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11 December 2004 @ 10:09 pm
personality type vs mental disorders  
Greetings! My name is Jenna and I’m an INTJ with a Type One (The Reformer) Personality.

I am curious to know if there is a general correlation between personality type and mental disorders. I personally suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. My doctor has told me numerous times that my obsession with perfection is manifested within my personality, which has effectively prompted my inquiry. The reason why my behavior has become such a problem for me is because my compulsions mainly consist of scratching my skin (dermatillomania) and it can be viewed as self-mutilation. Additionally, my obsessions tend to run my life. I am always organizing things and striving for the best. I never thought my motivation to succeed in life could become such a negative thing, but it has. If I do not live up to my expectations, I become anxious, stressed, and depressed. I am currently taking Zoloft and it is somewhat helping.

I am also interested in knowing if high intelligence is a factor contributing to obsessive compulsive behavior. From my understanding, the majority of INTJs tend to have high IQ’s including myself. Do you think high intelligence shapes one to have an INTJ personality or do you think an INTJ personality molds an individual to possess intellectual tendencies? I personally do not know how to approach these questions because there are many exceptions that dispute a universal generalization. Perhaps it pertains to people with an NT personality or maybe just TJ. I honestly do not know. Any input whatsoever would greatly be appreciated; the more I understand about fellow INTJs, the more I can better understand myself.
Current Mood: inquisitive
Current Music: Enya - One By One
Carrieender90 on December 12th, 2004 06:09 am (UTC)
well, i have depression and anxiety problems... but im not so sure if thats not just a crappy childhood slash family life issue.
Mellyamellyjc on December 12th, 2004 07:04 am (UTC)
But childhood and family affect personality too..
(Deleted comment)
Mellyamellyjc on December 12th, 2004 06:55 pm (UTC)
Yea unfortunately depression is often genetic :(

In regards to your sister...sounds like she responded differently to the same stimulus. Is she the oldest? Youngest? Middle? If she saw the issues you and your brother run into perhaps she chose to respond differently...by rebelling and not valuing the same things that the rest of your family valued, because she saw it as causing problems...
celtic_shadow on December 13th, 2004 12:44 am (UTC)
she's the middle.

she seems to become depressed by external factors such a boyfriends and what not while my brother and i seem to easily become depressed by internally not being satisfied with ourselves because we have this crazy motivation to succeed at just about everything.
celtic_shadow on December 12th, 2004 07:58 am (UTC)
my mom is a teacher and has always stressed education. perhaps that has somewhat shaped my personality and has also contributed to my drive and motivation to learn.

it also shows through my brother who happens to be an ENTJ. he probably suffers from ocd and generalized anxiety disorder, but it has not been diagnosed. i don't want to go ahead and diagnose him or anything, but he does the same thing i do and by that i mean...skin picking. his isn't near as bad as mine, but we both have eczema that is triggered by stress and anxiety and are both extremely obsessive with school/work. he just tends to have more of a life than i do and i guess that's because he's a lot more extroverted than myself. i'm only extroverted around small groups of people that i feel comfortable around; for the most part, people become exhausting and i'd much rather stay to myself. but yeah. my brother is highly intelligent too.

on the other hand, my sister is smart, but her life seems to revolve around parties, clubbing, and all sorts of other mainstream stuff that doesn't particularly interest me. i'm the kind of person that is simply satisfied by reading historical nonfiction, drinking coffee, and going running. intuitively, my sister and i are pretty much complete opposites and she doesn't show any signs of obsessive compulsive behavior. she also has no interest in learning things outside of the classroom and views me as an eccentric geek. she is also very emotional and it often times becomes quite annoying.

both my parents are crazy obsessed with organization, but i don't think they have obsessive compulsive disorder because they don't have the compulsions like my brother and i do. everything must be clean. everything must be neat. everything must be organized. perhaps this is how i have been conditioned to behave. i don't know. although my parents probably are not victims of obsessive compulsive disorder, i am almost certain that my mother suffers from generalized anxiety disorder. she is just always depressed. another thing i've noticed is that depression seems to run in my family. blah.
Mellyamellyjc on December 12th, 2004 07:15 am (UTC)
Well, I suffered a bout of depression in high school, in which I did begin scratching my wrists in a self-destructive way.

