Nail in the forhead

Depression And The Melancholy Temperament

A combination of the five God-given, inborn temperament natures were placed within you when God formed you in your mother’s womb. When surrendered to God and His word, those natures combine to be used by God in powerful and effective ways. However, the fallen, self-focused nature of your temperaments will bring stress, dissatisfaction, and compulsivity as a result of seeking fulfillment in this world.

Why the connection?

You might be thinking something like, “why would one particular temperament type uniquely predispose an individual to an emotional battle such as depression?” With more than a decade of experience providing Christian temperamant counseling to men, women, and couples, I’ve found that trends and patterns become strikingly evident. An individual with a mind or will that is defined by the Melancholy temperament will have a life-long internal battle with low self-worth, rejection, and depression. Anecdotally, I believe this presents itself quite differently in men than in women, yet I have no concrete date to back that up.

Four false beliefs that battle for the Melancholy mind

Whether consciously or unconsciously, the human mind presents the basis for which the human will acts or reacts. In the case of an individual with the Melancholy temperament type, it is often difficult to peel apart which source they are struggling with – the beliefs of their mind, or the unreachable standards of their will.

You can’t not appear competent in what you think, say, and do

The appearance of competence is the characteristic that sets individuals with the Melancholy type apart from all others. Ironically, many of these folks will do everything within their power to convice you that they don’t give a —- about what other people think about them, when in reality the exact opposite is true. When any questioning, criticism, correction, or suggestions are provided, the Melancholy individual’s knee-jerk response is a reaction of intense anger. I’ve found that men will tend to vent their anger outwardly with a temper, acting out, or harsh criticism of the other person. Women tend to be more indirect, stabbing the perpetrator in the back with their words, gossip, undermining, or merely relational rejection.

I do not have a nail in my forehead. You always do this. You always try to fix me. I just need you to listen to me for once.

Competence requires living up to an arbitrary standard of “perfection” that you did not create

While most people with this temperament would be quick to say they definitely are not perfectionists, I find that they spend nearly every waking moment comparing themselves to some man-made, arbitrary standard of “perfection.” So rather than thinking they are perfect, they tend to self-criticize, self-condemn, and self-reject. It’s very typical for a person with this temperament type fo say things such as, “I’m my own worst enemy!”

Any exposure of your imperfections means you are rejected, unworthy, and not enough

The only way for your imperfections to never be exposed is to never have any… or at least never let anyone know you have any. And the only hope of accomplishing this is by being extremely compulsive about everything you know, say, and do — leaving no cracks for anyone to identify ANYTHING about you. I define compulsive in this context as covering up your feelings of shame, rejection, and not-enough-ness with compulsive perfection, compulsive control, compulsive rightness, compulsive competence basically in EVERYTHING!

You hold tightly to past memories of hurt, failure, and loss

With the Melancholy temperamen, you twill typically not let someone hurt you twice. I think it was someone with this temperament who coined the statement, “Hurt me once: shame on me. Hurt me twice: shame on me.” When in conflict with someone, you probably are quick to bring up something or some way they’ve hurt you at some point in the past — possibly even years previouis. Melancholies aren’t necessarily trying to prove they are right or competent, or perfect. Conversely, they are doing whatever it takes To defend themselves against anyone or anything that might attempt to prove they’re not!


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