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My perspective on being an INTP and developing a stable identity

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HI there.

The reason why I'm posting in the mbti/typology section of the forum is because I have lately more or less affirmed the initial suspicion (if one may call it that) that I'm INTP.

With regards to the structure of one's consciousness in the terms that Freud used to divide it, I think one's mbti type largely correlated with one's ego. This is certainly not a new discovery and I think I should sort of "warn" beforehand that a lot of what I'm going to write is probably common knowledge for a lot of you but it's new for me. But anyway, so my issue in the past was that, as a member of this forum had pointed out, I had a very undeveloped ego structure and in neurological terms, my psychiatrist explained that the connections between my mesolimbic system (the sort of reptilian, instinctive part of the brain) is sparsely connected to my neocortex which is probably why I vascillated between extremes so often. So anyway, I've been on mood stabilizers on top of my depression medication for about two weeks now and I'm finding that my thought processes are more coherent and also more deliberate and thus less instinctive. This is great for me because I feel like finally I am in control of my emotions to a larger extent than I was before. A lot of my previous negative thinking has also begun subsiding and I'm more willing to try my hands at new things now.

So with the connections in the brain and the neurotransmitter concentrations working themselves out, I think my actual personality is beginning to emerge, the person I was maybe 7 or so years ago before things started going topsy-turvy. So what has been emerging is that aspect of me which in the past often got blocked due to moments when all the negative thinking would start dominating my mind. That aspect of me which is intrinsically curious and wants to consume knowledge of all sorts simply because...its fun.

I've realized that intps are generally a lot less...ambitious?...than other personalities. I don't mean that in a negative sense. I mean we have this immense curiosity about everything but we are merely happy knowing and using that knowledge to knoweven more. We don't seem to have an active desire to translate our knowledge into something that can be acted upon like the intjs, for example. Also, our thinking is highly structured, I often almost can tangibly feel myself building frameworks to make sense of things in my mind. I suppose that's Ti at work. Ne kicks in because we're always on the lookout for possible connections between the bits of knowledge that we have or how different frameworks compare with each other. It's a very divergent, exploratory process that refuses to come to concrete conclusions straight away but deliberates and tries to go about finding new connections. Si, I'm not so sure of because I don't really know what it is. Maybe someone could give me examples of Si in INTPs? :) Fe, well, yes I've seen Fe sort of in action before but it's very muddled with Ti but only applied in a caring-for-others/the world setting. Like my friend might tell me about his problems and then I'd try to build a framework within which all of what he said can be related to each other. I suppose in that sense maybe INTPs are good at cognitive empathy but not emotional empathy? Perhaps someone could elaborate on this.

I've also figured out that the one thing that really gets me down in the dumps in when I start questioning the meaning of something I find interesting. So what I do instead when these sort of thoughts hit me is to shut everything down and just listen to music while playing a game on my phone. Eventually the motivation comes back and I stop questioning the meaning of what I find interesting. Is that a common experience for INTPs? If so, what are your strategies for handling such situations?

Also, I've found that the above method works equally well if I'm upset for some other reason and can't get myself to focus on my interests because the negative thoughts would keep blocking the motivation cycle.

In that respect, I think it's important for INTPs to avoid getting too removed from the material world. In that case, if we do lose interest in something we used to find very interesting, we would still have material comforts to fall back on while trying to develop some other interest or get back motivation to work on that interest. Actually, this advice was given to me by someone else but I think it's fairly accurate.

I look forward to reading the replies. :)
 
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Okay, so no replies apparently. I guess people here are sick of me going about the way I do things. Which is fine but I was looking forward to having a conversation or something. :/

I guess I pretty much shot myself in the foot repeatedly with all my previous threads. Hmph. Was looking forward to talking to people again but I guess that isn't going to work out.

I'm not all that shy in real life anymore, I do go up to people and talk to them. I do make an effort and I know that I shouldn't expect anyone to return my request to talk to them but well, I still hope at least someone does. Right now I go up to a lot of people and talk to them but they never start a conversation with me. I sometimes wonder what's so repulsive about me but that's negative thinking so I try to think about something else instead.

