Hey there Psych2Goers, this is a disclaimer that this article is for informative purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Please reach out to a qualified healthcare provider or mental health professional if you are struggling.
Depression and introversion are two very different concepts, but they are often mixed together. People who are introverted may mistakenly be labeled as depressed while someone who is depressed may be labeled as introverted. While it’s true that many people are both, in this article we’ll be looking at the two concepts individually.
Introversion is a trait involving your preferences with other people. As an introvert, you may find that you enjoy being by yourself more than being with other people. You may find that social situations, while at times fun, drain you and that you need time alone to “recharge” (Psychiatry.org 2020).
Depression is a type of disorder that affects your mood and ability to function. Depression is most commonly diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder, which this article will focus on, but can show itself in other conditions like persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and bipolar disorder among others. When dealing with depression, you may notice a lasting sad feeling, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and difficulties carrying out tasks (Cherry 2022).
With that, here are some signs that you are depressed and not an introvert:
1. You Lack Energy and Motivation
One of the most common hallmarks of depression is a lack of energy and motivation (Psychiatry.org 2020). Having depression can make even small tasks feel impossible and taking a nap feel much more desirable. Things that you normally would enjoy doing are just too hard, so you may find yourself sitting out of activities a lot. This is not usually the case with introverts. Introverts may find social activities draining and need recharge time later, however they will likely have the energy to go out beforehand. A person who is introverted and not depressed will likely not struggle with feeling overly exhausted and unmotivated all the time.
2. You Used to Enjoy Going Out
Another big sign of depression is losing interest in activities that were previously enjoyed. People with depression may find that going out with friends isn’t as fun as it used to be. This is different from introversion as introverts generally would not shift so suddenly. Perhaps if you’re an introvert, you never really enjoyed going out. Of course, it is natural to change preferences over time and things that were interesting at one time may not be later. This becomes problematic, however, when you find that nothing gives you any enjoyment (Raypole 2021).
3. You Have Problems Eating, Sleeping, or Working
Depression comes with a lot more than affecting your moods. You may find that with it, other areas of your life change. You may find yourself overeating or undereating, that you sleep too much or too little, and that work is impossible. As an introvert, you may find that this is not the case. As introversion is related to your personality, you likely wouldn’t experience a sudden shift in any of these areas because of it (Granneman 2017).
4. You Feel Worthless
Depression comes with a lot of feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that is not necessarily the case with introversion. As an introvert you may find that you are optimistic and have a strong sense of self and hope for the future – again, as introversion is in your personality, it will not have such a drastic effect on your emotions.
5. You Isolate, But Not to Recharge
It’s common with depression to self-isolate from the outside world. It’s also common to do this as an introvert. While this is the same activity, they are done for different reasons. With depression, you may isolate because of your feelings of unworthiness, hopelessness, or lack of energy and motivation. With introversion, you may keep to yourself just out of personal preference and not because of emotional distress (Granneman 2017).
So while introversion and depression are often lumped together, they are two very different things. Some people simply enjoy their own company, and there is nothing wrong with that. If you feel however, that you are struggling with depression. Please know that there are resources and help out there. Getting in touch with the right professional can be a great first step to getting your life back on track.
- Cherry, K. (2022, May 13). 8 Signs You Might Be an Introvert. Verywell Mind. www.verywellmind.com/signs-you-are-an-introvert-2795427
- Coward, L. (2020, April 23). How I Realized I Was Depressed — Not Just ‘Introverted.’ The Mighty. themighty.com/topic/depression/i-am-depressed-not-introverted
- Granneman, J. (2017, October 16). Yes, I’m an Introvert. No, I’m Not Depressed. PsychologyToday. www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-secret-lives-introverts/201710/yes-im-introvert-no-im-not-depressed
- Premier Health. (2017, November 9). Introverted? Depressed? How to Know. www.premierhealth.com/your-health/articles/women-wisdom-wellness-/introverted-depressed-how-to-know
- Psychiatry.org. (2020, October). Psychiatry.org – What Is Depression? psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression
- Raypole, C. (2021, May 13). Are Introversion and Depression Linked? The Answer’s Complicated. Healthline. www.healthline.com/health/depression/introvert-depression#possible-explanations
- VISIONS. (2021, December 29). Is Your Teen Depressed or an Introvert? Visions Treatment Centers. visionsteen.com/is-your-teen-depressed-or-an-introvert/