Depression + The ENTJ - Seeking Insight


#1

Hi all,

Fellow ENTJ here who has been struggling with a bout of depression. For the past few months, my normally sharp mind has felt in a fog that I can’t break, and I feel like a shadow of myself. Occassionally, I have moments of clarity where everything seems fine, but I haven’t been able to identify when these occur.

Although I’ve never been a sound sleeper, the frequency with which I have had night terrors and insomnia has increased–and not sleeping well adds to my other depressive symptoms. I cry every morning, and in the evenings–and for no reason (as trite as that sounds). I’ve found myself withdrawing from social activities with my friends. I feel fatigued all day. I get overwhelmed by small things, such as cleaning or doing errands. I take an “all or nothing” approach, which has more often than not resulted in nothing. Mentally, I get preoccupied with the negative thoughts I think my friends and even strangers are having about me. I’ve also had a difficult time thinking long term and haven’t maintained things that have always been important to me–fitness, career planning, etc.

I know that filling my free time with productive activities to supplement my job will help reduce my other feelings, but it has been difficult to even get out of bed in the morning, much less seek out new commitments.

Before seeking a professional, I want to help myself if I can. If there is anyone who can relate to the feelings I am experiencing and has insight to provide, I’d be hugely appreciative.

All the best,
E

As an aside–I’m in my mid-twenties and graduated from law school in the past year. I’m normally a high achiever who is engaged in many activities. I am in a committed and loving relationship, and have not experienced any major life changes in the past year aside from graduating school and beginning to work full-time. My present job is very solitary in nature and involves mostly researching and writing, and although I think the social isolation from my job is attributing to my feelings, I don’t believe it is solely responsible.


#2

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#3

I’m a mildly depressed ENTJ and I had my bad periods so I can relate. If you can, go see a therapist. This sounds hypocritical cause I haven’t gone to one but I know it’s the best thing to do.

There must be something that triggered the depression?

Why are you feeling that way?

You might wanna read this: psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2 … epression/

Of the 6 steps exercise is the most helpful to me.

Maybe there are some physical symptoms holding you down? Are you eating and living healthy? There are supplements for better concentration. St John’s Wort is a natural remedy that could help. I tried it and it was really helping me but it gave me diarrhea cause I have IBS so I had to stop. I would be taking it now if it was ok to my stomach. Totally natural and effective.

Wasabi is probably gonna write something insulting now, please ignore him.


#4

I’m just glad that you wont be able to contaminate this world with your stupid attitude and continue fabricating new idiot individuals like their fathers.


#5

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#6

Because punching doesn’t accomplish all the great things that people can do, which they yet don’t do. You can’t really expect me to try to deceive myself so blindly. Tell this to feelers.


#7

Hi Lawyerette,

It sounds like you’re in a really horrible place. It also sounds like you know what you should be doing to break out but you are finding it difficult to motivate yourself to do it.

Your post made it sound like you’re overwhelmed by things you used to find easy (errands, cleaning, going to the gym). Could you elaborate a bit on that?

-Charlie


#8

First, a disclaimer, I am not a professional psychologist or therapist. I am just an ENTJ who has had my share of ups and downs over the years sharing my opinions and observations with you. I think that ENTJ in particular is prone to this type of depression cycle. You mentioned that you recently graduated law school and are working as an attorney, but doing mostly research and isoloated type of work. It’s very common for ENTJs, who are very goal-oriented, to experience a period of depression after attainment of a major goal because it leaves a big void for us in our need to achieve and learn and we wonder “what is next?”. Also, maybe we are a bit let down because maybe reaching our goal wasn’t as challenging as we wanted it to be. I would expect you met your new career with a certain amount of anticipation. Maybe it is not what you thought it would be. The isolation in your job will not work for you long-term because you will need more people interaction to be fulfilled. As abstract thinkers, ENTJ are prone to bouts of existential depression, especially if you are a bright or gifted individual. You will worry about things that others do not because of your strategic focus, intuition and abstract thinking abilities. I would recommend setting some goals that will challenge you but also focus on doing some things that you simply enjoy. Make yourself exercise even though you don’t want to right now. This will automatically improve your mood. As ENTJ you ALWAYS need a goal or to be learning something new, even if it is something small, but you need a little momentum, first. If this doesn’t help, I recommend you talk with a professional. Try to choose someone who will understand your personality, which may be a bit challenging, given that ENTJ are rare, even more so for females. Best of luck to you, hope this helps! :smiley:


