I Thought I Am Depressed...

My life is one huge disaster for me, I felt lazy, useless, used and without prospects. I have bad experiences trusting people, I lost my will of living, all I could think of was stay in bed and ignore reality.

I began to think, that I need help of a psychiatrist. So I took some tests, to see if I might need to visit a shrink. All of those pointed, that I am deeply depressed and need to start therapy asap! One thing was suspicious: I felt this way all my life, it is not possible, that I was depressed for 29 years and no one would ever notice that. But after one of those website depression test I found personality tests. I took it and I found out, that I am ISFj.

It was like an enlightenment. I have made a research and found amazing description of my personality. Never considered, that it was just all in me….

Ok, now I know who I am, with whom I should create a relationship, but still I don’t have an idea, how to deal with things: like work, like forcing myself to do simple things (like shopping or sports) or interact with people. How to find my better half (ENTj)? How am I to trust someone, if each time I made myself to trust (and all of you know, how difficult that is for us), it was abused?

Do I really must act different around people? Talk with them, even if I don’t feel to do so? Answer questions, I don’t want to answer, or I don’t see point in answering? Am I to do things I don’t like: socialize; like my boring work; smile if I don’t feel to do so?

Why simply being me will directly lead me to disaster? How I can fight myself to achieve something? I have more ambitions that that being stuck in my useless personality, I want to achieve something, have a nice life, react with people. I like my apartment, but this is not the place I want to spend all my life in!

Saddest thing is that each evening, when I go to bed I promise myself: this is the last time I fall asleep sad and miserable, tomorrow I will do something to change that… And when the morning comes: I don’t want to wake up, don’t want to get up, don’t want to leave home… I want to do things on my way, my time, not to be commanded.

Do you, dear ISFJ’s have your ways to manage all that?

I am glad that I know who I am now, but I need some guidance, how I can help myself.

Lots of inner strength to you all.

LazyMary LazyMary
4 Responses Jan 7, 2013

Hello Maria,

_It's been 3 years since you've posted this thread, so I hope you made your way since then. In the case it would be useful to you or to other readers of this thread, I'll post my answer.
_I'm a male ISFJ, and a bit older than you, but I've been knowing other ISFJs for years (amongst whom my mother and, do I think, my best friend), so I'll try to provide an answer as useful as I can.

1st of all:
I've been knowing a bit about MBTI for 1,5 year. It appears to me to be a /very/ powerful model, once you deeply understand about it (which is not yet my case, but the more I learn about it, the more I think this way).
Anyway it's only a model, and does not explain or provide a guidance by itself and alone.
Please don't consider MBTI as a revelation, as something magic you would take exclusive guidance from.
Being an ISFJ does not summarize you as a person, even if it may tell a whole bunch of things in 4 letters. We ISFJs are not the same, and we are hundreds of millions !

2. If you suffer from depression, you far more need a therapist than a psychiatrist, unless you would often think of committing suicide.
But you really NEED to see a therapist: find an appropriate one (maybe/probably not the 1st you'll see, but stick to them for a while before considering changing therapist, and don't be a butterfly about it: once you've found an acceptable one, stick to them for years until you feel durably better).
Being an ISFJ does change NOTHING about this.

YES you can have suffered from depression for your entire life and noone would have noticed. Yes it's true. And being ISFJ will NOT be an answer to that wonder. And knowing to be an ISFJ will bring you NO solution out of depression. You just need to get out of there.

3. About connexion between depression & being ISFJ:
I've struggled with isolation most of my childhood, partly because of my very strong Si, partly because being a growing ISFJ child (kind, well-intended, interested in school,...), AND also for plenty of other reasons which have nothing to do with my being ISFJ (health, family, non-typical-ISFJ traits,...).

I've been struggling with depression since puberty, very hard during some times, quite not at all during other times.

Being a caretaker is obviously part of it, yes. But not the only reason.
I mean, being a caretaker, and a heterosexual not overmanly ISFJ man, is not the best option in the world; ISFJ women are often as well used as doormats by their lovers, and by others too.
And OK, many ISFJs have their trust being hurt a whole amount of times by their 30, and before, and after, because we ISFJs take love a hundred times more seriously than most of other persons do (as do INFP, but in a different way). So this also makes us prone to depression too.
So OK, so it contributes :-)

ISFJs are often more easily/fastly tired than others (the "I" part of us having stg to do with it), that does not help as well. We're inroverted, sometimes seem not to (the myth of us being "introverted extroverts" because we recharge by emotional interactions), so isolation without having constantly the appearance of this isolation makes us statistically prone to depression, OK.

But well:
_Every other MBTI type are prone to depression, for different reasons.
_I wouldn't be otherwise than ISFJ anyway, would you ?
I'm now 40, I know who I am, and don't want to be SO else.
I just face being who I am, and trying to get the best of it for others. And the "not too bad" of it for myself.

And being an ISFJ is not all about my struggling with depression. Health is a part of it (e.g. thyroid issues). Family story is part of it as well. Some non-typical-ISFJ mental traits of mine are part of it as well.

I guess it's the same with you.

