How introverts can deal with depression; experts offer tips
Introverts are more prone to depression than extroverts and they are likely to suffer in silence without asking for help. Here's how they can deal with depression effectively.
Can your personality type make you more prone to depression? According to research, introverts are more susceptible to depression than extroverts. This may be because they share selectively, speak less and listen more, and are more likely to be lonely at some point of their life. While they avoid crowd because too many interactions overwhelm them, they do connect deeply with the limited circle of close friends and near ones. (Also read: Dating an introvert? Here are things you must know)
It is a blessing to have an introvert as a friend, but at times their mental health needs a closer review than that of extroverts. Extroverts tend to speak up and share their depressing thoughts with friends and family and unload the stress in the process but for introverts getting rid of a negative sentiment may not be easy. As such people mostly keep their problems to themselves, a depressing thought only grows in its intensity in absence of people around to suggest a way out.
"Introversion and extroversion are not only personality traits but also have roots in brain science. Each has different brain chemistry, with a chemical called dopamine, which makes us feel good. Introverts have a different relationship with dopamine in which they are more sensitive to it, hence they need less social interaction. Their brain becomes overstimulated when there is too much interaction. Every personality type is susceptible to a wide range of psychological distresses due a wide variety of reasons, however it is proven and acknowledged that introverts are more prone to depression than any other personality type," says Dr. Roma Kumar, Chief Psychologist, Emotionally.in in an interaction with HT Digital.
"While introversion is simply a personality trait, depression is a mental health problem that can deepen if left untreated. If depression causes you to spend more and more time alone, loved ones may miss critical indicators of depression, causing you to even longer before reaching out. Connecting with a mental health expert can help if you are experiencing chronic symptoms of despair, emotional numbness, lack of motivation, or low mood," Archana Sharma, Clinical Psychologist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute told HT Digital.
HOW INTROVERTS CAN DEAL WITH DEPRESSION
Introverts who are depressed often suffer in silence without receiving the help they need. Once the underlying cause is known, one can also devise their own coping mechanism to deal with depression.
DEVELOP YOUR OWN COPING MECHANISM
"Recognize your introverted personality traits, but don't force yourself to confront your depression in any particular way. Instead, be honest with yourself and allow yourself to develop your own coping mechanisms for depression," says Sharma.
"Introverts need more alone time, but it doesn't mean you want to spend every moment alone. Connecting with others can help reduce loneliness and promote general well-being. Technology makes it simple to meet people with similar interests and gradually get to know them from a distance. Developing rapport and a sense of connection via text or chat can facilitate future face-to-face interactions. While you may not be able to change your introverted nature directly, you can make tiny changes to better support your introversion while meeting your requirements," says the psychologist.
TAKING OUT 'ME TIME'
Being alone should not be confused with feeling lonely when it comes to introverts. They need time and space to recharge oneself before they can deal with the society.
"Alone time is vital for introverts as they need to recharge their energy for it can be easily drained, which impacts their mental well-being. Carving out that alone time is necessary for the introverted personality type in order to be refreshed and so their mental health doesn’t suffer," says Dr Roma.
PRACTICE A SELF-CARE ROUTINE
Dr Roma says practicing daily self-care routines can be extremely helpful to introverts. These activities can be yoga, deep muscle relaxation, mindfulness and all other activities which can be done alone.
Due to their lack of communication with many people, introverts may harbour some emotions that could harm and torment them which has harmful effects on their daily functioning.
"Forming connections which are meaningful helps introverts engage with others in a way which is uplifting. Engaging in activities which are around people but don’t require too much socialising is another great option, such as taking a walk in your neighbourhood, people-watching at a park, or reading at a coffee shop or doing some art work," says Dr Roma.
If you’re an introvert and suffering from depression, it’s important to remember that you can get over it with the right support and treatment.