#9

You noticed that too, don’t you? That doesn’t sound like ENTJ to me. But even then, I have very close N(intution) vs. S(sensing) ballance, therefore sometimes I get ESTJ score out of tests. So that might be ESTJ thinking.


#10

Really? My whole life has been a struggle to live up to my potential. I always assumed that was a pretty universal thing…


#11

You’re ENTJ. That means you’re a long range thinker. Focus on the successful outcome. When that comes, you’ve reached the ultimate level of happiness…BRAGGING RIGHTS!

Focus on that. FOCUS!!!


#12

Hi Lawyerette,

I’m a fellow ENTJ female who has experienced the same issues with depression. I had a pretty severe and lengthy episode identical to what you’re describing after my mother died in 2008. The “fog” and lack of motivation were terrible and I disassociated for large time spans that I cannot recall. I sought therapy which was absolutely unhelpful, in fact worsened things for me adding the factor of being completely misunderstood and labeled an elitist. I went 25 hours per week for 7 months. The only thing I benefited from was that it was group therapy and I needed the interaction. Almost three years later I can not even slightly relate to those feelings but try to keep myself very aware of the progress that has led me out of it so that I can try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and never slip back. I also knew “what I should be doing” but was unable to find the motivation. The best thing for me was to surround myself with people. The more involved I was the more it kept me in reality and accountable for my moods. That did lead to a bit of thrill seeking but even still, a considerable step forward. I also began a strict regimen to help discipline myself into a routine of VERY slow progress. My mother’s death was the trigger but we were estranged so the deeper cause was a sudden loss of goals. I worked hard my whole life in subconscious spite of her so her death left me without any direction or reasons to tie to my goals. I had a lot of success very young from this momentum but very hollow motives. When they were gone, so was it. Perhaps what someone mentioned about the “what next?” feeling after the accomplishment of your big goal is exactly right. I had unsolicited crying spells and was always tired… It was awful. This lasted about 9 months and the entire spell almost 2 years to overcome. The best advice I can give you is to get out of your isolated work environment ASAP. I was also working alone at the time of my depression and it multiplied the severity. Next is to set a BIG goal for yourself. Last is to begin a daily routine that keeps you occupied doing productive things and FORCE yourself to it. Try to be around people as much as possible despite how awful it may feel, it will keep you close to reality and it is far better than being alone with your thoughts.
Hope this helps!


#13

Just to note: I am a 24 year old, business professional. I was in a serious relationship at the time but was unable to connect to my feelings side well enough to suffice, leading to a break up.


#14

Lack of sleep will fuck you up. My non-MD recommendation: grass.


#15

Samcakes, I am in a Long Distance relationship with an ENTJ and sometimes he is very distant, he tells me that he is under a lot of stress and kinda down because of work and other personal problems (that he always shares with me), he feels that he is out of control. I still can not get over the fact that he doesn’t call me as often and sometimes doesn’t answer my calls or texts. I start to get paranoid, but I control myself and don’t show it (I didn’t control myself once and it didn’t go well :frowning: ) However when we see each other is wonderful, he says that he is able to forget all the stuff that’s making him depressed, he is always happy to see me and plans all sorts of things to do together. I’m really in love with him and I am willing to wait for him to get his life in order but sometimes I don’t know if he is just not that into me or he is just depressed and is isolating himself. He has never told me that he loves me, but I can “feel” that he does when I see him, in the way he looks at me and the things he say. We are very compatible, have a lot of things in common and he is very affectionate with me and very open too, he has told me about his dreams, fears, goals, everything which I find surprising because I’m way more reserved (is this common for an ENTJ?).

