ISFJ Depression (A complete guide)

In this brief guide, we will look at the personality type of ISFJ and depression.

ISFJ and Depression

ISFJs may sometimes be confused for extroverts because of how people-oriented they can be, but they are very introverted and when the ISFJ is depressed, they will never turn outwards to people as the extrovert might do, they will turn inward and get isolated.

Usually, the ISFJs are happy individuals and strive to help those around them, but when they are depressed, the ISJ will not accept the kind of help they so freely offer to other people.

The ISFJ suffering from depression might find themselves more closed off from the world around them and this may bee in large part due to the fact that they may be too afraid to step out of their comfort zone.

The depressed ISFJ may attempt to revert to things that have helped them feel better previously and try to somehow recapture the positive feelings from those experiences, but since depression does not respond to that particular trick, they may find that they just can’t seem to feel better.

When the repetition of past experiences does not help them, the depressed ISFJ may start to feel even more hopeless and helpless, and they may feel like they won’t feel better no matter what they do, so what is even the point of trying.

Their trials to make themselves feel better are reinforced in a negative way because they don’t feel better, and therefore they don’t feel like trying anymore, which can worsen the depression in ISFJ personality because staying active and outside of their thoughts is important for them to get out of their negative patterns.

In the end, after they have tried and failed, the depressed ISFJ might find themselves just sitting around spending time at home, and failing to socialize with their normal group of friends.

The ISJ in depression needs the support of others and having people around them who express how much they care for and want to help the ISFJ is truly one of the few things that help these people most.

Features of the ISFJ Personality 

ISFJ stands for Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging, and it is a personality type based in Carl Jung’s theory of personality types that he talks about in his book Psychological Types, and if one wants to figure out whether they are an ISFJ personality or something else, they may take the test online easily, here.

The ISFJ personality is also known as the Defender, probably due to their comforting, warm, and steady behavior, and the fact that they are often helpful and sweet people to be around and one may always depend on them for support and help, and they will likely neer refuse anyone that comes knocking.

The problem is that sometimes the ISFJ may go too far in helping others and forget about looking after themselves at the same time, because they ave an extroverted feeling function and this puts them very much in tune with others, but not nearly enough with themselves, which may lead to a depressed ISFJ.

The ISFJ is extremely efficient as well in everything they do which often makes them the most responsible people in a social group, and they provide careful attention to practical details in their daily lives as well.

The ISFJ characteristics also often contradict themselves, for instance, the ISFJ has great analytical abilities but at the same time they can sometimes be irrationally sensitive and deal with abstract just as easily, and due to their introverted nature they are typically shy and reserved, but at the same time, their people skills are very well-developed, which helps them look after people and help the society better.

The ISFJ is capable of making wonderful social relationships, but at the same time, due to their introverted nature, they can be somewhat conservative, however, contradicting themselves again, they are also quite open to change as well as new ideas or concepts, likely due to their analytical abilities.

Altruism defines ISJ most, and it also leads to depression so often in this person too, and though they show a lot of kindness with everyone, they may often forget to turn it inwards towards themselves and take care of themselves the same way they take care of others.

The ISFJ may often be seen engaging in work that benefits people even if it goes against them or is hard towards them somehow, and this causes depression in ISFJ so often.

The ISFJ believes in both their work and people with enthusiasm and generosity, and there are rarely things they won’t do if it is for the betterment of those around.

Additionally, another feature of ISFJ that may cause or trigger depression is that their efforts may often go unnoticed and they also have the tendency to underplay their own accomplishments, which for one thing leaves them vulnerable to being taken advantage of, and they might often not get the kind of help they need when they are depressed because people may not even realize that they need it.

Lastly, because they are so invested in helping everyone they meet, the depressed may go on pushing themselves despite their fragile mental state, which can lead to a nervous breakdown or worsening of their depression.

Signs of Depression in ISFJ

Below are some clear signs of depression in ISFJ personality, which may not happen only to ISFJ, but maybe more commonly found in this personality type rather tha others.

An excerpt from the journal of an ISFJ who suffered from melancholy feelings and depressive emotions gives a fair idea of what depression might look like in an ISFJ.

