An introvert is a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings. Introverts prefer time to themselves and small group interactions. They refers calm environments, limits social engagement, or embraces a greater than average preference for solitude.
It’s widely accepted and proven that introverts are more susceptible to anxiety or depression than many other personality types.
Introversion is your way.
Social anxiety gets in your way.
Many with introverted personalities prefer to spend time immersed in their own worlds and listening to their own inner thoughts. They also choose to speak out less often, and when they do, they choose their words very carefully. Thinking too much and speaking too little are common criticisms of introverts. Due to their restricted lack of communication with others, they may experience a wide range of emotions that over time, become trapped and can torture them mentally, sometimes having a hugely weakening effect on their everyday lives.
Overthinking and a lack of social activity can combine to make the average introvert more prone to symptoms of depression than others, and when their thinking processes take over it can cause them to focus on their perceived faults or imperfections, which can lead to a downturn in self-esteem. Alongside this, they may begin experiencing feelings of guilt and even general distress, which when left untreated, can give rise to hopelessness that can make them feel depressed and alone.
Being an introvert and having social anxiety are often confused, but they’re not the same. An introvert is a personality trait. Social anxiety is a mental health condition. An introvert might resist going to a party because they get drained from loud music and too much social interaction. Someone with social anxiety, on the other hand, might feel dread or panic about going to a party. They worry they’ll say something “stupid” or that people won’t like them. Preferring alone time and being sensitive to overstimulation (introversion) is not the same as fearing social interaction (social anxiety).
“Still, for many introverts, anxiety is a regular part of their lives. And indeed, anxiety is more common among introverts than extroverts, according to Laurie Helgoe.”
So, if you’re an introvert, what can you do to cope with anxiety?
Firstly, if you’re an introvert and suffering from anxiety or depression, it’s important to remember that you can get over it, and you can tackle the reasons behind the illness safely, provided you seek help from a mental health professional.
It’s important to note, and I say this as an introvert, that not all introverts are depressed just as all depressed people are not introverts. Dealing with an introvert can be hard and, if you’re not careful, saying or doing the wrong thing, because you don’t understand the situation, can aid in the chance of depression. If you know an introvert or suspect that you may be one, I can’t recommend enough a book by Susan Cain called; “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” This is a beautifully written, highly informative book about introverts and how to be with them, what they experience and also, it sheds light on the fact that introvert is not one thing. There are many facets and levels of introversion, many different types as well. Once you get more information about introverts and introversion, you discover they are not strange, untouchable or ill.
In recognizing your own personality characteristics as an introvert, don’t push yourself to face your depression in any particular way. Instead, be honest with yourself and allow yourself to find your own ways of dealing with depression. And, please seek help from a professional therapist if you don’t find your symptoms easing, or if you’re worried that you’re beginning to feel worse.
Knowledge is truly power when it comes to being an introvert or spending time with one.