INFJ Depression: Why INFJ's Feel So Deeply

Updated November 18, 2021

If you’re an INFJ, you are thoughtful, imaginative, and guided by an inner vision and personal values. You feel deeply. But being a natural ruminator, your ideals tend to prevent you from finding satisfaction in life. This article explores how INFJ’s personality traits can make them feel depressed and then offer solutions. Some readers may be wondering what an INFJ is. Known as Advocates, these are people with Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging personality traits, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

What Is The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test. It is based on Carl Jung’s 16 psychological types. Psychologists and educators depend on the MBTI to help them determine the personalities of their clients and students. But you can also take the test online for around $50. So people who take the test have a useful reference point to grasp their unique personalities.  Myers-Briggs results are based on four preferences:

  • People and things (Extraversion or “E”), or ideas and information (Introversion or “I”).
  • Facts and reality (Sensing or “S”), or possibilities and potential (Intuition or “N”).
  • Logic and truth (Thinking or “T”), or values and relationships (Feeling or “F”).
  • A well-structured lifestyle (Judgment or “J”), or one that goes with the flow (Perception or “P”).

In Myers Briggs’s theory, for each pair, people favor one style more than the other. So, an INFJ prefers introversion, intuition, feeling, and judgment. As a result, INFJs are more vulnerable to depression than different personality types.

How INFJ’s Personality Traits Contribute To Depression

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All of us feel depressed at some point, but, in general, introverts tend to be more depressed than extroverts because they spend a lot of time reflecting on their problems, and they do not likely share these with others. Also, NF personality types are idealistic and have difficulty dealing with a sensory-focused, working world. One of their dominant functions and strengths, introverted intuition (Ni), can also make them more vulnerable to depression.

Intuition

Because INFJs are so intuitive, they tend to spot potential problems before they occur. That gives them extra time to worry and ruminate. If they cannot see a solution to potential issues, they can become quite hopeless. Other, more impulsive types tend to only deal with future problems when they arise.

Idealism

INFJs are idealists. When the world differs considerably from their ideal vision and imagination, they feel depressed. INFJ’s personality type is also perfectionistic. They have high expectations of themselves and hold a perfect image of the way the world should be. Many feel they know what others need, and they want to help others solve their problems. But other people may not even perceive they have a problem. When INTJs cannot get people to see their insights, it leaves them feeling disappointed and frustrated.

INFJs feel depressed when they realize that external reality will never match their ideal worlds. They put a premium on harmony and peace, while society values status, money, possessions, and physical beauty. Unhealthy INFJs remain rigidly attached to their idealistic views. They hold tight to conclusions and tend to force their beliefs on other people, only to be gravely disappointed when others refuse to change.

Clarity And Meaning

INFJs value clarity and they continually seek meaning in all that they do. Often, they feel lost in life and dissatisfied with their career choices. Moreover, INFJs feel the need to fit in and feel connected. But a conformist path may not be the best for them. Although INFJs are known idealists, they are also reasonably pragmatic. They value both meaning and a comfortable lifestyle. Thus, they may remain in a non-meaningful career because it offers financial stability. An INFJ’s introverted intuition (Ni) gives them insight and lets them understand the consequences of a decision. This makes choosing a career path difficult. They continually lean towards purpose, but there is always something that holds them back. So, many INFJs end up feeling confused and lost and struggling with depression.

Rumination

Ruminating can make an INFJ both anxious and depressed. It is fine to problem-solve, but issues arise when introverted thinking attaches itself to the problem-solving process. The INFJ over-analyzes a situation and the people and motives involved.

If their introverted intuition (Ni) function presents a solution, an INFJ’s introverted thinking (Ti) function will attempt to make sense of it. If the answer doesn’t make sense or contains flaws, the Ti function will boot the insight back to the Ni function to continue to refine it. This process, known as the Ni-Ti loop, can go on indefinitely. INFJs will try to problem solve endlessly until they get stuck in this never-ending thought loop. Continuing to ruminate makes the looping worse. An INFJ who is struggling may find they create an internal war. Ti function faults Ni function for failing to come up with a perfect solution. Ni function faults Ti function for being so critical. This downward spiral can lead the INFJ to depression.

How To Overcome INFJ Depression

  1. Downplay Your Insights.

From time to time, INFJs rely too much on insight. This can leave them struggling with depression or feeling hopeless. Although INFJs are often on the money when it comes to forecasting what will eventually happen, they are not psychics, and their insights are limited to the information they have. Partial information can skew insights. To overcome depression, they need to learn how to trust that other people can offer ideas, too.

INFJs must learn to use their inferior function, extroverted sensing (Se), to enable them to gather the information that can broaden their insights. The Ni and Se functions operate in tandem. But young and inexperienced INFJs may be so attached to their own vision that they shut off new, helpful information. This leads to forming a narrow perspective.

When an INFJ’s visions don’t coincide with reality, an INFJ may see their future through a hopeless and bleak lens. They need to recognize that their information is incomplete. One additional piece of information may have the ability to change their entire perspective.

  1. Forge Your Own Path
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An INFJ may be tempted to seek others’ approval by changing themselves into something they are not. For instance, they may seek out career success in the conventional sense. However, sacrificing meaning for a job only leads to depression. Instead, INFJs need to play by their own rules to simplify their lives and create their own path. This means accepting that their minds always favor that which gives their life meaning. There is no need for them to suppress this desire. Instead, they need to delineate what they might need to lead a meaningful life. If you are an INFJ, don’t remain in a non-meaningful career because it offers financial stability. Instead, calculate how much income you would need to lead a meaningful, comfortable lifestyle. Then adjust your career choice so it more closely resembles your vision.

  1. Challenge Your Expectations

When others don’t follow an INFJ’s vision, he or she may become disillusioned. They need to come to terms peacefully when others do things that don’t align with their expectations. Trying to change people is like putting a square peg into a round hole. It just doesn’t work. INFJs can feel powerless when their attempts to change others are rebuffed. The key is to drop their expectations and stop trying to fix other people or the world. In that way, they can develop peaceful relationships with others and remain happy.

  1. Getting Out Of The Ni-Ti Loop

When INFJ’s are ruminating, they alternate between introverted intuition (Ni) and introverted thinking (Ti) until their heads spin. Getting trapped in their own heads brings on depression. Although most people have depression at some point, an INFJ can really let rumination impact their mood. To shake themselves out of rumination, they can learn to rely on their extroverted functions.

There’s no need to pretend to be an extrovert. All INFJs have natural gifts of extroversion; it’s just that they favor this auxiliary function less than their dominant functions. Even if they identify as introverts, bringing out their extroverted functions helps them to achieve a mind/life balance.  Extroverted feeling (Fe) jogs INFJs out of their endless Ni-Ti loop.

Rather than allowing themselves to become isolated and self-pitying, the INFJ would be wise to focus on helping people around them or seeking out new perspectives.  They could also find other ways of creating a connection to their Fe, such as expressing emotional pain through art, music, or even watching a tear-jerker movie.  Engaging in these Fe activities will enable them to open their minds and handle their emotions.

How ReGain’s Online Therapy Can Help

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Are you an INFJ who is stuck in the Ni-Ti loop? Or perhaps you are merely new to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and would like to explore what your own select type is. You could choose to see a therapist face-to-face or opt for online therapy. ReGain has licensed mental health professionals who stand ready to help you right away. Log into its online counseling portal. ReGain works with your schedule. You can choose to chat discreetly via text or, if you prefer, on a video chat or over the phone. You should definitely feel comfortable with whichever method you choose. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff of licensed professionals is here to serve you at any time.


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