Although I haven't been diagnosed, I would really be surprised if I didn't have GAD. I don't have OCD but I do have a thing about symmetry and I like organization...the way I would 'play' with my toys as a kid was to set them up and play "storm" wherein I would have to clean them all up and put them in their proper place so they would be safe from the storm, and I would mix up the marbles in Chinese checkers so I could systematically organize them.

Perfectionism drives my anxiety, and I've got probably the worst jobs possible for my personality type (substitute teacher and blackjack dealer for random Christmas parties...both incredibly social, little feeling of control in subbing when you don't know the normal routine and sometimes have to take the word of the kids, and blackjack requires split-second thinking with perfection answers or you annoy the players with taking too long or not paying out correctly) that drive my anxiety through the roof.

As for intelligence, the only link I would imagine there might be in the way it affected me (it does not effect everyone this way..there has to be another factor, perhaps personality type). With me, school was too easy so I expected myself to get As...Anything less was a failure. As a result I had high expectations with no value for education. I wasn't challenged so I feel I have no reason to be proud of any of my accomplishments, yielding low self-esteem and a drive for perfection because I don't know 'reasonable expectations', or when I'm trying my best, and an extreme sense of failure if I do less than perfect.

Eamon Burkee_burke on December 12th, 2004 07:42 am (UTC)
omg...OCD is THE most misunderstood disorder out there...

I have OCD, and it's no fucking fun at all. Don't even want to talk about it.
cyanslash on December 12th, 2004 08:30 am (UTC)
While I don't have any full symptoms of any mental disorders that I am aware of, I do sometimes exhibit compulsive behaviors, and a bit of attention deficit disorder. This manifests itself most particularly when I'm using the internet, where I'll see something that interests me, open a new tab and Google it, look it up in several of the other reference sources I've bookmarked, look up things I find that are related to it, and so on. I also occasionally become neurotically clean, and spend several hours tidying and straightening and sweeping my room.
I think that it would be a mistake to draw any conclusions about INTJs solely based on the responses to posts, as the sample is highly biased. However, since the personality type itself does seem highly conducive to the intelligent and inquisitive, it's quite probable that most of us are above average.
I like your taste in music. Your journal title is from "Adiemus," correct?
Isn't Zoloft an anti-depressant? I thought OCD would be treated with an anxiolytic. Sorry. I'm in a psych class, and I just finished the chapter on psychopathology, so I know just enough think I know something. But, I have to know enough, because my final is on Tuesday.

Maybe I really do have a.d.d.
celtic_shadow on December 12th, 2004 08:47 am (UTC)
i also often times get obsessed with researching things that pertain utmost interest to me. i easily get distracted when i'm at the computer, but i think everyone does when you have a whole world of knowledge in front of you. for the most part, i'm focused in school, except seldomly, i'll become really hyper and not be able to focus on my work.

anyways, Zoloft is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) like Prozac, Luvox, and Paxil which is used to treat depression, ocd, anxiety, etc. etc.

and...yes, my journal title is from "adiemus"
Xan: lensesspiritonparole on December 12th, 2004 05:17 pm (UTC)
I occasionally suffer episodes of anxiety, but not to the point that I'd consider it a "disorder." I did take Effexor for a few months when I was dealing with severe anxiety, and since going off it I haven't experienced attacks of the nature I did before using the medication to straighten my neurotransmitter levels out. If I experience those problems again, I'll consider giving drug therapy another shot, but I doubt I'll need it. Generally I can talk myself out of getting overly anxious.

That said, I have a behavioral health disorder, but I hate to discuss it. It's probably the source point for most of the other psychological issues I face, but after seeing four different therapists and several doctors I've come to view it as part of me, to be dealt with on my own terms. I try not to let it get in the way of my enjoyment of life, and so far this strategy has yielded good results. It's something I've dealt with for half my life, so I guess I've gotten used to it.
camthatcamelboy on December 12th, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC)
I'm an INTJ myself.. I was recently diagnosed as having generalized anxiety disorder and depression too.

If you want to understand the INTJ better, I'd suggest checking out "Please Understand Me 2" by David Keirsey.. it is excellent.

Otherwise, there are some good profiles on the internet if you just google "intj"
systemsthinker on December 13th, 2004 10:46 am (UTC)
Personality Type, Intelligence, Etc.
Jenna, check out my website. I'm INTJ and I write a lot about that at http://www.systemsthinker.com/interests/mind/ptypes.shtml .

