Heightened Anxiety and Depression in INTPs
Are INTPs more prone to anxiety and depression?
INTPs can really screw with people’s heads and hearts. Not specifically for fun and entertainment, but because their answers to emotional questions can be quickly expressed without being fully felt into, which can be really confusing and button-pushing for those that perceive what INTPs are saying to them.
The Inferior Function Can Cause an Emotional Riot
Because their inferior function is that of Extroverted Feeling, their shadow inferior function is that of Introverted Feeling, which means INTPs often emotionally tear themselves to shreds and then project onto another person when being pushed for an emotional answer, often from a partner. Whilst INTPs are busy attempting to over-ride and disguise their internal emotional landscape, or even pretending that it doesn’t exist, they are in reality gradually building layer upon layer of internal dissonances. And dissonance is one thing that INTPs loves and loathes paradoxically, they are always aiming to set things in harmonious order.
By now you can probably predict the downward spiral into emotional hell that INTPs are prone to face if they do not work on integrating their inferior function of Extraverted Feeling. In order to overcome this death-wish whilst dealing with their emotions, INTPs should make this emotional integration one of the most, if not the most, important task of their life. Without attempting to get in touch with their emotions, their dominant function of Introverted Thinking will not only be their best asset and friend but also become their worst enemy.
Over-thinking can Exacerbate Anxiety and Depression
When stressed, the shadow dominant function of Extroverted Thinking manifests itself and the INTP can be manically running around sorting their external life in an Obsessive-Compulsive manner. These external attempts at self-soothing may additionally just cover up, and not tend to, the wild ocean of unresolved emotional issues that lie deep within them.
INTPs have an increased fear of failure and hold their meticulously designed philosophies and theories close like beautiful and complex cherished jewels. Whilst happy to constantly revise and amend these ideas, when an INTP realises that one or more of their logical systems that they live by has been built on a lie or a gross miscalculation, every part of their life that touches that idea suddenly becomes moot and thus completely meaningless, throwing them headlong into the existential chasm of despair. The only way out of this is to rebuild their structure of the meaning of life is from the ground up, evaluating every aspect of it with even more cutthroat criticism than previously used. This can be complimented with questioning the validity of Truth in general, and whether anything really has a point of striving toward anyway, resulting in feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, despair and suicidal depression. Escapism through drugs and debauchery may fill this void for time – usually just long enough to create more anxiety once out the other side of the bender, with deeper crises to integrate whilst searching for a solid goal or purpose in life. INTPs strive to break down traditional barriers in search of novelty and knowledge, and the use of boundary dissolving drugs can offer up this expansive utopia, to a point.
Good Read: Why INFPs find INTJs Intriguing
The Shadow Auxiliary Function’s Risky Obsession
Via the INTP’s stress induced shadow auxiliary function of Introverted Intuition, they can become obsessed with symbolism and holds a sword of truth to how perceived external symbols and synchronicities may be guiding their inner moral or spiritual compass. These internal images and ideals are then matched in the external world by whatever means necessary to actualize and manifest this idealized reality, no matter what the cost may be to social structures or relationships.
Relationship Anxiety and Apathy
In relationships, INTPs tend to ignore their own as well as their partner’s emotional needs for periods of time which, when they arise, may require some extra processing time and facing the difficulties of their inferior function of Extraverted Feeling, which in time pays off. Emotional reactions tend not to be based on deep exploration in or contact with feelings, and having this pointed out to them may cause anxiety surrounding their input to emotional conversations being inadequate in the eyes of others. Although INTPs love complexity and value emotional autonomy, the options here seem quite few; either take their unintegrated emotional state to a different relationship hidden behind a wall of logic and rationale (sometimes espousing supposed universal or existential Truths as the basis of a relationship), end all relationships attempting to protect their inner emotional turmoil from being uncovered, or learn to and act on integrating their inferior function of Extroverted Feeling. Again, when feelings aren’t being expressed externally, they fester inside and become entangled in each other, often confused with or covered by Stoic logic, and build a wall so high that it is doomed to hurt everyone when and if it ever comes crashing down, and unintegrated INTPs will hardly care.
Good Read: Embracing Depression
The World is Going to Hell, Isn’t it Obvious?
Some INTPs deduct that it is ignorant of others to ignore the crises in the world – war, famine, population explosion, pollution etc. and can become short-tempered with those that say things like “don’t worry, it’s all OK”. In INTP’s eyes these people are just lying to themselves, but from another point of view it may be that the INTP is flawed by not taking on other people’s points of view so easily, just in case they upset their manicured ideals. For an INTP with very unintegrated inferior functions (cognitive as well as shadow functions), over-thinking and rationalising everything to explain everything meaningful away combined with the auxiliary function of Extroverted Intuition creates a vicious loop of apathy and doom. This can bring aspects to bedtime such as pure exhaustion from anxiety and depression around the existential void, sometimes the only thing that can put them to sleep when they can’t feel anything meaningful to wake-up for.
To summate, the INTP can encounter many difficulties accessing and expressing their feelings. Anxiety and depression are ultimately unbalanced states of emotional stress which, if left unattended can lead to unhealthy amounts of disconnection from people and the world, self-loathing, suicidal ideation, feelings of hopelessness and nihilism. Without facing the fear of feelings and emotions, the INTP will more than likely never enjoy a deep relationship with anyone but themselves and their own internal dialogue and even then, it may turn twisted and self-hating to the point where topping themselves feels like the only productive act that they could do for the world. With the final thought, “I would not be missed by anyone.”
Feel into that, INTPs.
Guest Post By Stew Piddae