It’s a few years old, but I thought it was worth sharing:
let’s talk about weed.
to the moderator: i apologize for taking space up on this blog for this debate, as it is a side conversation, but if you choose to post this please know i am doing this only because i am very passionate about it, and believe my side should also be heard.
just to clarify, because this is important to me, i think people need to understand why i say i could possibly recommend weed as a tool in battling depression/anxiety. it is not a cure-all, and it is not a big “fuck it the world sucks so here’s a way to escape from reality.” if that’s your impression of weed, then you need to do some further research.
i took AP Psych/Psych 101 like everyone else, and i’ve been diagnosed with depression (and generalized anxiety disorder) at 3 separate times in my life. i understand that it is a chemical imbalance that is beyond one’s own control. what i also know is that i have been prescribed three different medications over the years to combat these problems. i have also been to therapy— therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. I have been struggling with this for approximately 10 years. I realized at some point about a year ago that I was taking this expensive medication every single day, and yet i was still waking up in the middle of the night with panic attacks, and still felt a crippling anxiety on a daily basis. I still felt sad all of the time and trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts. I had been smoking weed recreationally for about a year, and noticed that even after the initial high, i felt calm and subdued- a feeling that was very rare for me. I also knew that when i smoked i was sleeping better— i didn’t have insomnia anymore, and i wasn’t waking up mid-panic attack and i woke up feeling refreshed.
as an experiment, because i am an adult (i had just turned 24) and had done a ton of medical research and after consulting with my doctor, i slowly weened myself off of my anti-anxiety/anti-depressants. without consulting my doctor, i continued to smoke marijuana daily. i did not smoke until after work, and usually waited until bed time. during this time, i also did a lot of yoga and meditation and journaling. what marijuana did for me is what medication and therapy had never been able to do—i was able to calm and completely quiet the negative/anxious thoughts that constantly plagued me. it was like taking a vacation from my own hellscape of a brain. which, as fellow INFJs should know, is always working double time. of course, being high is fun and enjoyable, and allows you to relax and enjoy things in a way you don’t when you’re sober. more than that though, it made me realize just how much of my life i had spent stressed and anxious.
the turning point for me was when i realized that even when i was not high, my experiences with marijuana helped me. i found that in times when i was at work or in a social situation that made me particularly anxious or depressed, i would remember how i felt when i was high, and i would just breathe deeply and tell my body to relax. and for once in my life, my body finally listened. because i finally knew what it meant to relax, it was like my body had a new memory, a new default position to go to rather than anxious.
because anxiety and depression are not conditions that simply go away, it is still sometimes an ongoing struggle, but one for the first time in my life i feel that i am managing. in fact, i feel happy and calmer than i’ve ever been. this past summer i had a panic attack randomly in a car right before an event. i couldn’t breathe, was dizzy, disoriented, and convinced that i was having a heart attack. luckily, a friend of mine who also struggles with anxiety was with me, and had me smoke a bowl. honestly i was so panicky i didn’t even want to, but she insisted, and within in two minutes i felt absolutely fine. i wasn’t even high- i had only taken two pulls- and my symptoms completely melted away and i was able to pull myself together and go to the event. usually when i have panic attacks they last for at least 20 minutes and leave me feeling horribly anxious and depressed for several hours. this, to me, was a huge improvement.
and i know the mentality that’s out there, i know how this sounds, and i know people will refer to me as a stoner or say it’s irresponsible for me to share this information. but i truly wouldn’t share it if i thought it was harmful. for the record: i graduated from college with a 3.6 GPA, was able to study abroad on a prestigious scholarship, i served my country for a year with AmeriCorps VISTA, i am active in local and national politics, donate blood regularly, recycle, volunteer with numerous organizations, and am a good friend, sister, and daughter. i face a lot of criticism and stereotypes for my decision to smoke weed, but the best part about smoking weed is it really helps you to not give a shit about the negatives that people throw your way. i wouldn’t waste all of this time and energy arguing about it here on this blog either if i didn’t think it was important to let people know about an option that is available to them if they feel like traditional means are not working for them.
i also recommend the herbal supplement Rhodiola for anxiety and Valerian for those who have trouble sleeping because of anxiety.
I have a really close friend who’s been dealing with depression ever since I met him. He actually credits our group of friends with saving his life, so we must be doing something right. I figured I could share a couple things that I’ve found out & had confirmed by what I’ve read about depression and suicide prevention.
1. Depression is the result of something that is out of the depressed person’s control. Some things I’ve seen/read about are rape, domestic abuse, severe financial stress, war, homophobia and bullying. You never know why someone acts the way they do, but don’t go asking them either; this is a big weak spot in their life and they’re not just going to tell you. If you want to help them present yourself as open to their problems. They may tell you eventually.
