INFJ, depression and the workplace

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Image source: 16personalities

Wherever I go and whichever job I hold, I know that drama and conflict is inevitable. There will always be someone who will eventually become my friend and someone in whom I cannot tolerate and work with. I know that this is life and life is full of obstacles. Life is a roller coaster. There are ups and there are downs.

However, battling with depression in the workplace is another. Being an INFJ, we are thinkers. Thinkers to the point where we think TOO much and can overthink at times. INFJ’s are sensitive individuals and we are very sensitive to conflict, even if it does not have anything to do with us. Conflict stresses us out. Conflict in a workplace stresses me out and being a thinker, I find it rather hard to stop thinking constantly day and night non-stop about it. I think and think and think. On my day off I would occasionally think about work, even though my work is not stressful at all!! It drives me crazy! It’s suffocating me and I need professional help. I am in need of redemption lord!

These past few years 90% of my thoughts have been filled with work. I have neglected my social life and am not surprised when I end up feeling lonely. Of course! I been neglecting my poor friends! They probably got sick of it and decided to pack their bags up and wave goodbye to my sorry ass. Sighs. My partner has voiced out his frustration in regards to my work problems. He is sick of hearing about my work dilemmas and how it is making me miserable.

I been job hopping quite frequently due to a mix of my depression and my bad luck with work. It is definitely something I am not proud of. The longest job that I have stayed at is 2.5 years and it was a casual job, thus I did not work regularly there. I am fast approaching my late 20’s and I need to think about making my own family. I want to become a mother soon. However, this important plan in my life has only been on my mind for a mere 6% of my time.

I have only just recently questioned the relationship of depression and the workplace. I came about a post by Jenny Bromfield:

“At 34 years old, I’ve had countless jobs, and a lot of them are jobs people would be (and are) extremely content and happy to have gotten. I have left each and every one of them. I got the jobs because I am good at what I do. Customer service and sales are my forte and I’m not ashamed to admit it. What I am ashamed to admit is I have never held a job for much longer than two years. I saw a quote this evening that sums up these thoughts: “Depression lies.” It is so true. Had I not been depressed and just been overloaded, I could have asked for help and come back to my high-performing self. Instead, I let myself get further and further into the darkness, and finally end up finding another job, feeling like I’m “bettering” myself. In reality, I was avoiding the issues all together. I would then start in another role and begin the cycle again.”

I have never felt so understood and I found myself physically nodding to every single thing that was written by her. I found myself asking myself “oh god, how do you know me so well Jenny!!!!”

Self pity parties and tears have made home in my bedroom and my mind is yet to continue on analysing every person, every situation in regards to work. Work, work, work. That is all that I can think about.

At times, I find reading a good book or watching an interesting drama to assist me in dealing with my problems. These outlets have assisted me in diverging myself in a fantasy world and has helped me direct my focus elsewhere. I find myself happier and able to cope. However, unfortunately, these cheap and fast outlets are only short-term and do nothing for me in the long-term.

I have come to the conclusion that I am in need to get professional help from a mental health professional to assist me in working out strategies for myself, to tackle this  vicious “work cycle” head on. I am proud of myself to be able to identify what hasn’t been working for me and where I can get help. Now all that’s left is to seek that help and to apply the right strategies to my problems in order to seek out change.

I have also come to the conclusion that it may be ideal for me to seek out industries or workplaces that have supportive or “nicer” employees or a better team environment to work in. I have found some in the past, but due to my stupidity and other external circumstances, I have left or either had to leave due other reasons.

I believe what also makes me think about work and putting a lot of emphasis on my career is the fact that we humans will or end up spending more time in the workplace than we do at home and with loved ones. Thus, it is natural to come across some sort of stress that are work-related. Society has also put a lot of emphasis on working women and the need to develop their careers, as well as this so called ‘consumer driven world that we live in.’

Have any of you guys had a similar experience? If so, how have you dealt with it? Signing out, your dear INFJ friend, Tiff.

 

My untold story..

Image source: tatcha

I don’t know how to describe my depression…it felt like a black hole…as if my mind was running on tunnel vision and I couldn’t see anything outside of that tunnel vision of negativity and grief. It got to the point that I lost interest in seeing any of my friends. I stopped going out. I slept in a lot. I cried a lot. I was going downhill. I could not snap out of it and all I could do was sit there and feel sorry for myself. I was conquered by my depression. It controlled me. I was a different person. The person that I never ever hoped to be.