The rest of my site will probably show you that you are far from alone in how you feel as an INTJ and maybe link you to some other resources that will help you make sense of things. And feel free to contact me with questions.

celtic_shadow on December 13th, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Personality Type, Intelligence, Etc.
thank you so very much! :)
systemsthinker on December 13th, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Personality Type, Intelligence, Etc.
You're more than welcome. If you find some common interests in going through my site, feel free to let me know.
systemsthinker on December 13th, 2004 10:48 am (UTC)
Personality types and disorders
This page includes a chart that links MBTI, Enneagram and personality disorders:

dangerzooeydangerzooey on December 15th, 2004 06:20 am (UTC)
Did you just say "universal generalization"? Awesome.
INTJ, 140s IQ, diagnosed with "double depression" featuring symptoms of anxiety and OCD, as well as "self-destructive" behaviors (burning and hair-pulling, mostly). I was on Welbutrin, which helped the depressive symptoms, but I didn't like the side effects, so I gave up.

Yours truly,

P.S. Here's to striving for the best. Cheers.
dangerzooeydangerzooey on December 15th, 2004 06:21 am (UTC)
Re: Did you just say "universal generalization"? Awesome.
I should add alcoholism on there somewhere too.
invictette on December 26th, 2004 03:53 am (UTC)
I have both mild OCD and a solid drinking habit. The OCD has been under control lately as I don't have any major stressors in my life right now. I get it strongly when there is a situation that I cannot control--such as an office manager that was an ESTJ, and a spiteful old woman. I wanted to tell her off badly but couldn't without getting fired...at that time I was washing my hands at least 15 times a day, and wouldn't let anyone touch my hands without immediately running to the sink to wash them. After I would get out of my car I would imagine there had been dirt on the steering wheel, and I'd wash my hands. I had these pair of leather work gloves that I would wear if I drove someone else's car.

Fortunately, I found a better job and I was able to tell that old bag exactly what I thought of her. The OCD is very mild right now...I don't get creeped out about having my hands touched, but I still keep them clean. I've had this since I was a baby, I would cry if my hands had food on them.

I've never thought about going to a doctor about it, or any depression. I don't know if I've been depressed before, I just get numbly detached, it doesn't hurt emotionally, I just don't feel anything sometimes. I just figure that it will pass and that I don't need to make a big deal out of it.

Oh yeah--147 IQ the last time I tested.

And if I haven't said it yet, hello people, nice to be here.
celtic_shadow on December 26th, 2004 07:37 pm (UTC)
i've stayed away from alcohol, but i've literally become addicted to coffee. O.o;
M. Dansonm_danson on January 5th, 2005 07:33 pm (UTC)
Bipolar II Affective Disorder.

You might find this interesting.
nittmurugan on June 9th, 2008 10:51 am (UTC)
re: personality type vs mental disorders
Me too have the same problems you have described. In my case its actually day dreaming. I compulsively day dream inorder to see my ideas put into life, as I know that many of my ideas will not work in reality and I have a long way to go to achieve them. Whatever you are feeling, I feel them also. And many of the intelligent people I've met feel the same way.

In my opinion there two kinds of people in this world people who strive for intelligence and people who showcase their intelligence. The second type of people simply show off their abilities and are happy with the rewards. They will live a easy life because they are not really bothered about their stupidity.

The first kind know their position in the big picture and constant strive to improve the competence and abilities. These people even though they are highly capable will always feel incomplete because they know what they really lack. This might make them anxious and stressed. It's a problem almost all INTJs have. I have one INTJ friend who also feel the samethings. And OCD is a common thing with INTJs only the level and behavior will change. In your case its scratching, in my case its day-dreaming, in my friend's case its criticizing.

We INTJs are basically introverts along with the intelligence we possess often isolates us. Most people dislike my indifference to them and many are jealous and envious about my abilities and skills. My friend had very similar experiences. In my opinion its the personality of the person which brings intelligence, whatever abilities and skills i have anybody can have, only difference is they never had the personality to achieve it. We INTJs are always perseverent and we will have a never say die attitude when we come across a problem both in academics and profession. Other people, they are not as perseverent and they are not as strong willed like us.

INTJs also show unusual level patience when it is required. Anybody who has patience, perseverence and strong will can acquire enough intelligence and wisdom to succeed. We INTJs are naturally gifted with it.