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Depressed ENTJ - how do we cope with depression?

 Most ENTJ descriptions are written in such a way that you can't imagine a person like that ever having problems with depression. An assertive, logical, quick-minded leader having depression? No way. But clearly, it CAN happen to every human and ENTJs are no exception. Not every ENTJ is born into opportunity and wealth, not every ENTJ is born into health either. Having great aspirations while being born into poverty, bad health or disability for example, can be a huge burden on your psyche. 

How does depression manifest in an ENTJ?

Since maintaining an image of a strong person is important to them they may hide it well or even be in denial about it to themselves. Men especially are known for hiding such feelings and projecting an image of strength to the outside world. Their apartment may become a mess, they may develop a nasty drinking habit, but when they go outside they will dress nicely and pretend they have their sh*t together.

Sometimes ENTJs themselves are not aware that they have depression because they develop a habit of ignoring their feelings and just working until burnout. It usually takes a long time for an ENTJ to realize they are depressed. Extroverts get a buzz from hanging out with people, so a weekend spent socializing can feel like you are out of a depression, but if the feelings of emptiness come back and stick around for 5 days a week, you are probably depressed.

ENTJs, in a national sample, along with ESTJs, ranked second highest in mean level of coping resources, so they have strategies to endure stress and hardship for a long time, but it takes a toll if ignored. For ENTJs depression is usually not wallowing in self-pity, crying, self-injury or any of that emotional drama, but just a feeling of emptyness, like an engine that has run out of fuel. 

Here are some quick notes to summarize depression in ENTJs: 

  • a feeling of emptiness that can be there even if they are a high functioning individual 
  • losing the sense for a broader picture of things, getting stuck in repetitive and boring tasks which give them at least some feeling of progress 
  • developing a persona that appears more introverted than extroverted, hiding their true feelings, becoming reserved and secretive 
  • losing trust in people and expecting the worst from them and always preparing for it 
  • lack of meaning which leads to lack of motivation to accomplish things (most ENTJs are good as long as they have a goal and they're moving towards it) 
  • pushing people away, not initiating any new social contact, replacing real life interaction with online interaction
  • developing a crippling fear of rejection or abandonment which is getting in the way of making new relationships and trying new things 
ENTJs according to studies in the MBTI manual cope with stress and emotional adversity usually through healthy ways like exercising or "thinking of options", but statistics also show that young ENTJ males are overrepresented among students referred for a substance abuse workshop.

Most ENTJs adhere to a stoic philosophy of life. They will endure anything as long as they can picture a better future. But sometimes waiting and enduring is not enough. Sometimes you are so deep in misery and so stuck that only a professional can help, so don't hesitate to go to a psychiatrist.

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