4. About connexion between love & being ISFJ:
MBTI is nothing magic with love choices either: you'll find everything and its contrary across the Internet about MBTI types optimal pairing in terms of love. And many persons witnessing incredible love stories of all MBTI types combinations !
MBTI can help us understand what happens, how our mind works, how our mate's mind works, and how to (or not) make it work between us. But it's all this is about !
So no, NO, there is nothing about ENFJ being your ideal match type, believe me !
ENFJ can be arrogant ******** as many other types can be, as well as balanced and marvellous persons. Any type can match with you if they're the /right/ person (on the /right/ time).

Love is about trust because love (as every human relationship) is about taking, and facing, risks: otherwise there would be nothing about trust, if there's no risk !
We speak of trust only about things that can /fail/...
So yes, it does not always work well as in movies, and fictional representations of love do not help anyone !!
Moreover, love is more often balanced when it happens between (mentally) healthy
persons. So 1st see a therapist, 2nd when you feel a lot & durably better, begin to look for a mate, while going on in your therapy process until things are /really/ done.

The main risk for ISFJs is to have our heart broken, let's face reality. And it breaks us down for years, often far worse than other types.
So we shall limit the risk by:
_Having strong personal structure
_By identifying our patterns of falling in love and being wrong, amongst other things
_Making grow our ability to stand alone, live alone, be autonomous, find a job that fits us, etc.
_Be conscious and cautious in our love choices, not going too fast (which we ISFJs usually do after our 1st heartache), force ourselves to constantly communicate deeply with our mate (which is nothing but spontaneous for everyone, and even less for us, specially as soon as there is any cloud in our relationship)
_Keeping in mind that love can fail, but keeping on having the ability to fully trust someone (otherwise there's nothing about love there, isn't it ?)

Being around 30, you have an incredible potential and amount of time to meet a marvellous SO who will also be full of flaws, with whom to have wonderful children !!! Who will themselves struggle their whole lifetime with their own bunch of issues...

I married at 25, which is no problem at all, as well as the idea of, would I meet a special SO again (I'm undergoing divorce), marrying again in the next few years would not be a problem for me either !
As I previously said, we're not helped with common representations (fictional, specially) of love, whatever MBTI type we are; please get these images out of your head (age for marrying, way to fall in love, way to stay/live together,...)!

Beware of takers; "givers must set limit, because takers don't". And ask for help ending harmful relationships if you observe you don't manage that by yourself. There's not shame to have about that.

Open up: we ISFJs are often under-the-radar persons, who look smart but distant, so try to balance it with other stuff in order to lower the barrier it makes.

Please keep on being the best person you can, AND do what's necessary in order to attract the right person. Whatever physically attractive you are, whatever 'old' you are, whatever flaws you feel you have, that'll make it :-)

Also, the Internet is full of helpful articles & posts which may bring you comfort and help.

5. About connexion between human contacts & being ISFJ:
We ISFJs are introverts more specially attracted/recharged by emotional interactions.
As for any 'parameter', we ISFJs are more or less introverted compared to each other.
If you're highly introverted, or if you feel so, keep in mind that:
_Introverts often have few, but lifelong friendships. And not wanting to create bonds with any stupid folk in the street or at work is OK, we're just introverts.
You'll find plenty of guidance throughout the Internet, since introversion has been enquired by many persons during the last decade, and it's nice for us introverts to finally discover that we're not all shy or different, we're just recharged by alone time, and occasional quality time with a few other persons.
If you feel you don't have enough friends, get out your home, find activities that you like (doing or watching/listening to music, sport, activities around art, nature, whatever), you'll see that after a while, you'll create natural connections with a small but valuable amount of relevant persons.
_Introversion does not mean that we're unable to bond serious relationships (either friendships or romantic relationships). We're just not extroverts, some things in our minds don't work the same way. But we're 30 to 50% of the whole population !
_Introversion does not mean that we don't need human contact, or that we don't need love, and/or sex. We do as everyone, our mind just works a different way.
_You'll find introverts in the same kind of places you'll stand:
-Aside the parties, petting the cat/dog
-At the libraries
-In small groups of friends
-Walking the country
_But keep in mind that we introverts are not all the same, e.g. INTJ are introverts, but not recharged by emotional interactions, and often quite more arrogant than others.
_And please don't smile when you don't want to.
Usually, we ISFJs smile quite naturally when the right time comes :-)

6. About connexion between work & being ISFJ:
We ISFJs are quite sensible to emotional interactions, and at the same time, often need a job that makes sense to us, and/or a job where /we/ make sense, where we humanly make the difference by silently taking care of others.
If you don't like your job, find another (appropriate) one and quit.
OK, there is unemployment throughout our countries, but there should be enough jobs for us as long as we're brave enough to find the right one for us, not the ideal one, but one good enough that we can stick to for a while.
If you took the wrong path, change it !
It'll take months, maybe years, but speak around you (with many persons! NEVER have only one source of advice. So: family, friends, therapist, professional orientation counselor,...), find out what would better fit you, and change.