2. Listen to them when they say they want to hurt/kill themselves. My friend often passed it off as a joke whenever he said things like this. If you laugh it off or make fun of them it only confirms the idea that nobody cares. Make sure they get the support they need at times like this.
3. This is not something people recover from quickly. (In fact a sudden upswing in mood is a sign they’ve decided to commit suicide, get help.) It takes a long time and a lot of care to support someone with this. The important thing is to pay attention to how they’re feeling, even if it’s hard to detect, and show that you care however you can, small or big.
I am not a health professional. If you want to learn more about depression and suicide prevention there are lots of online organizations and hotlines all over the US. These are just some pointers so we can stop acting like depression doesn’t exist out of fear of making it worse.
Regarding the weed post
What I think people’s problem with that post about weed was this part: “…still depressed? ,well then nothing in the world will make you fell good.” I mean, just what exactly is that trying to say? That weed is the answer to all one’s problems? That’s why it’s a poor piece of advice and probably why so many reacted badly to it: it had a tone of finality to it, implying that you can’t be happy without this or that you’re completely screwed if it doesn’t help you (Making no mention that weed can actually worsen/cause depression in some people as well). NOT good advice for those with depression at all.
Weed is fine, but only in the same way anything else people do to relax is fine: it’s not going to work for everyone, so we should try not to talk about things in such a ‘that’s all there is to it’ kind of way. Anyway, just my two cents. I highly doubt anyone here has a problem with recreational weed smoking, just poor advice that can potentially cause more harm than good, so lets all go back to being nice ok? :)
this is such bullshit. on my dash first i see a long post by this blog about how this is a “safe haven” and everyone should feel safe to post their feelings and not feel judged, and like three posts later you, the moderator, post a response to a reply about someone who suggested smoking weed to help with depression, and the reply was judgmental as shit, then you throw your two cents in about how you also don’t think people should “self-medicate” with “drugs” but try to smooth it over by saying people are allowed to talk about things they like.
what is fascinating to me is that i’ve repeatedly scored as an INFJ my entire life, and in the last few years i’ve dedicated a lot of time researching and learning the functions and their interactions to confirm what those silly internet tests can easily get wrong—-i really am an INFJ. Which means that just like the rest of you, i’ve suffered from feeling alienated and alone and out-casted because i’m so “different.” But the fabulous thing about actually learning the functions is that through learning them I learned a lot about myself, and also a lot about other people, including people i had accused time and time again of hurting/ignoring/taking advantage of me. The number one lesson I walked away with was that this wasn’t their fault—most of the time, it was just an honest and simple miscommunication, because we both saw the world differently and interpreted information differently. And the few people in my life that I chose to talk about this with actually came forward and admitted that they thought that I didn’t care about them, because of the way they interpreted certain actions by me (such as a classic INFJ response to conflict or difficult social situations like retreating and being alone for long periods of time). And so I realized that almost ALL of the times in my life that I felt used or abandoned were actually half my fault, because for all of my intuition i had actually made a lot of assumptions about people, and usually assumed the worse when it came to how they felt about me, because i was trying to predict hurt and disappointment because i was so afraid of feeling it without preparing myself for it.
So that’s why I get pissed when I see confession after confession after confession about people feeling so hurt and alone. I’m not saying everyone is exactly like me, and i’m sure there are people who have been needlessly hurt and taken advantage of—god knows i have. but i wish people would stop assuming that it’s because they’re so sensitive and caring and dedicated and non-INFJs just aren’t. That’s not true. My advice to everyone is that no matter how badly you’ve been hurt, think about the person you want to be and work to make that happen, instead of feeling sorry about the way people have mistreated you. People are going to mistreat you your entire life, INFJ or not, and the sooner you find ways to cope with that and build some confidence within yourself about who you are, the better you will feel. And it’s okay to want to confess when you’ve been hurt, but there’s no need to qualify it by saying “i’m so hurt and alone because i’m an INFJ and no one understands me,” because it’s probably just that you’re asking way too much of someone (not every person and every friend is going to “understand” every single part of you!) And i’m not saying this to be fucking condescending or judgmental, i’m saying it as someone who is probably older than most of you, and as someone who has struggled deeply with both clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety, as someone who NEVER felt like they had a friend—from elementary school up through a lot of college. I kept waiting for the world to change, to meet people “more like me” and what I realized is that I was the one who needed to change. Not that I was a terrible person, just that I needed to approach things differently. And, shit, life is still hard and I still don’t find a ton of people that I “connect” with, but I have better relationships with the people around me (housemates, co-workers, etc.) and I’m not so goddman worried about everyone screwing me over.
