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Thread: Diagnose me

  1. #31
    Member RDF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilith View Post
    But but but aren't INTPs modern-day Nietzsches?
    I don't think Nietzsche was an INTP, mostly because he identified with the Dionysian (emotional, ecstatic) side of life. Ayn Rand wrote an essay trashing Nietzsche on that basis alone and championing the Apollonian (rational, intellectual) side for her own part.

    But I suppose you're asking: Can an intellectual free spirit suffer from a mid-life crisis? People usually equate mid-life crises with extraverted "establishment" types, and not with free-thinking intellectual iconoclasts.

    I was reading "Solitude: A Return to the Self," by Anthony Storr (published 1988). Storr was a Jungian-style psychologist, even kind of a "popularizer" of Jung. Anyway, Storr contrasted extraverts vs. introverts as being "compliant" vs "withdrawn." To spell it out: Storr said that extraverts are generally characterized to one extent or another by a quality of being "compliant" in response to the demands of society and the outer world. When this tendency toward compliance is taken to extremes, extraverts are prone to feeling martyred and fall into depression. Meanwhile, something similar happens on the introvert side: introverts are generally characterized to one extent or another by a quality of being "withdrawn" and basically avoidant toward the demands of society and the outer world. When this quality of being "withdrawn" is taken to extremes, introverts are prone to feeling alienated and fall into schizoid mentality.

    Storr said that neither type of excess is automatically better or worse than the other. It's pretty much "six of one and half a dozen of the other." In the end, an extravert suffering from depression and an introvert suffering from schizoid mentality are pretty much in the same position; they tend to get lumped in together as variations of depression. But their paths to that point were different.

    Anyway, I think that kind of stuff can happen with mid-life crisis. I've seen some older INTPs on message boards complaining that their life is on-track and that they are satisfied with what they've accomplished, but they've fallen into some kind of anhedonia: Everything is just kind of gray and boring for them.

    Jung was the big expert on mid-life crises. At one point, after Jung left the big psychiatric institutions and started a private practice, he noted that his practice consisted almost solely of middle-aged men with one or another kind of midlife crisis. So he studied it. He didn't characterize it as a consequence of extraversion or introversion; instead he said that it comes from being too "one-sided" in your development. And he wrote lots of material about how both introverts and extraverts can identify too much with one aspect of themselves (often tied to their Dominant function), refine it to peak perfection, but in the process they get too "one-sided" and leave behind or ignore or repress big parts of themselves. Those other repressed parts of themselves return later in life as irruptions from the unconscious (nightmares, dissatisfaction with life, etc.), leading to mid-life crisis. And so on, and so on.

    I'm currently reading another of Storr's books, "The Essential Jung." The subject of "one-sidedness of development" was clearly a big interest of Jung's.

    So that's where I'm coming from on all this. I don't pretend to be an expert on INTPs. But the OP sounds like he has gotten kind of "one-sided" in the Jungian sense and perhaps overly identified with his intellectual/stoic side, to the point of neglecting a more balanced, rounded view of life.

    Anyway, the standard disclaimers apply here: I don't have any background or training in psychology. I'm just passing along what I've read in self-help and popular psychology books.
    Last edited by RDF; 12-23-2019 at 09:53 AM.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by DaDaMan View Post
    Come on, you can do better.



    You are too systematic.

    Why a prescription? Why do you assume something is wrong.
    INFP
    abstractionist

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