H Janeway asked: “How does an INTJ know what she needs? I am a bit disconnected from my emotions because of depression, depression medication and being an INTJ. How do I know what I need so that I can make a plan/schedule and hopefully get better?”
I hope the best for you in your journey.
I don’t have depression, but as someone with PTSD, I can speak to your experience of struggling to figure out what you need to do to heal.
Before I was fully aware that I had PTSD, I was very confused, and very, very concerned with how I was supposed to figure out this “trap” that had caught me. At the time, many factors combined to make it so that I was not in a position to seek help. As a result, I had to figure things out on my own.
Here is what I have learned the hard way:
Not everyone with a given disorder needs the same things:
My Uncle served in combat. I did not, but we both have PTSD. Neither of us has the same triggers, and neither of us handle trauma the same way. The point is, what you need in order to live with your depression is not going to be the same as all other people with depression.
You have to listen to yourself. When your mind begins to scream, or when your mind goes dead with no emotion, you have to listen to yourself. Those are the times when you have to pamper yourself a little. Force yourself to enjoy something that you used to love, even if you don’t often feel like doing any more.
I usually don’t feel like going to Swing Dance practice, but I never regret going—and least of all on my worst PTSD days.
You do need a friend:
This is one place where everybody DOES need the same things.
Isolating yourself is a natural reaction to depression and anxiety disorders, but it is also a very harmful reaction —especially for us INTJs, who are often already quite isolated. It’s crucial to healing that you build some sort of a support system. No, you don’t have to tell them everything, but you do need a friend.
If possible, you need a friend who understands what you’re going through. The thing you have to be careful with there is avoiding friends who have no plan to heal from similar experiences that you want to heal from. In other words, avoid people who will hold you back and keep you coping unhealthily.
Find someone (and this is hard to do) that wants to recover same as you, and work together to help each other recover.
If you keep at it, you will learn how to cope:
And I mean, really keep at it, especially when you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere.
It is possible to re-learn how to feel after being completely disconnected from your emotions. Over time, you will start to recognize (slowly) what things trigger you back into that state, and because these things will be specific to you, I can’t tell you what they will be.
You can’t put a time limit on the human spirit:
Another thing that I learned, and yes, this is frustrating, but you can’t schedule recovery. You can plan out all the steps you need to take, but those steps are going to have to be flexible. You’re going to have to look at every single one of them as a baby step, and it may take you years to start feeling as though you’re getting somewhere. But you will.