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Thread: Socionic application-- mania and depression

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    Default Socionic application-- mania and depression

    I have been thinking on-and-off for a while about bipolar/manic-depressive behavior. What triggers it? How does it manifest in different Socionic types?

    The exact chemistry/biology is beyond me. Medical science tells us that bipolar disorder is a mental disorder, possibly caused by hormonal imbalance and/or neural mis-firing in the brain. I'm not going to argue with this.

    What I'm curious to explore is, is there a way to use one's understanding of Socionics functions and type, to help predict when a manic episode is coming, and how to "stem the tide" naturally without medication. Here's my thoughts, and I apologize in advance if they're a little jumbled.

    Jung himself proposed that neurosis can occur when one focuses too strongly and exclusively on one function. For this article, particularly, I will focus on what happens when one over-indulges in his Base function over a long period of time.

    NOTE: The term "mania" as used in the following paragraphs, is meant as a general term, as any person-- even a healthy one-- may fall into the occasional mania, without becoming a full-blown mental case.

    So, how does a mania start? By putting too much time and focus into one's Base function. Let's face it, the Base function is a fun place to be; we like it there, it's comfortable, it's safe. Most of the time, a healthy person will realize on his own that he is starting to put an unhealthy amount of focus on his Base and will seek to extricate himself from the situation by finding a new focus. It helps, too, if he has someone else around to help pull him away.

    When it comes to mania, the most dangerous interrelational interactions, then, are with one's Identical and Kindred relations. In these relationships, there is going to be even more natural focus put on the Base function. And manias are not exclusive to individuals; they can happen in groups, too.

    To a lesser extent, Activity relations can lead to manic episodes, too, but are less likely to be maintained over a too-long period, as eventually the Activator will grow tired of feeding into the other's Base.

    Where a mania really becomes a problem, is when the one experiencing the mania is already mentally unstable. This person will have a harder time extricating himself from the mania, perhaps because facing life via the other functions has become too painful or frightening. Others' attempts to help him may also be shot down or ignored. The individual becomes completely lost in his mania, until finally, something happens to cause him to crash, thereby bringing on the depressive stage of manic-depression.

    This depressive stage is a little harder to explain socionically. Why does it happen? Where does one go-- functionally speaking-- during a depressive episode? Well, how about taking a look at the Id?

    When a person is depressed, he doesn't have much energy or motivation to do anything perceived as difficult or psychologically demanding. In a depressed person just coming from a manic episode, something has also finally made him realize that he can't/shouldn't be focusing so much on his Base. So what is left? The easiest course, it seems, is to seek approval/fulfillment via the Id functions-- the Demostrative and Ignoring functions. Focus on these functions, however, is not going to bring one the satisfaction he needs, however, rather leaving him feeling bored and even less motivated than he was before. In other words, he becomes even more depressed than he was already.

    Now, to apply this theory to some individual type cases.

    ENFp

    The ENFp manic is observed to be stuck in one's own thoughts of endless potential and possibilities. She may talk about these possibilities incessantly with those around her. She will want to put her ideas into action somehow, and may lose track of time once she has embarked on a project of interest. Nothing is more important than her pursuit of this new idea. Even her relationships-- which are usually so important to her-- take back-burner, and she will become inattentive to even the most important people around her.

    In the depressive state, the ENFp becomes overly-emotional and manipulative with others' emotions. She may become paranoid and pessimistic, always expecting the worst and not surprised when her gloomy predictions come to pass. She may hide from friends and family members, as these people remind her of what she used to be, and she doesn't want them to be "hurt" by her sudden change of personality and outlook.

    ISTj

    The manic ISTj becomes lost in a world of systematics, and seeking logical consistency in a chosen area of interest. Anything that is not found to be logically consistent within the system is immediately rejected. Finding out about and fitting in every little piece of the puzzle becomes of utmost importance, and the ISTj will ignore discomfort, health, and people (except those who are useful to him in completing his puzzle), until he is satisfied that his task is complete.

    In the depressive state, the ISTj becomes overly-focused on his health and comfort which he has neglected for so long, to the point of hypochondria. He becomes picky about method and efficiency, but not wanting to take care of things himself instead may start griping to others about shirking responsibility and getting things done.
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    Dysfunctionally extreme moods mimic Irrational traits due to critical self-appraisal being suspended due to anosognosia.

    Depression will mimic IP temperament due to focus on subjective reality. "Not being able to see five feet in front of you". EPs will resemble their Mirages, EJs will resemble their Mirrors.

    Mania will mimic EP temperaments due to scattering effects. IPs will resemble their Mirages, IJs their Mirrors.
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    This is also not an application. Mentally unhealthy people are outside the scope of Socionics.