Any sentiment that I might feel now with regards to this is misguided and I should look at every failure as an opportunity to learn from and modify the previous approach instead. It can be quite fun actually, once all the sentiments are removed.

I guess I should thank my doctors for that. The mood stabilizers I've been taking, sodium valproate and haloperidol are working really well. Most of my sentimental stuff are suppressed these days so all I have most of the time is the comparatively raw (but beautiful!) feeling/imagery/sensation of thinking.

My other medication, vortioxetine has been helping me to avoid falling into a depressive cycle.

It's kind of funny, actually. Most people think of depression as a sort of extreme sadness. It isn't. Depression is about feeling barren which is to say not feeling at all, to be devoid of all motivation. Barren. Simply barren.

You might be thinking why I'm posting this reply. Well, I guess your initial suspicions would prove to be valid in this case. It's simply an attempt to get someone to reply. Anyone.

:)
 

Jennywocky

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Hi.






Ps. You make reeeeally long posts. I had to dig to find any questions in your op. They're easy to miss. Maybe less talking on your part? (Your threads seem to less interactive, more about you talking.) And set your questions apart and easy to notice?
 
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Hi.






Ps. You make reeeeally long posts. I had to dig to find any questions in your op. They're easy to miss. Maybe less talking on your part? (Your threads seem to less interactive, more about you talking.) And set your questions apart and easy to notice?
Hi. Thanks for replying. I suppose my question can be broken down into three parts:

1) What are intp's experience with Ti, Ne, Si, and Fe? How are they manifested within an intp?

2) What strategies do intps use to get past times when negative thoughts clog up their heads? How do they relax?

3) How do emotions manifest themselves when an intp goes out of control?

I think I tend to ramble a lot in face-to-face situations as well. I'm learning how to cut down on that and try to direct the conversation to the individual instead. It's pretty hard. Wishful thinking isn't productive but I wish I had more empathy and cared more about other people/things than myself. I'm learning to but the journey isn't easy.
 

Inquisitor

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I took valproate when my shrink diagnosed me with dysthymia in my early twenties. Thankfully I stopped it. It's a short term solution. The permanent cure to depression is the following:

1) Cease all masturbation. You will have greater strength, emotional resilience, and energy. Seriously, nothing is more important for a man.
2) Consult an Ayurvedic physician trained in India.
3) Eat a diet as prescribed by said physician, and make sure you adopt all appropriate lifestyle changes.
4) Meditation for 30 minutes a day.
5) Last but not least, realize that every single negative thought and emotion that assails you comes out of your inferior function, Fe. Its associated neural networks are located in the left frontal lobe of the brain. The key is to basically draw a perimeter around that part of your brain and exclusively engage in activities that make use of Ti-Ne-Si. You want to live in Ti-Ne, which is to say the right hemisphere of your brain. Some activities that do this in a healthy way include programming, reading, and studying.
 

Grayman

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I took valproate when my shrink diagnosed me with dysthymia in my early twenties. Thankfully I stopped it. It's a short term solution. The permanent cure to depression is the following:

1) Cease all masturbation. You will have greater strength, emotional resilience, and energy. Seriously, nothing is more important for a man.
only if you have an impulse control issue. Masturbation is proven to be healthy and can reduce the chance of cancer and anxiety.
 

Inquisitor

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only if you have an impulse control issue. Masturbation is proven to be healthy and can reduce the chance of cancer and anxiety.
Just b/c scientific evidence does not exist for short-term harm, does not mean that it is in fact beneficial or that there is no long term harm. There's nothing wrong with trying total celibacy for 6 months and seeing what the effects are. No physician will tell you that is unhealthy or harmful. Both Ayurveda and Chinese medicine indicate this is a harmful practice. There's nothing to lose and potentially much to gain from a trial like this. Has little to do with impulse control and everything to do with depletion of a vital fluid that takes significant resources to construct. Those resources could be directed elsewhere instead of wasted.
 

