INFP Personality and Depression (A Comprehensive Guide)

In this brief guide, we will discuss how Depression and INFP personality are related, and how such a person can get better.

INFP and depression

Depression in INFP people is common because they feel things very deeply, and the heightened emotions make them go into a state of depression when things are too tough.

To make things worse when an INFP person is in Depression, other people may not recognize it straight away because they tend to put on a happy face for people.

They may want to open up, but it is hard for INFP personality to open about sensitive subjects like Depression, and this can make the depression even harder to bear for the INFP type.

Depression makes people retreat into their shell anyway and for INFP this is an even bigger problem than for other people due to their withdrawn nature.

What is an INFP personality?

INFP personality is a type given by the Myers-Briggs personality test, and it stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting personality traits.

They are also known as Mediators, and they make up only 4% of the population and are therefore a rare personality type.

INFP’s tend to be quiet, open-minded, imaginative, and altruistic, and a person with these traits tends to be a caring and creative individual that applies these traits to everything they do.

INFP is one of the 16 personality classifications that this test gives out, and each of the letters stands for a major personality trait that defines an individual.

INFP personalities are idealists to a fault, and they may always be looking for the good in even the worst of things, even searching for ways to make everything better.

INFP is also often perceived as calm, reserved, or shy, and they are very hard to get to know.

INFP tend not to open up easily and may hold very few people truly close to their hearts.

INFP is part of the “Diplomat Role” group, which means that they often tend to follow their principles, rather than logic.

Concepts like honor, beauty, morality, and virtue are what the INFP holds dear, and they are unlikely to sacrifice them for most things.

The great things about INFP are that they can communicate deeply with others and are able to speak easily in metaphors and parables, and may even use an understanding and create symbols to share their ideas.

INFPs are also drawn extremely to Fantasy worlds, probably more than other personality types.

Why do INFP people go into depression?

INFPs can have a hard time forgiving themselves, due to their reserved nature and their idealistic attitude, and may often take on the blame for negative feelings that occur in depression.

They may turn all the negativity inward, due to their tendency to be self-dependent, and this can lead to them feeling withdrawn and alienated.

INFPs enjoy being alone, and for a person in depression, it is important to be with family and friends as much as possible.

An INFP in depression, therefore, needs to find a balance of some sort between being alone and being with others, so they may get better sooner.

INFP are also less likely to trust people and tend to be more guarded than other personality types, and this can worsen depression.

To feel better in depression, one needs to trust those around them and INFP finds this difficult to do, and the depression stays as it is, even gets worse, sometimes.

INFP can also bottle things up and this can be another source of depression for the INFP, and so giving them an outlet or someone to share things with can be good for them.

Features of INFP Personality and Depression

INFP people can be extremely idealistic. Also known as “Mediators”, these people seldom keep their idealism in check, and may set themselves up for disappointment because bad things happen in the world all the time.

Even on a personal level, INFP may idealize everything from their partners to themselves, in some cases even going so far as to idolize them, and when they are faced with the reality that things are not perfect as they previously thought, it causes a conflict within them that can result in Depression.

INFP can also be too Altruistic. Altruism refers to giving as much to other people as possible to make their lives better.

INFP may see themselves as selfish, and give much more than they are actually capable.

This causes the INFP to push themselves too far to commit to a chosen cause or person, forget to take care of themselves in the process.

INFP can also be extremely impractical. Consumed with an idea, they may go forward with it without considering its pitfalls, leading them into tough territory which they might not be able to deal with.

Combined with their tendency to feel too strongly, this can lead the INFP to go into depression quite easily.

Sometimes they may even forget to take care of their mental and physical health in the moment of obsession with a new project, and this is not good for the INFP’s mental health.

An INFP person typically dislikes dealing with boring things like data.

INFP is all about doing and achieving, so for this person, it is hard to focus on the little things that matter so much in a day to day life.