    Nice theory, though.
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    1) MDD is probably not really type related.



    2)
    Ixxp
    you see Ixxp everywhere.



    3) there is always some possibility that mental disorder is out of socionic range, but :

    What is interesting into your text is that you suggest something that have been said into wikisocion, ie function when overused, decrease progressively in strenght.
    We can compare this decrease as a habituation mechanism : an organism receiving always and too much the same signal/same neuronal pathway use become less and less aware of the stimuli/signal.

    Its not really about MDD (your theory is ok, ive thinked a bit the same things in past, but just in term of switch beetween the 2 ego function...), but I suspect the existence of a general "switch", or "cycle" beetween all function, commin from a sort of permanent habituation/dishabituation mechanism, idk if you see what I want to say.

    Various mental disorder can come from a imbalance or exageration in peculiar point of these cycle, and this can support somewhat what you said.

    4)

    ENFp

    The ENFp manic is observed to be stuck in one's own thoughts of endless potential and possibilities. She may talk about these possibilities incessantly with those around her. She will want to put her ideas into action somehow, and may lose track of time once she has embarked on a project of interest. Nothing is more important than her pursuit of this new idea. Even her relationships-- which are usually so important to her-- take back-burner, and she will become inattentive to even the most important people around her.

    In the depressive state, the ENFp becomes overly-emotional and manipulative with others' emotions. She may become paranoid and pessimistic, always expecting the worst and not surprised when her gloomy predictions come to pass. She may hide from friends and family members, as these people remind her of what she used to be, and she doesn't want them to be "hurt" by her sudden change of personality and outlook.
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    I don't know much about managing bipolar through socionics, but most of what I have heard is that those with bipolar and schizophrenia are pretty much stuck with meds. I know that keeping a steady sleep cycle and avoiding the use of drugs may help prevent triggering a manic phase, but it won't stop them from occuring. I know therapy exists for those with bipolar but I'm not sure of its specific techniques or its effectiveness, especially without the concurrent use of medication.
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    there is an article in russian concerning type and depression: link

    I've used my understanding of cognitive functions before to try to talk somebody out of their depression, however, it was a mild case. If somebody has bipolar or any other major disorder, then they are much better off getting professional help. I do think that there exists some relation between personality disorders and various psychoneuroses and type. After all Jung worked as a psychiatrist and frequently dealt with mentally sick people. His observations of them aided in formulations of his theories which later became incorporated into construction of the 16 types.

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    Quote Originally Posted by siuntal View Post
    there is an article in russian concerning type and depression: link
    Thanks for this. It was especially interesting to read about the importance of the role function to balance the mind (end of article). Although I didn't understand exactly why the role is important in this. Maybe because it fits the task at hand: when we make an conscious effort to get into some activity, that is exactly what the role is about?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowisthetime View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by siuntal View Post
    there is an article in russian concerning type and depression: link
    Thanks for this. It was especially interesting to read about the importance of the role function to balance the mind (end of article). Although I didn't understand exactly why the role is important in this. Maybe because it fits the task at hand: when we make an conscious effort to get into some activity, that is exactly what the role is about?
    ok, so I read the article again. Gulenko seems to be saying that it is the 7:th function that can be a source for problems. And the remedy is to focus on the role function and that way stimulate the role-ignoring pair. He also says that the 1:st function is hardly ever a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowisthetime View Post
    He also says that the 1:st function is hardly ever a problem.
    But this is talking about depression, right? I'm referring to mania, which-- while perhaps not isolated to the Base function, I do believe the Base function to be a contributing factor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat King Cole View Post
    Dysfunctionally extreme moods mimic Irrational traits due to critical self-appraisal being suspended due to anosognosia.

    Depression will mimic IP temperament due to focus on subjective reality. "Not being able to see five feet in front of you". EPs will resemble their Mirages, EJs will resemble their Mirrors.

    Mania will mimic EP temperaments due to scattering effects. IPs will resemble their Mirages, IJs their Mirrors.
    So, a manic Ep resembles...himself?
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    A manic EP would mimic an extreme EP

    Slightly off topic:
    My view of bipolar is along the lines of...intense mental/physical activity in trying to solve a particular problem/situation...followed by a recovery period for body/mind. The greater the amount of mental/physical activity in the manic phase, the greater the need during the recovery phase.

    If the manic phase accomplished it's task, solved it's problem/situation, then the recovery phase won't have the despair, but may still have the 'lack of feeling'.