Blarraun

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Has little to do with impulse control and everything to do with depletion of a vital fluid that takes significant resources to construct. Those resources could be directed elsewhere instead of wasted.
I'm pretty sure the epididymis and testicle use up resources to maintain the maximal amount of spermatozoa and constantly produce new ones, a process that takes several months. During that time the body reabsorbs the old spermatozoa making place for new ones.

Your argument is pretty baseless. Unless you want to say that less than a few million absorbed every day is a noticeable saving, which it obviously seems not.

There are lots of valid reasons to avoid masturbation, though all of them arise from personal needs and not some general health concerns applicable to the entire male population.
 

Grayman

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"The INTP forum where a stable identity is all about proper masturbation"

I think INTPs think too much and miss important details because they are overwhelmed with all the details they refuse to let go of. That's kind of what Jenny said...in a way...maybe not...but I think it causes what she pointed to earlier.


We spend too much time philosophizing about the meaning of life instead of creating meaning through experience and going out just being in the present and the now and experiencing nature, walking, drinking, and just being and living.

We spend too much time tearing down and questing beliefs and not enough time practicing them and experiencing the value of having beliefs. Our beliefs are a part of who we are and they give meaning to things and we become apathetic because we fail to exercise them.

If we are not careful, we can theorize so much that our identity itself becomes a theory and our real selves never become a reality. We become as intangible as wind and invisible to the world.
 

Jennywocky

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Sorry, Rudolph. At least your thread got some attention, but you'll have to sift through some junk.
 
I guess I have trouble answering your responses definitively as I think there's simply variataion regardless of one's type, based on upbringing, culture, personal experiences, etc.
 
As far your initial comments about Ego -- I would definitely say I was front-loaded with the Superego structure... basically a very squished ID, and there was no ego mediation between those impulses/desires and my detached, severe "This is how I should compose myself" rules from Superego, the parental figure always telling me what I should do. Ego development was something I experienced in my late 20's and onwards, and I started to loosen up a lot as part of that process because I was able to integrate desire and emotion and impulse more into my daily life while still feeling my choices and behaviors were coherent and consistent.
 
1. What are intp's experience with Ti, Ne, Si, and Fe? How are they manifested within an intp?
 
As far as type theory goes, this is already covered on many forums and in books.... the various functions when stuck into certain positions (primary through inferior). For example, Paul James' essay that I've seen linked in various places:
 
http://www.intp.org/intprofile.html
 
So if you're looking for a "textbook" description, this is as good a place to start as any.
 
2) What strategies do intps use to get past times when negative thoughts clog up their heads? How do they relax?
Not clear what you mean by "negative thoughts."
 
As far as regular noise goes, I usually relax by getting out of my head. The easiest way is some kind of escapism, which could be movies, books, music, games. If I want a more external approach, I take up something physical... I think hiking, climbing, jogging, or some kind of physical game with others.


Not all of my coping strategies are necessarily positive. Alcohol is usually my vice of choice if I want to "forget" as it's easily accessible, legal, and cheaper than other substsances. I usually have to do a bunch of shots if I just want to get buzzed quietly, and then I'm just spacy/giddy (until I fall asleep). But I don't do this very often; I usually feel ill for a few days after if I drink too much, plus it's only really a stopgap and doesn't resolve anything.
 
I do have sleeping pills i use when my brain keeps thinking and I can't fall asleep. I try to use the minimal amount necessary to take the edge off.
 
I've had negative thoughts all my life, to be honest. I just learned to live with them. Sometimes I feel like I dance on the edge of hope versus self-harm. (Maybe edge is a bad way to phrase it....) Sometimes the feelings become quite intense. In terms of those, all that really helps (when I can't resolve the problem) in any meaningful way is either writing about them and exploring them or else playing music and swimming through them somehow. I also typically have analyzed them, trying to track their roots and development, which can at least provide awareness of some of the forces driving one, but this still doesn't resolve the feelings -- at best it can tell you which ones aren't really indicative of anything substantial that you need to listen to. Obviously it's the stuff that the mind cannot ignore ("Does my life have meaning in an existential universe?" or "I just lost my job, only have x dollars in the bank, and no avenues of likely success, how on earth do I make any progress from here before I flop?") or dismiss in some way that still need to be dealt with.
 
