Which Personality disorders Does an INFP suffer from?

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In this blog, we will be discussing the characteristics of people with INFP as their personality type, what are some of the mental disorders which can affect this personality type., for example, borderline personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, etc. 

Which Personality disorders Does an INFP suffer from?

INFP personality type is known to be more prone to borderline personality disorder and avoidant personality disorder which can be due to the unique set of traits that are quite common among people with INFP personality and avoidant and borderline personality disorders. 

We will be discussing these personality disorders that can affect people with the INFP personality type, but before that, we should have an idea about the INFP type and then get to the discussion disorders. 

What is MBTI?

There are a number of tests based on the assessment of personality and one such test was developed by Myers and Briggs who were influenced by Carl Jung’s theory of personality types. 

The test was first created in the 1940s and was updated and developed during the next two decades. They wanted the theory to have real-world applications and hence developed what is called the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI). 

Today MBTI is one of the most widely used instruments to study and assess personality. However, its reliability is debated widely. 

What is INFP?

Based on the inventory questions and the answers people give, MBTI classifies people into 16 personality types. One such personality type among the 16 is the INFP personality type. 

INFP stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving traits in a person. These people are often described as having an “idealist” personality. They are highly idealists who give great emphasis to values. They are also introverted and creative. 

Characteristics of a person with INFP type

Introverted, quiet, and reserved are the main traits that INFPs share. 

  • While they enjoy being alone, it does not mean that they are shy. It is just that, being in social situations often drains their energy since they prefer interacting with a select group of close friends. They do have to expend their energy socially, however, they tend to gain energy or recharge themselves by spending time in their own company. 
  • They heavily rely on intuition and are generally more focused on the big picture rather than the minor details. 
  • They ignore the mundane details but can be really meticulous in their work or projects if they like it. 
  • They place a great emphasis on personal feelings. This leads them to make their decisions based on how they are feeling rather than on logic. 
  • They like to keep their options open and often delay important decision-making just in case the situation changes. Personal values are a lot more important than any other aspects. 
  • They often have great compassion and empathy for others because they experience a great depth in their feelings even though they process these emotions internally.
  • Their emotions are quite strong, since they do not express themselves because of their introverted nature, they are often found in-interactive and unwelcoming. 
  • They are also considered dreamers because they use their imagination to explore different scenarios. A lot of these include the ‘what if’ question which lets them explore the various possibilities. 
  • Since they look for the big-picture they can be very positive and change-seeking leaders. 

They are very imaginative and creative but on the flip side, since they tend to think a lot, they reanalyze moments that they find even remotely stressful. 

Personality disorders that can affect INFP personality type 

These disorders are only mentioned because their signs and symptoms seem to affect INFPs more because of their innate characteristics. This is in no way a conclusive list.

It only has some features as to how a person with an INFP personality type might be affected because of the disorders mentioned. 

INFP and Borderline Personality Disorder 

People who have a borderline personality disorder (BPD) show a pattern of behavior that is characterized by impulsivity and instability in their self-image, their moods, and in their interpersonal relationships. 

A central attribute is affective instability. The American Psychological Association explains BPD as follows : 

People with a borderline personality disorder display great instability, including major shifts in mood, an unstable self-image, and impulsivity (APA, 2013). 

Similar to the characteristics of people with BPD, INTPs’ like mentioned do not concentrate on minor details. It bores them and they tend to drift off into their own world if they are not interested in something. 

INFPs’ are not great receivers of criticism hence they might become unresponsive, angry or unstable when they are offended. They often keep repeating the scenarios which might make them feel more humiliated. 

This is also because they feel emotions quite strongly. They tend to ignore the rationale behind something which would make it more difficult when suffering from BPD because it causes instability in the mood. 

Since they lack the sense of self, they do not quite understand what is happening to them and this might affect their chances to manage their BPD. 

INFP and Avoidant Personality Disorder

An avoidant personality disorder is another personality disorder apart from BPD that can affect INFPs. Like the symptoms of avoidant personality disorder, INFPs get offended easily and hold on to false beliefs concerning themselves. 

They do not think they are worthy of the love they receive and this leads them to stay away from any attachments. Fear of abandonment is the major point. They do not let themselves be attached because they are scared of getting hurt when people leave them. 

Like INFP personality characteristics, people with AVD think a great deal, to an extent where it becomes overthinking. They may think of scenarios that might never occur and keep replaying those scenarios and this causes a great deal of anxiety. 