    If during this type of recovery period, focus is placed on 'lack of feeling' or 'i'm depressed' or 'why are you depressed?' this creates a whole new problem/situation which the person is being asked to (by other or self) resolve, but resolve while in a recovery period...so feelings of despair and hopeless may become induced. (it's like telling a person to climb a high mountain without paths immediately after they've just ran a lengthy marathon/race)

    If the manic phase was unable to solve the problem/situation, or did not meet its goal, then the recovery period will likely have thoughts of despair and hopelessness.

    When pulling out of a recovery phase, with or without medication, a person begins to build up desirable tension (aka motivation), sets some goals and intents, and starts working towards those. This is often a therapeutic tool for helping the person pull out.

    Unfortunately, if the person has difficulty doing maintenance on moods and energy expenditures, they are at risk of building up enough momentum that they boomerang into activity that will quickly lead to another manic episode.



    imo, Irrational types are more likely to develop the high activity/low recovery phase naturally, it's part of their temperament. Rational types are more likely to stay in a steady direction/state of buid up or break down until an outside force pushes them into the opposite direction...basically, they can rationalize any direction they are going in, building on that until it creates a spiral up or down.


    My NiFe friend told me a story of something he'd read in a behavioral science article. Some scientists were doing a study on bipolarness. They took a rat and put it in a tall box. Then filled it up with water. They created an environment where the rat couldn't stand on his toes and still breathe. If he rested, he'd be underwater, if he scrambled up to breath, he couldn't get footing/purchase to pull himself out of the box nor rest. So of course, the rat struggled and scrambled to stay up where he could breathe, and trying to find a way out of the box. But all that gets exhausting, so he'd need a rest. Which meant he'd sink down where he couldn't breathe. When he wasn't too tired, he'd try to find a way out at the bottom. But then he would need breath, and would scramble up again, and again try to find a way out. This, they called bipolar.

    So, they labeled the rat's behavior bipolar while he was in an impossible high pressure situation, with no way out. I'm sorry, where's the misfirings and chemical imbalance in that?

    Not to say that chemical imbalances and misfirings can't result in "an impossible high pressure situation". But there might be less stigma if people looked at the bipolar person's environment first, and the person's intents/goals as well, to see if perhaps the inner/outer environmental pressures are creating seemingly impossible...or very difficult...situations for the person.

    And, instead of asking them why they are depressed, or getting them to analyze their depression, remind them that they had just expended a ton of physical/mental energy for an extended amount of time. That they're body is naturally going to need some rest now. And when it's been rested enough, they will naturally start to become more physically/mentally active again.

    Meanwhile, figure out ways they can overcome that environmental influence, that they might be able to implement AFTER they start becoming active again.


    Back on topic:
    I'm about to head into a manic phase. I can tell because my behavior becomes even more erratic than it normally is. Normally this is caused by my trying to do something that is difficult for me to do, yet I feel pressured to get it done. That pressure may be coming from outside myself, or it may be something I'm applying to myself. For example. I had said in my blog that I was going to do the descriptions. I'd been avoiding doing them because the process I have to go through is stressful for me. So while part of me is trying to figure out how to describe what I'm seeing in a less abstract and more clear way than what's in my head...you know..communicable...another part of me is trying to balance it out with social time in the chat boxes and such. It's by my seeing my behavior in the chatboxes that I start recognising that I'm being more erratic than usual in my head, if not yet physically.

    This is part of why I did the Se description in the manner I did, rather than what I had wanted to do. The pressure was too great to get it how I wanted it, so I fell back on what was easier for me. Even now, I'm working out the Ne description. And I'll again have to take a different tact than I had initially wanted, in an effort to stave off the manic episode. I hope to get the Ti/Fi one after that, and then I can take an extended break, let my mind get its rest.

    I actually attribute this need for clarifying my mental constructs in such a way as to make it communicable to others as T-ing. I'm having to jump back and forth between what I do naturally, vs what's required for communication. And it's stressful, and causes horrible headaches, and futher fractures my mind while I'm doing it. I often feel like I'm running around trying to pick up the little pieces that drop, and still don't know how to glue them back together again.


    However, that only covers a few of my manic phases. Various pressures in different times of my life contributed to the others. So I wouldn't say it's an always one IE per type that causes it, more like ....pressure, stress, situational.

    ---
    I'm nearly 40yo, and we can pinpoint my first manic phase as occuring in my sophomore year in high school. So that's what....40-15 = 25 years...and I'm still just barely getting a grasp on how to balance the pressures.

    And no, I do not take medication for it, nor have I had a therapist other than myself for nearly 15 years. There was more damage done by the therapists back then, than my self-experiments ever did.
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    I came here hoping that I could apply for mania and depression.
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