3) How do emotions manifest themselves when an intp goes out of control?
Honest emotions appear spontaneously (if released) and tend to be large and "purer" (AKA less nuance) and unrestrained. This could be joy/laughter; this could be anger. I think it's why we play the suppression game -- because it might feel like a violation/dishonest to restrain just parts of the emotions, it's like "Here's how I honestly feel" or nothing. So great joy comes out as great joy, and when we're pissed or disgusted, we tend to say "exactly what we have been thinking," spare no expense even if we've been tight-lipped before then... and feel justified in doing so, because we're just being honest.
 
IOW, emotions are more like animals you release from their cage momentarily, in their current form and shape.

 
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Sorry, Rudolph. At least your thread got some attention, but you'll have to sift through some junk.
 
I guess I have trouble answering your responses definitively as I think there's simply variataion regardless of one's type, based on upbringing, culture, personal experiences, etc.
 
As far your initial comments about Ego -- I would definitely say I was front-loaded with the Superego structure... basically a very squished ID, and there was no ego mediation between those impulses/desires and my detached, severe "This is how I should compose myself" rules from Superego, the parental figure always telling me what I should do. Ego development was something I experienced in my late 20's and onwards, and I started to loosen up a lot as part of that process because I was able to integrate desire and emotion and impulse more into my daily life while still feeling my choices and behaviors were coherent and consistent.
Hey there. Sorry for replying so late. Was planning to reply yesterday but couldn't write anything.

Hmm. That's interesting...I don't think I've really had much pushing from the Superego. Sure, I feel guilty when doing something I'm "not supposed to do" but it doesn't bother me very much. Since as far back as I can recall, I haven't had any desire to conform to the society's usual expectations of me as say a student or a kid. I still don't I think. I'm pretty eccentric in person, to be honest, but I like it that way. I guess one downfall from that is that I'm very ill-disciplined.

I had a lot of issues integrating different aspects of my personality though and would often swing from one sort of personality to another pretty quickly but these days, with the meds in place and all, it has been a lot better. I guess one thing that has really helped for me is adopting a pragmatic concept of truth because now instead of seeing things in binary, I'm more sensitive to different contexts and frameworks and how all frameworks have some value based on the questions or issues which the particular framework is trying to address. I've been able to apply it to my own perception of self too in the sense that I've begun to appreciate the utility of pragmatic value of a certain conception of who I am but that one conception doesn't contradict the rest since they're valid or applicable in different domains.

To that end also, and this is something I'm really working hard on, is trying to shift the focal point of my attention or interest from myself to events and processes and things outside of myself. However, that's still very much a work in progress and I think it would quite some time before others can start seeing noticeable effects.  
 
Jennywocky said:
Not clear what you mean by "negative thoughts."
I suppose any thought that disrupts your day to day functioning in a manner that leaves you feeling upset.
 
Jennywocky said:
As far as regular noise goes, I usually relax by getting out of my head. The easiest way is some kind of escapism, which could be movies, books, music, games. If I want a more external approach, I take up something physical... I think hiking, climbing, jogging, or some kind of physical game with others.

Not all of my coping strategies are necessarily positive. Alcohol is usually my vice of choice if I want to "forget" as it's easily accessible, legal, and cheaper than other substsances. I usually have to do a bunch of shots if I just want to get buzzed quietly, and then I'm just spacy/giddy (until I fall asleep). But I don't do this very often; I usually feel ill for a few days after if I drink too much, plus it's only really a stopgap and doesn't resolve anything.
 
I do have sleeping pills i use when my brain keeps thinking and I can't fall asleep. I try to use the minimal amount necessary to take the edge off.
 