Even though they feel emotions deeply they have a hard time expressing it especially because they do not like conflicts, they avoid it by not contradicting others’ opinions. Hence, they come off as ‘people pleasers.’ Overall, INFP people with avoidant personality disorder (AVD) find it hard to believe that someone might love them or if they are worthy of it. 

Treatment and management of personality disorders 

Psychotherapy and counseling 

Psychotherapy is the main treatment for BPD and AVD. Mental health professionals may majorly recommend either type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), or schema-focused therapy. CBT helps identify and change unhealthy beliefs, behaviors, and inaccurate perceptions people have about themselves and others. 

It teaches them a healthy way to react when they feel angry, anxious, anxious or suicidal. DBT behaviors beliefs and actions can be recognized and taught acceptance. People learn to give healthy responses to behaviors. Schema-focused therapies can help gain a significantly greater positive outlook on themselves and the world. 

Medications 

There are currently no medications approved specifically to treat any kind of personality disorders, but doctors may prescribe medication to help improve certain common symptoms of personality disorders. 

Research suggests that medications can be used to manage anger, impulsivity, and depression. At this point, it is important to remember that psychiatric medications can cause side effects, hence it is important to carefully weigh the effects of medications with their potential benefit.

Other mental disorders that might affect INFPs

Apart from BPD and AvPD, INFP personalities are also known to be prone to other mental disorders. 

Anxiety and depressive disorders

INFPs are very prone to anxiety, worry and stress. They find themselves facing feelings of stress every single day, multiple times a day.

Since they easily feel emotions via Introverted Sensing and Feeling it is quite difficult for them to keep thoughts of anxiety and depression away.  While they don’t live in the ‘in their own world’ they couldn’t care less about the external reality. 

They are always analyzing their inner selves whether it be emotional or mental pain, memories, or ideas. INFPs are hypersensitive as discussed before to emotions and emotional expressions. 

All these points frequently make them feel drained. Since they already have very low social energy they tend to be withdrawn and hence anxiety and depressive symptoms can affect them in a different way than others. 

Conclusion

We discussed what is INFP type is, the characteristics of the INFP personality type, personality disorders like BPD and AvPD are often associated with traits of INFPs but they can have any other mental condition as well depending on their unique factors or traits. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Which Personality disorders Does an INFP suffer from?

What are the weaknesses of INFP personality types?

INFP personality people have difficulty expressing themselves even when they are required to. They tend to run away from confrontations and might seem very much indulged in their own world. This makes them hard to approach and it makes them seem rude and aloof, though in reality, they are quite empathetic people.

Are INFPs day-dreamers? 

In a way, yes. INFPS’ are imaginative thinkers. They like to play different scenarios in their head and take a lot of time on deciding something. 

How can INFPs stop daydreaming?

INFPs are naturally creative and imaginative people. It is hard for them to just stop imagining things and get into reality. They are free-spirits content in their own world. However, too much time spent on day-dreaming means less time for their own personal works. 

First of all, it is better to set some timings where they have to complete their work. They can motivate themselves by thinking about all the free time they would have after getting the work then. 

What personality type is most likely to have depression? 

Personality types who are highly sensitive to emotions and experience negative thoughts are the most likely to develop depression. INFP personality type can be an example. 

Do INFPs have more suicidal thoughts than others? 

According to the MBTI manual – third edition, INFP type students do report more suicidal thoughts than other personality types. This might be because of their nature, where they feel greater negative emotions at times. They are unable to cope easily and since they keep replaying stressful events, anxiety and depressive symptoms become more prominent.

Are there any medications for a personality disorder?

There are currently no medications approved specifically to treat any kind of personality disorders, but doctors may prescribe medication to help improve certain common symptoms of personality disorders. 

References 

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). 

Gunderson, J. G., Zanarini, M. C., & Kisiel, C. L. (1995). Borderline personality disorder. In W. J. Livesley (Ed.), The DSM-IV personality disorders (pp. 141–57). New York: Guilford Press.

Herbert, J. D. (2007). Avoidant personality disorder. In W. O’Donohue, K. A. Fowler, S. O. Lilienfeld (Eds.). Personality disorders: Toward the DSM­V. Los Angeles: Sage Publications 

Hooley, J., Cole, S., & Gironde, S. (2012). Borderline personality disorder. In T. Widiger (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of personality disorders (pp. 409–36). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Murie J, (2010). Knowing me, knowing you: personality and peer appraisal. Br J Gen Pract.;60(574):382–384. doi:10.3399/bjgp10X502001 

https://www.verywellmind.com/avoidant-personality-disorder-4172959
https://www.infjs.com/threads/infj-avoidant-personality-disorder-avpd.4836/

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