Short term goals may be abandoned in favor of huge, glamourous ones, and when these huge goals fail, this causes a setback that is just as big.

One of the biggest features that lands INFP in Depression is their tendency to take things too personally.

They often take challenges and criticisms way too personally, instead of taking it in stride and accepting it as a part and parcel of life.

They also fail to use that criticism to better themselves, focusing instead on how it makes them feel.

This tendency can put INFP at heightened risk for depression.

Lastly, INFP can be incredibly difficult to get to know.

INFP is very private and self-conscious. This makes it hard for them to trust people and communicate effectively, which can create a sort of wall around them.

In general circumstances, this wall may not affect the INFP too much, but in depression, this wall can serve as an isolation chamber where the INFP is alone with all their negative thoughts and feelings.

INFP Personality and Depression (A Comprehensive Guide)

How to help an INFP with depression?

To help an INFP with depression you need to get them to communicate before anything else and trust you enough to share their issues frankly.

It is noble to want to help anyone with Depression, and it may prove a bit hard to help an INF with it given that they are so private, but do not lose hope!

Usually, an INFP is able to reflect on their own experiences as a person who has fought through other mental challenges, but depression is different from the usual problems one may have experienced.

Here are some tips on how you can help an INFP with depression.

·       When helping an INFP with depression you need to give them a lot of space.

·       Think of them like cats, they want your attention and love, and even your help, but they are proud, idealistic people and too much interference can put them off wanting to talk to you.

·       After you have ensured that they trust you, try to help them with the practical things that they ignore so staunchly.

·       If your INFP is having trouble with work or studies due to Depression, offer to help them out.

·       INFP appreciates altruism, they are themselves a very helpful bunch, so they are more likely to take your help if they trust and admire you.

·       When it seems like the INFP is going through a state of heightened negative emotions, try to get them to talk, but do not be forceful about it.

·       An INFP suffering from depression may not want to do anything or go out, so instead of forcing them to do so, ask them if they would come and help you with something.

·       Their altruistic nature will get them to go with you and this can get them moving again.

·       This technique is part of a psychotherapeutic technique called behavioral activation, and it is used by therapists quite often for the treatment of Depression.

·       As INFP is quite sensitive to criticism, try to let them know as gently as possible when they are not taking care of themselves or not doing things as they are supposed to.

INFP Strengths that help with Depression

INFP people may seem like they like more sad things than others and be more prone to depression, but they also have amazing strengths that make them good candidates for therapy for depression. Here are some of those strengths.

·       INFP is capable of feeling big things in a grand way and this capability for feeling can make it easy to get through to them.

·       INFP is altruistic and this makes it easy to get them moving if they are depressed, as part of Behavioral activation.

·       INFPs also have a tremendous capacity for empathy, which can make therapy very effective with them.

·       INFP is intuitive, and this suggests a high capability for introspection.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we discussed how Depression and INFP personality are related, and how such a person can get better.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): INFP and Depression

Are INFPs prone to anxiety?

Yes, INFP can be prone to anxiety due to their tendency to be people-pleasers and because they have high standards for everything they do. This can mean that INFP can experience anxiety frequently when they feel that they are failing at something

Who Should an Infp marry?

An INFP should marry an ENFJ, which stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.

Which personality type is most likely to have depression?

Borderline Personality or Emotionally Unstable Personality is most likely to have depression. Additionally, people high on Neuroticism and Introverted Personality traits are also very likely to have anxiety.

Why do INFPs withdraw?

INFPs withdraw because they are introverted people and they tend to enjoy being on their own.

It is bad for them to withdraw all the time though because INFP’s tendency to withdraw can make them isolated.

Do INFPs get along?

No, it would be difficult for INFPs to get along in theory, because they are both too introverted and unlikely to share things with each other, as well have ideal expectations that may not be met. Tions.

Citations

https://www.erikthor.com/2016/09/20/infps-described-sad/

INFP Personality and Depression (A Comprehensive Guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.