Back to my original point, moderator, which i’ve posted consistently in replies to confessions on this blog— why is it “too judgemental” for me to get upset and offended by a shit ton of people claiming their loneliness is because they are just such special INFJs (when it really, i think, is more because they’re young and going through the regular pains of growing up like EVERYONE does- INFJ or not), but it’s not considered judgmental when someone posts a suggestion about smoking weed and everyone, including you, talks about how it’s wrong or irresponsible to promote “drug use” and “self medication”? If this is such a safe haven, why is it only a safe haven for some and not others? Remember, I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders MANY times in the past 10 years, and i’ve been on and off prescription medication for that, as well as been in and out of therapy. NOTHING has helped me with my depression or anxiety the way that weed has. NOTHING. I also don’t think it should be classified as a “drug” or that this has anything really to do with “self-medicating.” I didn’t post the confession suggesting to smoke weed, and though it was a bit tongue-in-cheek, i honestly think it was a good suggestion. It didn’t say “just get drunk” (which is a very destructive form of self-medication that leads to other problems), and I find it offensive that the one thing that has helped me to make unbelievable progress in regards to my health and well-being is being reprimanded here, a place that is supposed to be a “safe haven” for ALL INFJs, as simply a “drug” that we’re not supposed to recommend. I mean, shit, do we really want to help people on here explore ways to overcome the issues that come up because of the way we see the world as INFJs, or do we just want to sit around and bitch about how hard our lives our and shoo away anyone that’s trying to offer practical solutions just because they don’t always make us feel good or fit in with our narrow world views?
i’ve been following this blog for quite awhile, and man at first it felt great to know there were so many people out there who experienced the world the way i do. and it was nice. just the last few months it’s turned so negative and self-absorbed that it makes me almost embarrassed to tell people i’m an INFJ. i’m not trying to tell anyone what to do, i just wish everyone would be as open-minded as they claim to be. i feel for all of you that are struggling, i really do, but if you’re not open to suggestions about ways to improve your life so you’re not feeling like this anymore, and would instead prefer to wallow in self-pity while a bunch of internet people tell you that it’s perfectly okay, then go for it. but it won’t make you happy in the long run.
it may not seem like it from this post, but i’m actually a really nice person, and have helped MANY friends and acquaintances work through a lot of issues in ways that work for THEM, not just pushing on them the ways that worked for me. i still believe in blogs like this and am always open to anyone who wants to talk.
Stop Dog Meat Trade!
I’m sure many of us INFJ’s love dogs. Please help to stop this trade by signing this petition!
If you don’t initially want to listen through all 27 minutes of TesseracT’s “Concealing Fate,” I’d recommend at the very least listening to “Perfection - Concealing Fate Part Four.” It’s very good music, but I think a lot of us will really be able to connect with it lyrically as well.
My transition from INFJ-ISFJ-ENFJ.
I guess it started when I moved out from my parents house to have the freedom that I’ve always wanted. From there I became a recluse only talking to my friends through skype or xbox. I started to gain weight and feel really lazy and tired all the time. I realized that I desperately needed to change. I started focusing my time and energy to things I wanted to do. I started exercising and calling up old friends to exercise with me. I made it a priority to physically go out and hang out with my friends. I started going to parties and socializing with nearly everyone there, perhaps influenced by alcohol, but in any case I was glad to get out there. I’ve accepted myself and everyone around me, I want the people in my life to be happy and I’ll go the extra mile to get them there. I feel no reason not to be happy, I may not have everything I want, but I know with effort I can achieve whatever I want. I also registered for classes and I’m going back to school after leaving in the summer. I made the changes that needed to be made and I’ve opened up my eyes. If you’d like to know more or have any questions, feel free to send them my way!
Enneagram (i’m 5w6)
Introduction to the Enneagram
This explanation covers the basics that you will need to understand how the Enneagram works, and will be especially helpful for beginners. As you will see, only a few simple concepts are needed to begin your journey of self-discovery. The Enneagram, however, is ultimately subtle and complex, as you will appreciate the more you use it in your life. For more guidelines, consult Personality Types 27-55, and for further clarifications Understanding the Enneagram, 11-30.
Index of Subjects:
- Your Basic Personality Type
- The Centers
- The Wing
- The Levels of Development
- Directions of Integration (Growth) and Disintegration (Stress)
- The Three Instincts
- The Harmonics
- Typing Yourself and Others