a lot to the INFJ's on this site.
 

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Rune--

How are you doing today?

I thought off-and-on about this thread all day yesterday. Just one more thing I want to say.

You have had your eye on the "big picture" for some time now. You're working on something that you are passionate about, that you hope will at least in some small way better the world for everyone. You have vision. You have a Purpose. The idea of losing everything you've worked for devastates you.

Now look at it this: You have a family who loves you. Three grown-up daughters whom you have worked hard to raise to the best of your ability. You love them, and you want the best for them. I don't know, but I think it is fair to say that if you ever lost them-- or if they lost you-- you would also be devastated.

Now, you have two really good things going for you: your work, and your family. You want to keep them both, and Godwilling you can.

But, what if you can't? What if you have to choose between the two? Which would you sacrifice in order to hold on to the other?

That's all.

Hope you're able to work things out for the best soon. Keep us posted, hey?
 

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I believe I may have a multitude of issues going on. First to the practical point I don't believe counseling or seeking mental health help is bad. I want to do this and I know I need it. My concern as some have pointed out correctly is that there could be fallout from a diagnosis if it is considered in relation to my position. I am presently a sub-contractor and so not protected by the same measures I would be if I was an actual government employee. I am considered for hiring after the next 90 days but I have to be able to pass personal reliability standards.

I don't know what all the rules are and if seeking help now would hurt me professionally.

On the mental side - I have read some about psychological trauma and I think it describes my situation more accurately than something more chronic such as midlife although that probably plays a role. In the last 3 years I've had much of what I built in my life for my family just get wiped out. I worked very hard for 20 years to build a future for them. My wife and I worked for the same startup and we were heavily invested in it. It was a green company that if successful would have helped reduce energy waste and carbon emissions - without going into too much detail it failed to secure further investment after 7 years and began to fall apart in 2007. Eventually they filed bankruptcy. My wife and I along with many of our friends lost our jobs on the same day along with all our investment. For the next 2 years I worked contracting jobs and filled in the gaps from savings. Meanwhile the economy tanked and our other investments became pretty much worthless. The companies I worked for kept losing their contracts so it was hard to stay meaningfully employed. In the interum my oldest daughter started college and I couldn't afford many things I had planned to do for her.

So these dreams we had of building this green company and of securing a future for our children just collapsed. All the years of work we put into it gone. Meanwhile I came very close to losing the house and the car. The job I have now came along just in time to forestall acceleration of our mortgage.

There are all these things that I saw just vanish. There are things from the past too - I think seriously I may have PTSD from some early events. All these doubts that I had shoved to the back of my mind in order to build a future for my family, they come creeping back up as if to say "See, we told you that you would fail."

When I was little I was horribly abused. I don't mean that in any blunted sense. I mean beaten, tortured, scarred, locked up - you name it. I swore I would do everything I could when I was an adult to help people and use my talents to make things better. But everything the last 3 years has just told me again and again that it is coming apart - some days I feel like well maybe I am just a piece of crap like I was told.

I know this is very self-defeating. I have worked so hard for 20 years to get past it. Considering what I was put through as a child I do think I did alright. I mean I've tried to live according to the values I set up for myself. But if you set up this image of yourself and what you are supposed to do and then you fail after so many years - it is psychological trauma. Your self-conception has been destroyed because the way you saw yourself as competant and confident, as a person who overcame so much to help others

I have an opportunity with my new position to turn things around and I am willing to do the work. I am extremely paranoid right now because I think my new coworker is ESTJ. He's very bossy and he isn't my boss if you know what I mean. It is stressing me because I need some stability after all this mess to recover. The idea is in the back of my mind that if I lose this job it all goes away. The house, everything.

It may seem I am being shallow and focusing on money. It isn't the money that bothers me. It is my conception I had of myself as a person who was going to overcome these things and do things to help others in a big way. If you fail then you don't feel like you are who you thought you are.

And frankly I have been engaging in some very self-defeating behavior. I don't do drugs or drink or smoke or anything like that. So thankfully I won't compound things with it - but you can do other things to feed Se and its incessant demand for temporary satisfaction. And those things eat at my moral soul. I really am quite a wreck because the me I thought I was turns out to not be the me that I am. From everything I've read that kind of dissonance is what happens after psychological trauma.

I feel trapped. Goode is right. It feels like a trap. My instinct is to go get help but I am so paranoid that if I seek help then the root of the problem will just explode if it costs me my job.

My kids even notice my mood now and that is very scary. I don't want them to think they are at any kind of risk so I do all I kind to not let them know I am hurting inside.
I'm not sure how far this post went or if this was addressed but after reading this one, I am responding now. I am not going to pretend to know if you might have a disorder or not... all that I will tell you is the truth.

Good people are good "dispite" their circumstances -- not, because of them. And in life, there are going to be all kinds of circumstances that you or I can never control or expect. We are good dispite them.

A person's soul is their choices -- not, their situations. Trying it make your outside life and inside the same will not always happen. This is why your soul is best friend's with your choices.

You have been through a lot, and it is very normal that it would shake you up. (this would happen to anyone) What is different, would be that voice in your head from an "outside source" that seems to still be telling you whom you really are. --- My voice will always come from myself, everything else is just an opinion. When you get to this point, you are well on your way to recovery.

*I was an abused child myself. Been through two different sets of parents. Then, raped at 17. Cancer, at age 23. So, I have been there. And my cure was to define for myself what excellence was, and choose to honor it. (It was never something on the outside, my job, my career, my family. It was my soul... which are my choices and responses to life. Healthy and empowering. Not, what I accomplished out there in the world.)

About the children, I have three teenagers myself. I never lie to them or pretend... they always know better when things don't match up. We get through it as a team. Children are always smarter and wiser than they appear. And perhaps, by sharing.. they can learn from you and themselves just what strength and family can really get accomplished when they are willing to face the good and the bad... together.
 

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Sorry for writing two posts but something just accured to me.

The two might have been bound together. And what effects one, would effect the other.

You stated that " I swore I would do everything I could when I was an adult to help people and use my talents to make things better." --- Was this used as a coping skill to help you get over the abuse?

If it was... you may have accidentally "tied to the two together" and when that "something huge wasn't reached".... the answer to the abuse. It through you right back into the abuse thoughts because "that huge thing" was your answer to it.

When it failed ... you failed. (You are right back where you started, as that child again. And the whole things starts all over again. Feelings about it.)

*This might be a possible understanding of what happend because your solution to the abuse was an occupational (outside) thing.

Think it over, and see if there might be a posssible connection there.
 

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Thinking about you today, Rune. Let us know how it's going!
 
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Discussion Starter #19
If it was... you may have accidentally "tied to the two together" and when that "something huge wasn't reached".... the answer to the abuse. It through you right back into the abuse thoughts because "that huge thing" was your answer to it.
This describes exactly what I felt like yesterday. That I had failed to do the thing required to put it behind me. And having this "failure" thrown in my face all I could visualize was being whipped, beaten, scolded all over again.

One problem I can see with this kind of view is when have you won? When do you say OK I've done enough penance - I can stop whipping myself now and allow myself to relax a bit.

If I don't find a way to find balance with that I'm afraid I'll be sitting in a nursing home in 2054 drooling in a cup wondering what else I might have done to "fix" injustice.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wish I could thank you all at this moment. Shortly I have to return home and I have no internet tonight due to maintenance. Individual responses then - but for now peace to you all. I am moved by the responses I've received.
 
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