Saturday, May 17, 2014

INTJ / Bipolar / Asperger, cont.

I have been comparing the preferences associated with the INTJ personality type as described by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (see previous posts) with supposed symptoms of Asperger's Disorder, and have noticed a curious coincidence, or is it more than that? 
     I was diagnosed bipolar 30 years ago, after a 26-year quest to discover the cause of mood swings that manifested as a self-confident 'high' that alternated with the desire to be alone and away from stress. Anxiety was a near-constant symptom regardless of highs or lows. As soon as I was legally able to do so (in the old days, parental permission was required to obtain help) I sought medical and psychiatric help and worked diligently to understand and change my behavior. I did everything that was suggested to alleviate periodic switches from moderately manic to increasingly serious depression. However no medical doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist from whom I sought help could diagnose what was really going on. As I gew to be an adult, the frequency of these mood alterations gradually changed from years to a semi-annual event. This was a time in which there was little knowledge of 'mental illness' as the result of physical conditions as opposed to the belief that moral or character deficits were the cause.  
Fast forward to the present:
While visiting INTJ sites, it's easy to recognize a mild to moderate type of self-love or over confidence that doesn't go over well with other people. This feeling of absolute and smug happiness was how I felt and behaved when manic. It's an intoxicating state, as though one is united with all that is beautiful and grand about the universe. This euphoria makes it difficult to comprehend why people are upset with your confidence.  

<--How some see the INTJ type.
A Disclaimer: I am not saying that INTJs are bipolar. I am pointing out a tendency for some INTJ individuals to be mighty pleased with themselves, and that as a young person I was prone to this 'natural high.' This mental state of grandiosity in my experience is coincident with mild to moderate mania.

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