Keep in mind that :
_What we do the best is not always what is good for us.
_We ISFJs are often not well predisposed with abstraction. Of course this is highly variable (my best friend has far harder times than me with abstraction, which does not prevent him from being IT project manager and earning more than twice my occupational safety manager income), but this may be wisely taken into account.
_We ISFJs need (at work as well as out of work) the type of human contact we can deal with. Some, not too much, and the type we can manage.
_We're not superheroes: beware of burnout risk when you've found a job that fits you. As silent givers, we specially are at risk there.

7. About the coming mornings when we don't move on:
It's OK falling asleep sad but full of resolutions, and waking up sad, giving up our resolutions. You just need to get out of this part of time in order to progressively move on.

A few tips:
_How to eat an elephant ?
1st cut it into pieces.
Give yourself SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based).
This is standard corporate management advice, but it's relevant for private matters too.
Specially when you're fragile, you MUST:
-Think with several other persons you trust (separately)
-Determine your life priorities, amongst which I think therapy comes 1st, autonomy (thus "appropriate job") comes 2nd
-Set SMART objectives in small number to enter the way of change in your life priorities
-Ask for help when you need to (advice, support, listening, material help)
_Ask for help, see a therapist, and take it seriously. If this therapist does not fit you, look for another, without jumping constantly from one to another: once you've found an acceptable one, keep them until you feel you don't need therapy anymore.
_Be patient with yourself. You'll have hard times in the future, we all do. Allow time for leisure, binge watching, pizza, in this process. We're introverts afterall :-)
And as every introvert, you need "me" time, alone time to recover. And this is fine.
_Accept the fact you'll have your heart broken again, maybe. And give your love anyway, but not to jerks.
_*Don't stop giving, that's what we ISFJs are best for.*
Giving yout time, your trust, your help. Your ability to listen.
If you do, you'll become like my mother. And you don't want to do such thing: be passive-aggressive with everyone, full of anger and deception with the whole world, having bad relations with her 4 children,...
No, you don't want to.
_Anyway, do keep in mind that your time and energy are precious. To you, to the world. Don't waste them on irrelevant persons. Once again, "Givers must set limit, because takers don't".
Please give others the best of being an ISFJ: give your best to any persons who deserve it, without, eeeer... being a carpet, which us ISFJs seem to be veeery good at.
_Go on improving yourself, the way that is good for you. Some ISFJs will prefer working of toughening themselves to counterbalance their kindness, others will try to constantly improve their "helping others" toolbox, and so on...
*Go on becoming the person you wish to be, THIS will be romantically attractive*,
but only to the persons who will fit you, which is sometimes a good filter against harmful persons :-)

You can contact me via PM or through the forum, would you feel the need to have this discussion going on.

I wish the best for you !!!


Wow, great information, you know of what you speak, and hopefully the person will take your words to heart and use them, it took a lot of thought and time to explain all of that, which says you are truly a people person,

I can so indentify. I am appearing sad ad depressed to others and within myself.But the ISFJ traits fit me to a "t". Now I know that

Dearest Silentwaterfall and Mariealways!
I am genuinely happy now. Do you want to know why? Well I'm sure you are :)
I quit my job :D
I am my own boss now. Although I'm working 14 hours a day I am not sad, tired, frustrated or such, because I just love what I do :) It was the most hasty decision I have made, but now I know it was the best ever!
Furthermore I have decided, that I will not go into a relationship. I'm happy here I am now. Alone. I have two wonderful kittens and they are my companion. Lately I have made some progress in relationship with my sister (and just on Monday we found out, that she is pregnant, which is wonderful, because she is the cancer Survivor). We spend a lot of time together now.
I have so many reasons to smile, so I do! I am healthy, my family seems to be in good health now also. My work gives me a lot of fun (we will see later if money too;)).
I am calm, peaceful. One decision: run away from the yoke of supervision turned my world upside down.
Knowing that I simply can't change who I am is like a blessing. I will not change myself and I will not waste energy and time trying. I have accepted, that I may have only 2% chance to find my dual (ed. Love Of My Life), and because I believe in destiny (I have many reasons to do so) I know we will find each other sooner or later.
I had no idea, that I could help myself so much with one reckless step, but it was pure and sudden enlightenment.

Thank you for your support and your encouragement. I hope that you will find your ways too :) I am sure you will :) Thank you again :) Good luck!

First I wanna talk about how bad I felt when I read your post about your depression and how you weren't living your life you were only surviving , but then I felt really happy for you , how you managed to change all that with bravery .
I just wanna tell you that our personality is so complex and soft , the common issue between ISFJ people is that they give trust to others , a complete trust and they always expect the best from them , well that is completely wrong , However you can't invest your emotions in anyone's heart , you have to choose wisely and make sure that this person is worthy , whether it's a relationship or a friendship , you first make sure that it's enough to be good and kind , you have to be wise and smart , to be yourself with those who deserve you ; )

I agree with mariealways. Giving counselling a go could help. I have been suffering from depression myself and talking through things with someone who can be objective about things can clarify things for you, or address certain issues in your life that you may need to work on.