Fast forward to a few months before I finally reached out to get some professional help.

It’s been 6 years now since I been on anti depressants. It took a lot of counselling sessions before a sweet counsellor over phone suggested that I go see a psychiatrist. Wrong move. I went along, though and asked my GP for a referral. What I don’t understand is to whether none of them; counsellor, GP, psychiatrist suggested that I see a psychologist first rather than to rely on medications to help me get better.

Either way it helped me get better. I was more assertive, more in control. I started to enjoy life and functioning like a normal person mentally. There would be times that I would feel down or overwhelmed by a traumatic event. It was normal. I was human. Anti depressants are not a happy pill. Rather than waking up with pessimistic thoughts, doubts and anxiety. I started to wake up every morning feeling rather ‘normal’. “Yes, today is a new day, a new chapter, I can’t wait what today will bring” I started to say to myself.

To be continued…

“I can see right through you”

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Image source: science punch

“I can see right through you, I can see right through your mask. Your fakery, your deceit, yet I will still smile and nod and act as if I am soaking up your glorious bullshit!.”

One of the best things I love about being an INFJ is our ‘intuitive’ side. We are great listeners and observers. We read, understand and can relate to others so well. Being highly sensitive individuals also plays a key a role in this ability to read others. We can detect the slightest change in your verbal and non verbal behaviours. This then allows us INFJs to see beyond appearances and apprehend a person’s deeper motives and intentions.

Where all my fellow INFJs at?

Can I get an amen?

 

Depression is…

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Image source: Gizmodo

Depression is… the black cloud that hovers above your head every day, every minute, every second. No one can see it, but only you can feel it…taunting you…following you…stalking you…

Depression is… the collection of self made insecurities and negative thoughts, collected day by day twisting ordinary scenarios or small drama into something more volatile, more dark, more dramatic.

Depression is… like a thriller/horror movie. Full of darkness and suspense. The route to escape is just that harder to reach, just that further to reach. It’s sucking you in, torturing you bit by bit so that you feel the full throttle of it’s pain.

“Cheer up” they tell you. But it’s not as easy as just eating your favourite meal, going for a pamper session, going on a long holiday.

Depression is… the chemical imbalance in the brain.

Depression is.. the mental illness that I am battling with.

 

INFJ Woes

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Image source: nine.com.au

We can’t help but question whether we are living our life to the fullest, whether we are really making the most of our time on earth. “What is the meaning of life?” we ask ourselves. “What is my purpose here?” we ask god. There are days where I am feeling like I am living it up 110% and then the next, I’m depressed as to where I stand in my life, what I have done so far, what I have achieved so far.

So many fantastic ideas that run through our heads at 110km/h yet little to no execution of these proposals.

Thoughts are racing, insomnia from time to time. If there were an on and off switch button in our heads, believe me, we would definitely put that to good use!

We soul search for answers. We try to gain spiritual fulfilment. Something rare in our ever booming consumer driven world.

Too much emotional energy wasted on unimportant people and events due to overthinking and our sensitivity to criticism and conflict. Too much. To the point where I hear myself screaming at the sidelines like a referee coach at a soccer match to just SHUT UP AND MOVE ON!

Oh INFJs out there can I get an amen….

The Truth About Wool

WARNING! Viewer discretion advised.

Wool comes from sheep. Sheep grows wool. Weather gets hot, we shear sheep and get wool in exchange to make clothing. In this perfect scenario it’s a win win situation right? I mean, shearers ARE doing those sheep a favour, we don’t want these animals to be overburdened with wool.

Wrong.

Sheep that have not been genetically manipulated, grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes.

“Because shearers are usually paid by volume and not by hour, this then encourages fast work with little to no regard for the welfare of the sheep.”
Peta.org

In fact, an investigation carried out by PETA has found that sheep are denied food and water 48 hours before they are meant to be sheared, to weaken them, so that ‘they won’t put up much of a fight’. Video footage has revealed acts conducted by shearers such as punching, kicking and stomping on sheep in the shearing shed. Any wounds that were made on the sheep were loosely sewn together with no anaesthesia or care for the welfare of these animals. It is uncommon to find dead bodies of sheep lying around due to the torment.