I've had negative thoughts all my life, to be honest. I just learned to live with them. Sometimes I feel like I dance on the edge of hope versus self-harm. (Maybe edge is a bad way to phrase it....) Sometimes the feelings become quite intense. In terms of those, all that really helps (when I can't resolve the problem) in any meaningful way is either writing about them and exploring them or else playing music and swimming through them somehow. I also typically have analyzed them, trying to track their roots and development, which can at least provide awareness of some of the forces driving one, but this still doesn't resolve the feelings -- at best it can tell you which ones aren't really indicative of anything substantial that you need to listen to. Obviously it's the stuff that the mind cannot ignore ("Does my life have meaning in an existential universe?" or "I just lost my job, only have x dollars in the bank, and no avenues of likely success, how on earth do I make any progress from here before I flop?") or dismiss in some way that still need to be dealt with.
My issue is that I always need people to talk to in order to cope with my negative thoughts. That's bad because other people usually don't like getting involved in my mind's mess and also after a while, even if they may have obliged initially, it gets really tiring and you can sort of see it from the expressions they wear. Writing to myself doesn't help me very much for some reason. I have tried it many times (I used to keep a blog and updated in regularly) but well, it doesn't help very much. Interacting with others helps me the most even if it's reading something someone else wrote. My own head hasn't got much in it to keep going. Maybe I'm just terrible at introspection for now. So yes, I'd like to ask...how does one get better at introspection? (actually, I recall asking this on quora with regards to autism but the guy who answered removed all his posts later on...)
 
Jennywocky said:
Honest emotions appear spontaneously (if released) and tend to be large and "purer" (AKA less nuance) and unrestrained. This could be joy/laughter; this could be anger. I think it's why we play the suppression game -- because it might feel like a violation/dishonest to restrain just parts of the emotions, it's like "Here's how I honestly feel" or nothing. So great joy comes out as great joy, and when we're pissed or disgusted, we tend to say "exactly what we have been thinking," spare no expense even if we've been tight-lipped before then... and feel justified in doing so, because we're just being honest.
 
IOW, emotions are more like animals you release from their cage momentarily, in their current form and shape.
Do you think it's possible to get to a state whereby you stop having emotional reactions? A sort of stoicism in some sense but where you're still highly motivated to pursue your goals.
 
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"The INTP forum where a stable identity is all about proper masturbation"

I think INTPs think too much and miss important details because they are overwhelmed with all the details they refuse to let go of. That's kind of what Jenny said...in a way...maybe not...but I think it causes what she pointed to earlier.


We spend too much time philosophizing about the meaning of life instead of creating meaning through experience and going out just being in the present and the now and experiencing nature, walking, drinking, and just being and living.

We spend too much time tearing down and questing beliefs and not enough time practicing them and experiencing the value of having beliefs. Our beliefs are a part of who we are and they give meaning to things and we become apathetic because we fail to exercise them.

If we are not careful, we can theorize so much that our identity itself becomes a theory and our real selves never become a reality. We become as intangible as wind and invisible to the world.
I think I quite agree with that point of view. I've spent too much time within in the past but lately I've been making a conscious effort to interact with people. So far it's been going pretty well. I have faced rejection too in the past few weeks but fortunately the meds numb what could have been a pretty intense emotional reaction.
 

profileuser

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Off topic - I wonder, as INTPs, are you more or less not interested in high ambitions? What kind of life is preferable for you guys as individuals/INTPs? Content and comfortable, etc?
 

Massiv0r

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When you go too fast, everything around you gets blurry, so does your reflection in the mirror... you can but stop, you can't stop, ever.
 

Jennywocky

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I had a lot of issues integrating different aspects of my personality though and would often swing from one sort of personality to another pretty quickly but these days, with the meds in place and all, it has been a lot better. I guess one thing that has really helped for me is adopting a pragmatic concept of truth because now instead of seeing things in binary, I'm more sensitive to different contexts and frameworks and how all frameworks have some value based on the questions or issues which the particular framework is trying to address. I've been able to apply it to my own perception of self too in the sense that I've begun to appreciate the utility of pragmatic value of a certain conception of who I am but that one conception doesn't contradict the rest since they're valid or applicable in different domains.
yeah, I grew up in a very binary environment w/ my own inclination towards nuance, so when I embraced contextuality without apology, life became easier in the sense of less conflicted feelings about things. And in situations, I'm not stuck in one single approach or path of action regardless, I can adjust to deal with a situation to create the most beneficial result.