I, being a ISTJ I like certainty and security and not knowing where this is headed is driving me nuts! Sometimes it sounds to me that we could be going the same path as you did when you say that you were not able to connect to your feeling side… or is it that he has no feelings for me? is isolating him/herself something that an ENTJ would do when depressed even if he loves someone?


#16

@ Lawyerette

The first thing you need to eliminate from your way of thinking is the “all or nothing approach”. That line of thought will only lead you to nothing. You’ve probably heard “something is something, and nothing is nothing.” Well, I suggest you try this new approach.

Also, dont’ believe that sharing your thoughts and emotions are a sign of weakness. I know that you have already shared so much information with others on this forum, but have you done so with your most immediate circle of relationships? (friends, family, partner) At times, it isn’t always the best idea to share with those closest to you, depending on their type of personality of course.

But confiding in someone who 1.) You trust completely and 2.) is willing to listen and not comment on your situation, may also be very fruitful. As an ENTJ myself, i often find it difficult to pin point the source of my emotional disturbances. A method that does help, is to continuously share those thoughts/emotions/ideas/possibilities. You will find that as you progressively share, you also refine your comments and better understand your internal-situation.

Cbaute7 and Samcakes offer some great advice to consider as well:

My final suggestion, which is a follow up to Samcakes’ comment, is go and volunteer at a facility where the less fortunate are. Whether you want to volunteer with abused children, an all women’s facility, a homeless shelter, it’s up to you. As Samcakes pointed out, I agree that being around others will not only help you recognize your emotional distress but also give you an opportunity to listen to the stories of others, to reflect and compare yourself to others. People who live a life that you could possibly never imagine.

I promise you, such an experience only helps and does not hurt. It will open your eyes, and your heart.


#17

“what is next?”…this is a huge issue for me too. I get frustrated with this all the time. I get frustrated with my job because I’ve worked so hard to educate myself and haven’t been able to find my niche in my area of choice. I’ve gotten so frustrated with relationships …probably beyond rational discussion so I go off on everyone. I too sometimes feel like I could lapse into depression out of a general feeling of dissatisfaction with various aspects of life during these times BUT like someone else suggested…I try to find the small things that make me happy…like playing with my dog, getting a massage, taking a small trip to help reduce frustration and anxiety (because that is mostly what it is for me) and just try to breathe and take it one day at a time. I think as ENTJs we want the world and want it now and that makes it difficult to deal with things when we feel like we have limited control over the situation(s). You just have to know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect right now.


#18

People eventually find their way out of difficult situations. Only people who give up and never give themselves a chance are doomed to lose. Perfect now may not be perfect. But in a long run you start appreciate challanges thrown at you without prior notice. They all teach you very important things about life. And besides, how else do you expect getting into challenging situation? If you were ready for it then it wouldnt be a challenge now wouldnt it be?


#19

Going with my intuition here.

When ENTJs set goals we do it based on the magnitude of our last one. There is this constant need to “up our own ante” I feel. I’d like to believe that this comes from our Fi side.

Let’s face it. Starting over brand new sucks, doesn’t it? But that is what a goal is. When you reach a goal that has a definable end, vice one that is practically endless/constantly can be improved upon - what else is there to do but start over? Choose a new goal? Pick a new direction? Go out an conquer something new?

I think that’s ass backwards. Don’t try and up the ante. Pick something small and start over new. How does this relate to depression? Getting out of your depression is going to be a slow process. You can’t do a million things at once when you are depressed, but your own self-image is tied to that perhaps? Pick one small thing, work on that. Incrementally.

Also, go to therapy.