This user on a popular forum says:

“Do you know the feeling of endless waiting? Expectations when you come home, go into your room, close the door, throw yourself in bed, and … just let go of everything that happened that day? A pleasant feeling of relief and emptiness. No, the world didn’t collapse. But it didn’t blossom either. Just tiredness. Tired of everything and nothing. And you just want someone to tell you that everything will be fine. But nobody’s around. And you know that, in spite of everything, you must be strong, you must survive because no one will fix your life for you. And yet, you’re tired of trying to get things right every day. Tired of being strong. And you wish that once it’ll be easy, even though it’s hard to believe. But you still hope … And you dream. And you continue to fight with tears in your eyes. Every morning and every night. You fight.”

It talks in terms of what the ISFJ is always doing, running around and taking care of just about everything in the world, which can exhaust them to a point of breaking, and they need to stop and assess their own feelings often.

A clear-cut sign of depression in an ISFJ maybe when they don’t seem to be experiencing much pleasure in helping out anymore, and when they come home feeling exhausted and wonder if they should help so much. That can mean that the ISFJ may be depressed.

Another sign of depression in the ISFJ can be when they don’t feel like being around or helping people very much, and they start trying to find ways to get out of things.

A depressed ISFJ may also start externalizing their problems and start being snappy or annoyed at the littlest things that otherwise would not have bothered them.

There may be other sad emotional outbursts in the depressed ISFJ as well, and they may cry frequently and wonder about their helpfulness and identity.

Since they often forget to take care of themselves, the depressed ISFJs may also complain of more somatic complaints than other people with depression, and they may experience frequent physical problems.

The somatic symptoms of depression according to the ICD 10 go something like this:

  • “loss of interest or pleasure in activities that are normally enjoyable; 
  • lack of emotional reactivity to normally pleasurable surroundings and events; 
  • waking in the morning for 2 hours or more before the usual time; 
  • depression worse in the morning; 
  • objective evidence of definite psychomotor retardation or agitation (remarked on or reported by other people); 
  • marked loss of appetite; 
  • weight loss (often defined as 5% or more of body weight in the past month); 
  • marked loss of libido”

Keep in mind that these symptoms alone are not enough to classify the problem like depression, so the person certainly needs to see a professional if they feel that they are depressed.

How to help a Depressed ISFJ?

To help a depressed ISFJ you may try some of the following tips:

Try saying encouraging and helpful things, according to a trusted website that talks about how you can help someone with depression, here are some things you can say to make the depressed ISFJ open up about their struggles:

“You’re not alone. I’m here for you during this tough time.”

“It may be hard to believe right now, but the way you’re feeling will change.”

“Please tell me what I can do now to help you.”

“Even if I’m not able to understand exactly how you feel, I care about you and want to help.”

“You’re important to me. Your life is important to me.”

“When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold on for just one more day, hour, or minute—whatever you can manage.”

You can try to help them out the way they do others; extroverted feeling people, it may make them feel loads better and they will appreciate it a lot.

If the depressed ISFJ is experiencing too many physical problems, try to get them out of the house, and physically active, it may change things.

Cook them something and try to involve them in the process.

Help tidy up the space around them, it can help with depression in ISFJ.

Talk to them and listen to them, but without forcing them to open up.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at the personality type of ISFJ and depression. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): ISFJ Depression

What makes an ISFJ sad?

Being hurt by other people’s harshness can make an ISFJ sad, and they may not even be able to do anything about it due to their introverted nature, which may add to their feelings of sadness.

The coldness of loved ones or feeling exhausted because of constantly helping others can also make an ISFJ sad.

What is the saddest personality type?

The saddest personality type tends to be an INFP, due to their intuitive and feelings oriented nature.

How do you cheer up an ISFJ?

To cheer up an ISFJ appreciation may work well, and you might want to let them know how much you value all they do for everyone.

The ISFJ also often neglects their own health and needs, so helping them out for a change and spoiling them a little can make a sad ISFJ cheer up quite quickly.

Citations

International Classification of mental and behavioral disorders 10

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.