To that end also, and this is something I'm really working hard on, is trying to shift the focal point of my attention or interest from myself to events and processes and things outside of myself. However, that's still very much a work in progress and I think it would quite some time before others can start seeing noticeable effects.  
In terms of just basic self-centeredness, or do you mean developing less of a subjective/introverted focus? Or are you saying all the self-directed focus has resulted in you missing information from outside yourself that could factor into a more effective decision-making process? Or do you think having such a strong focus on what's happening inside of you is what is leading you to feel bad and thus derailing your attempts to deal with an issue? (I.e., instead of feeling bad and berating yourself or getting wrapped up in your fears when something outside threatens you in some way, you could instead focus on how to fix the problem?)
 

I suppose any thought that disrupts your day to day functioning in a manner that leaves you feeling upset.
I guess the trick is to still be able to deal with the problem regardless of how you feel, even if you experience the feeling. I think some pain is illusory. Just as your body can experience pain that might not be helpful (and you can pop ibuprofen or Tylenol to reduce pain that isn't providing any kind of useful signal), your psyche can experience emotional pain that isn't helpful either in terms of dealing with a situation or telling you something you don't already know.
 

My issue is that I always need people to talk to in order to cope with my negative thoughts. That's bad because other people usually don't like getting involved in my mind's mess and also after a while, even if they may have obliged initially, it gets really tiring and you can sort of see it from the expressions they wear. Writing to myself doesn't help me very much for some reason. I have tried it many times (I used to keep a blog and updated in regularly) but well, it doesn't help very much. Interacting with others helps me the most even if it's reading something someone else wrote. My own head hasn't got much in it to keep going. Maybe I'm just terrible at introspection for now. So yes, I'd like to ask...how does one get better at introspection? (actually, I recall asking this on quora with regards to autism but the guy who answered removed all his posts later on...)
That could be an issue, if you must rely on external feedback ALL the time and having someone listen ALL the time in order to work through things. Mostly I find I have a running dialogue with myself in my head, continuously, so that "voice" is already part of me. The main thing I use external feedback for is just for affirmation that I am not imagining something inside my head -- kind of like if you're driving a car, you want to actually know that what you're seeing outside your car is real and not imaginary, lest you smack into a tree. But too much dependence on emotional affirmation from outside observers, or being unable to think through your own data streams on your own, well, that can be a problem.

Most people are willing to give you initial or periodic feedback, but continual requests and/or tl;dr is not something many are into.

How to get better at introspection? That's hard to answer. But what you are doing is setting up that internal voice. You are asking yourself questions. And then you are sifting through the data and answering those questions. If you are always asking questions of others, then that part is easy - direct those questions tp yourself. Then turn off your "presupposed answers" in your head and look around you and think about what you've seen in the past, to provide answers to yourself.. and not just answers, but also admitting the areas that are ambiguous that you don't have enough information to provide a reliable answer for. Then search for that information.

Now that I think of it, I think the ability to recognize when you DON'T have enough information and being okay with that is one of the most important traits to have in terms of discernment and dealing with problems. You need to be okay with ambiguity rather than trying to force an answer. But curious enough to still want to find out more, and then being able to look around you and think of where to find data that could help you figure it out.


 
Do you think it's possible to get to a state whereby you stop having emotional reactions? A sort of stoicism in some sense but where you're still highly motivated to pursue your goals.
Well, like I said above, it helps to determine what emotional responses are useful to solving problems, versus merely distracting. Obviously if you find yourself experiencing lots of misery, then you have to determine why. But in general, if you sit around passively moping everytime you feel sad, or you run away in terror every time you feel fear, etc., then you are in thrall to your immediate emotional state. You can learn to recognize an emotion, label it, and then decide what to do with it.