Investigation within the wool industry has revealed some rather disturbing facts, as quoted by PETA:

“Lambs tails being chopped off without painkillers. Male lambs are castrated via cutting the testicles out or with a rubber ring used to cut off blood supply. When the lamb’s testicles do not fall off as expected, shearers often just cut them off with clippers.”
Peta.org

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Image source: Peta.org

In addition to the abuse, ‘mulesing’ is performed on lambs and sheep, a painful procedure which involves slicing skin from the buttocks of lambs without anaesthetic to produce a scar, free of wool, faecal/urine stains and skin wrinkles. This horrific procedure is performed in an attempt to prevent ‘flystrike’.

“Flystrike is caused when the wrinkles around the breech area collect urine and moisture. Attracted to the moisture, flies lay eggs in the folds of the skin and the hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive. The process of performing Mulesing does help reduce, but does not eliminate the incidence of flystrike.”
Peta.org

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Image source: Vegan Magazine
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Image source: Animals Australia

There are many difference alternatives which are currently still being trialled, these include Skin Traction and gene mapping the sheep blowfly. However, the best alternative is prevention.

“Selecting breeds that have wrinkle free breech area, resistant to flystrike, closer monitoring, timely shearing and applying insecticide during fly season can all assist in the prevention of flystrike.”
Peta.org

What can I do to help?

There are many ways in which you can help my friend. Simply by:

  • Not purchasing wool (there are many humane alternatives to wool such as ; rayon, cotton, hemp, acrylic, nylon, microfibre)
  • Purchase cruelty free wool which have the cruelty free logo
  • Sign petitions against animal cruelty in the wool industry
  • Support non profit organisations campaigning for cruelty free sheep standards: Animals Australia, PETA

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather. We’ve seen this term been thrown around in the fashion industry, but what exactly is it?

Vegan leather is in fact faux leather, given a different name. Vegan leather is made of two core materials: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and/or Polyurethane. Basically, and animal activists’s alternative to real leather. Designer Stella McCartney is well known for using vegan leather in her collection. Her collections include women’s ready wear, accessories, lingerie, eye wear, fragrances and kids.

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Image source: stellamccartney

Being an animal lover, I could say, yes, go with the vegan leather. But is vegan leather actually better? Well that depends. I will argue both sides to state to you the real facts on vegan leather. Then let YOU decide.

First up, we have the People of Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who argues:

“More than a billion cows, pigs, goats, sheep, alligators, ostriches, kangaroos, and even dogs and cats are cruelly slaughtered for their skins every year. Many of these animals have their tails and horns cut off without painkillers, and some are even skinned and cut apart while still conscious.Turning skin into leather takes loads of energy and a toxic brew of chemicals – including mineral salts, coal- tar derivatives, formaldehyde, oils, dyes and finishes, some of them cyanide based.  Tannery waste contains water-fouling salt, lime sludge, sulfides, acids, and other pollutants.”
Peta.org

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Image source: Razvan Antonescu

Secondly, we have Vocativ who argues:

“From an environmental perspective, the main concern with polyurethane-based synthetic leather is that solvents are used. The production process involves painting polyurethane in liquid form onto a fabric backing. Making polyurethane into a liquid requires a solvent, and those can be highly toxic. Gwendolyn Hustvedt, an associate professor in Fashion Merchandising at Texas State University points out, “most cows don’t die to become a purse.” The bulk of hides used in leather production come from cattle that are raised for beef and milk, so not using their hides could be deemed wasteful. This by no means alleviates concern over animal cruelty or other environmental concerns like deforestation, it’s just that, for those who do eat meat, this gives leather, environmentally speaking, an advantage.”
Christian, Fox & Kelly, 2016

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Image source: Vocativ

I must point out though, that leather is not biodegradable due to the tanning process. However, leather does look and feel better with age in comparison to faux leather. Faux leather on the other hand is cheaper to manufacture and as a result costs less.

So which is more ethical and what is the better choice? Well that will depend on many factors of the consumer. Either alternative has it’s own pros and cons. Both cause damage to the environment. Whilst one choice does not support the exploitation of animals, is cheaper to manufacture, the other is argued that cows do not die just to be made as purses or shoes. Plus, leather lasts longer and looks better with age.

What are YOUR thought on this topic?