Identity/existential crises as an INTP

I just recently posted this on Personality Cafe in response to a fellow INTP’s question on existential crises:
I’ll start filling out the details/context of this limerent experience as I walk myself backwards through my life experiences.
My first one must have happened sometime around the age of 13, when I was dealing with depression (unknown cause– triggered by either puberty or moving to a different country, or just from being an INTP I guess). I worked through it by forgetting about it I guess– like someone already said, concentrating on keeping my mind busy on other things such as work, trying to live up to my version of “successful”, eventually falling in love and getting married (all things that I guess keep the Ti-Fe loop happy), and maintaining my obsession with work (neuroscience). You’ll be surprised how “falling in love” can mask your inner dark side.Long story short– I was working towards my PhD in a different city to where my husband worked and I “accidently” fell in love or went limerent over a younger student in the lab. Looking back on the experience, it seems like he spoke directly to my Ti-Fe axis– he was a charmer who valued and respected me, even admired me and “needed” me to teach him things. I “enjoyed” and even “got high off of” the frequent intellectual conversations/debates on any scientific topic under the sun (but would effectively tune-out for any other discussion). Moving back with my husband and the great pain and heartache I experienced being separated from my limerent object, even when logic told me that I loved my husband and would never logically be with this person and that the whole thing was just an awful mistake on my mind’s part, eventually led to my decision to crawl myself out of that frightful experience. But, it came with the sudden realization that I had acted completely against what I thought were my values, I “lost” my identity, sense of self and meaning in life (crisis #2). I’d love to hear from others that have “discovered themselves” through love/limerent experiences or affairs or even other troubling experiences that got your mind to walk straight up to your previously unconscious/less conscious decision-making center and ask: What were you thinking??? and “Was that really even me??”
I’m a big fan of the discovery of self through thinking about the push-pull relationship between Dominant and Inferior functions mentioned here: Any insight from INTPs and other personality types greatly welcomed!

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About intpblogger

I'm a 29 year old female currently wrapping up my PhD in Neuroscience, which looked at the molecular underpinnings of learning and memory. I've just recently stumbled upon the fascinating world of personality types and how our type guides our perception of the world, the people around us and the decisions we make. I'm especially interested in the process through which neuromodulators, released during periods of stress, bonding and romantic love/limerence influence our personalities (and how this might differ between types). My posts will be based on a mixture of thoughts, personal experiences, ideas and things I've read along the way. Since I've traditionally stuck to the molecular/cellular side of neuroscience and possibly scoffed at social psychology in the past (ashamed) I only "discovered" Myers-Briggs theory and myself a week ago, after a seemingly long period of a what I would call an "identity crisis". But more on that later. As an INTP (I think), I'd like to think I have some unique insight to share with all of you, but I don't necessarily think I hold all the answers nor will I be able to express them as clearly as some would wish. So, I welcome all clarifications, challenges, criticisms, different perspectives, thoughts, personal experiences from other INTPs as well as all other personality types that choose to join me on this journey. The idea here is to gain insight into my mind and the mind of others through the mutual sharing of ideas, thoughts and experiences. Onwards.

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