Meanwhile, you are never obligated to respond to an emotion. You might instinctively START to respond, but as soon as you are aware of what you're doing and what emotion you are experiencing, you can choose to not act in the predetermined way. You're not a machine, you have higher volition.

And "desire" as an emotion is good. Desire usually gets inhibited by thinker types, but if you can recognize the desire to achieve a particular goal, then that is something to let flower.
 

Massiv0r

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Depressive personality disorder (also known as melancholic personality disorder) is a controversial psychiatric diagnosis that denotes a personality disorder with depressive features.

While depressive personality disorder shares some similarities with mood disorders such as dysthymic disorder, it also shares many similarities with personality disorders including avoidant personality disorder. Some researchers argue that depressive personality disorder is sufficiently distinct from these other conditions so as to warrant a separate diagnosis.

The DSM-IV defines depressive personality disorder as "a pervasive pattern of depressive cognitions and behaviors beginning by early adulthood and occurring in a variety of contexts."[1] Depressive personality disorder occurs before, during, and after major depressive episodes, making it a distinct diagnosis not included in the definition of either major depressive episodes or dysthymic disorder. Specifically, five or more of the following must be present most days for at least two years in order for a diagnosis of depressive personality disorder to be made:

Usual mood is dominated by dejection, gloominess, cheerlessness, joylessness and unhappiness
Self-concept centres on beliefs of inadequacy, worthlessness and low self-esteem
Is critical, blaming and derogatory towards the self
Is brooding and given to worry
Is negativistic, critical and judgmental toward others
Is pessimistic
Is prone to feeling guilty or remorseful

Ill-humored depressive (intj-ish), including negativistic (passive-aggressive) features. Patients in this subtype are often hypochondriacal, cantankerous and irritable, and guilt-ridden and self-condemning. In general, ill-humored depressives are down on themselves and think the worst of everything.

Voguish depressive (enfp-entpish), including histrionic, narcissistic features. Voguish depressives see unhappiness as a popular and stylish mode of social disenchantment, personal depression as self-glorifying, and suffering as ennobling. The attention from friends, family, and doctors is seen as a positive aspect of the voguish depressive’s condition.
Self-derogating depressive, including dependent features. Patients who fall under this subtype are self-deriding, discrediting, odious, dishonorable, and disparage themselves for weaknesses and shortcomings. These patients blame themselves for not being good enough.

Morbid depressive (esfish), including masochistic features. Morbid depressives experience profound dejection and gloom, are highly lugubrious, and often feel drained and oppressed.

Restive depressive (infjish), including avoidant features. Patients who fall under this subtype are consistently unsettled, agitated, wrought in despair, and perturbed. This is the subtype most likely to commit suicide in order to avoid all the despair in life.[1]
 
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Jennywocky said:
In terms of just basic self-centeredness, or do you mean developing less of a subjective/introverted focus? Or are you saying all the self-directed focus has resulted in you missing information from outside yourself that could factor into a more effective decision-making process? Or do you think having such a strong focus on what's happening inside of you is what is leading you to feel bad and thus derailing your attempts to deal with an issue? (I.e., instead of feeling bad and berating yourself or getting wrapped up in your fears when something outside threatens you in some way, you could instead focus on how to fix the problem?)
It's all of the above, really. Actually weirdly enough (or perhaps not so weirdly) focusing on myself in the sense of brooding over my emotions and my past and more importantly, trying to define myself or some part of me in a particular way causes me to become more dependent on others because then I have the need to share with people everything that's going on within. Instead, if I focus on something outside of myself like on a particular subject or a book or just hanging out with people but letting them talk more often allows me to become more independent.

Jennywocky said:
I guess the trick is to still be able to deal with the problem regardless of how you feel, even if you experience the feeling. I think some pain is illusory. Just as your body can experience pain that might not be helpful (and you can pop ibuprofen or Tylenol to reduce pain that isn't providing any kind of useful signal), your psyche can experience emotional pain that isn't helpful either in terms of dealing with a situation or telling you something you don't already know.
Right now I'm feeling down and slightly upset but not sure why so I suppose maybe right now my psyche is trying to tell me something I don't already know. Or maybe not. It's very hard to tell, I think. There's a lot of nonlinearity in the thought processes as well as in I can't pick out and deal with each strand of thought individually. They all sort of merge into each other..

