Q&A: Are INFJs Prone to Depression/ADD?

Monday, January 30, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

Your Question:

Found your blog today - and I'm doing my happy dance! In a psych class in college (back in 1988-ish), I discovered I was an INFJ, but it didn't really compute. Now, as I near 50, I STILL am an INFJ, much as I wish it were different, and it finally makes sense. One of these days I'll google it, but in your experience, how common is it for INFJ's to be diagnosed with clinical depression and/or ADD (well, technically, AD-HD inattentive subtype)? As an adult, I was diagnosed with both, and am medicated. But, I wonder, is it because I feel so different from others? I don't understand (in my heart) why people are so greedy or mean. I studied psychology and so, in my head, I get it. But I keep thinking that there must be SOMETHING I can do to make this world a better place. And yet, most of the people in my daily life seem to think that I overthink everything and that I "need to get out of my head." I just really wondered, am I really depressed and ADD? Or am I living in a world that doesn't understand me and wants me to be other than what I am??

My Answer:

Thanks for contacting me! I’m glad you found the blog and hope you’ll find it helpful. Being an INFJ isn’t always the easiest thing, and I’m still trying to make sense of it myself. That’s one reason I blog…to explore the intricacies of our personality type and encourage other INFJs to hang in there. :)

You know, you’ve brought up something that really hits home. As a child, I was high-strung and fractured in my thinking. Not that I couldn’t focus when I wanted to…I had great powers of concentration, but ideas just seem to come at me constantly. I couldn’t even keep up with them. I also fed off other people’s emotions and could go from one emotional state to another rapidly. I know my parents were concerned about it, and today’s medical doctors would probably have pumped me full of Ritalin. But I don’t think I was ADD or ADHD…I think I just had an overactive brain and a powerful imagination. Is there a difference, lol? I don’t know. I still feel very distracted at times, and I have to wonder if that’s just part of being an INFJ.

I do think that INFJs are prone to depression. I’ve never been clinically diagnosed with it, but I’ve battled feelings of depression my whole life, along with anxiety and the overwhelming sense that I don’t belong. There are probably a lot of reasons INFJs feel this way (we overthink, we’re easily stressed, etc.), and now that you’ve brought it up, I think I’m going to write a blog post about it next week. Maybe a series of them. I posted an image about depression on the Fan Page a few weeks ago, and it got a lot of attention. So I think it’s something we INFJs relate to and need to be aware of.

You are most definitely not alone. Everything you put in your message, I can relate to. Most INFJs would probably say the same. We’re the rarest type, and society doesn’t cater to minorities…it structures itself around catering to the greater good, and we get left out. A LOT. The world doesn’t do well with things it doesn’t understand (like us). So I think everything you’re feeling is very normal for our type.

Keep an eye on the blog, and please feel free to comment on anything you find out there. I don’t always reply to comments, but I read every one of them. And do reach out via e-mail any time. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can and will try to help in any way possible.

Thanks again and hope you have a really great weekend!

(Note: My follow-up post on this topic can be found here: Tough Love, ADD, and Depression)

Image Credit: CanStockPhoto