My strategy these days has been to grit my teeth and do whatever I deem necessary to be done anyway. Fortunately my meds prevent me from sinking too low to the point of apathy these days so I can still get stuff done. Very grateful for that. :)

Jennywocky said:
How to get better at introspection? That's hard to answer. But what you are doing is setting up that internal voice. You are asking yourself questions. And then you are sifting through the data and answering those questions. If you are always asking questions of others, then that part is easy - direct those questions tp yourself. Then turn off your "presupposed answers" in your head and look around you and think about what you've seen in the past, to provide answers to yourself.. and not just answers, but also admitting the areas that are ambiguous that you don't have enough information to provide a reliable answer for. Then search for that information.

Now that I think of it, I think the ability to recognize when you DON'T have enough information and being okay with that is one of the most important traits to have in terms of discernment and dealing with problems. You need to be okay with ambiguity rather than trying to force an answer. But curious enough to still want to find out more, and then being able to look around you and think of where to find data that could help you figure it out.
Thanks a lot for that, it's what I needed, I think. Most of the time people give answers which to me don't mean anything because they are particular states of being but I don't see how I can get from my current state to that state but in the answer you gave above, you framed it as a procedure so I know exactly what needs to be done. :)

I think I should start a journal or have an exercise book in which to jot down concerns and to brainstorm strategies to get around those concerns. I think that should be very helpful.

Although, I must admit that the approach mentioned requires a degree of rationality which I wouldn't have possessed in the past.

Jennywocky said:
Well, like I said above, it helps to determine what emotional responses are useful to solving problems, versus merely distracting. Obviously if you find yourself experiencing lots of misery, then you have to determine why. But in general, if you sit around passively moping everytime you feel sad, or you run away in terror every time you feel fear, etc., then you are in thrall to your immediate emotional state. You can learn to recognize an emotion, label it, and then decide what to do with it.

Meanwhile, you are never obligated to respond to an emotion. You might instinctively START to respond, but as soon as you are aware of what you're doing and what emotion you are experiencing, you can choose to not act in the predetermined way. You're not a machine, you have higher volition.

And "desire" as an emotion is good. Desire usually gets inhibited by thinker types, but if you can recognize the desire to achieve a particular goal, then that is something to let flower.
Reading all of that I think my fundamental issue right now (which is slowly being overcome, thanks to the meds and other peoples and my own efforts) is that I'm unable to cognitively process my emotions. I'm able to process a lot of other things cognitively but am really bad at doing so with regards to my own emotions. This makes senses because my psychiatrist mentioned that he suspects that the mesolimbic pathway and the neocortex are quite sparsely connected in my brain (or something to that effect). He also explained it in terms of child and adult ego states which I think also translates to the id and ego respectively.

This is good. I know what my problem is fundamentally and it seems like the psychiatrist has finally cracked it too. (I display a lot of borderline personality traits but they often get masked due to my "intellectual" and "amiable" demeanor outside of the house which is why I think they took such a long time to figure me out) Thanks for spending the time and effort to write all that out, must have taken a while, I greatly appreciate it. :)
 

bvanevery

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Ps. You make reeeeally long posts.
I was about to say something like that. But I was also going to say, this forum is full of people prone to doing that. I find myself facing the "walls of text" problem. There are so many people around here communicating with walls of text, myself included at times, that I simply cannot muster the concentration or interest in all of it. There comes a serious supply and demand problem for getting attention. If everyone is a windbag, how many windbags are going to get attention? Well, not as many as they'd like. There aren't enough hours in an evening.

I'm pretty new to this forum. My current algorithm has become:
1) read the 1st post
2) skim some more posts. Realize, uh oh, these are long and convoluted.
3) skip many posts, go to the end to see what people are recently talking about
4) notice when the 1st and last posts were actually talked about
5) just respond directly to the 1st post, if the topic is still live
 
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