This article will talk about how depression is like in extroverts and what signs they should look out for! Furthermore, the article will briefly discuss who an extrovert is and what depression is like. Lastly, the article will provide pointers on how to spot depression in extroverts.
Depression In Extroverts – How Is It Like?
Depression in extroverts is different to what it is like in introverts – they will probably prefer sitting with their friends and family rather than withdrawing from their surroundings. However in the long term, even extroverts will start withdrawing from their social circles as the depression they have intensifies. Their personality will begin to change and they will seem more introverted.
In this article we will take a look at the following behavioural responses extroverts have in depression:
- Desperate For Company
- Withdraw From Social Circles
- Sensitive To Feedback
- Low Energy Levels
- Change In Behaviour & Interests
Before we look at these in detail, let us take a look at thes extroverts and who they are as well as shine some light on the mental health condition known as depression!
Who Is An Extrovert?
An extrovert is someone who has a lot of energy and loves to be around people – this is where they derive their energy from! They love to attend social gatherings or events and interact with other people. They are the type of people who like to go out on a regular basis and meet new people, are friends and spend some time chatting with them at the local cafe.
Extroverts have some very distinct traits that make them quite different from the typical introvert. Firstly, they have very high levels of energy so they seem quite enthusiastic even about little things. They are adventurous, exploring and like to grab new opportunities wherever they see them especially if it means more interactions! Secondly, this personality type thinks in a more practical and external manner! They like to discuss ideas with others and apply them before actually deciding on them. This personality type strongly dislikes spending large amounts of time alone! They need to be around other people and stay in touch.
Depression – A Mental Health Condition
Depression is a serious mental health condition and affects how you feel, think and behave. It affects millions of people all around the world and can result in severe symptoms – even suicide!
It involves a person having a negative outlook about the world, oneself and others. The person feels as though they are not capable of working through their problems and they also lose much interest in previous activities that once excited them. They experience a number of changes in their sleep routines, eating habits and overall behaviour. They feel persistently sad over a considerable amount of time and they have issues in thinking clearly – they are not able to maintain good performance in work and their relationships – although this perception is changing because depressed people often mask their present state effectively.
Depression is quite different from sadness that we experience. Sadness is a temporary state that we experience due to a certain life event. Also, in sadness we do not lose our self esteem and our focus is not on ending our own life but ending the problems we have.
Depression – The Symptoms
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Extroverts & Depression – The Link
How do extroverts behave when they experience depression? Let’s take a look!
Desperate For Company
Having depression can be a confusing experience for extroverts! They will easily notice the difference in how they feel and this will indeed be quite alarming for them. Hence, compared to introverts, this personality type will be quicker to notice the arrival of this ‘dark cloud’.
At first, the extrovert will want to ignore how they feel and think – to do this they will run for company! They will be clingy and try to spend time with friends and family so they don’t stay alone for long. This is because as soon as they become alone, they experience negative thoughts and may even feel lethargic.
The typical extrovert and their behaviour and depression may hence not be very obvious to others because this is what they expect from him or her. They know that this certain person is outgoing, loves company and wants to be constantly engaged. What they do not know is that this certain individual is being clingy because they are depressed.
Hence, extroverts need to keep a check on their feelings and intentions. If they want to be around others to avoid their feelings and thoughts then it is indeed a sign of danger.
Withdraw From Social Circles
The extrovert may become tired of battling the depression they have especially if it intensifies and they make no real effort to change their thoughts as well. Effective treatment of depression involves focusing on one’s feelings, thoughts and behaviour. If all three of these are worked upon only then can one make a real difference.
However, not all extroverts can do this – especially because they are not masters of the mind. Their negative thoughts are not only exhausting but also shocking and they are not used to this sort of exposure – an internal one.
Hence, once they lose most of their energy and no longer have the willpower to fight off that dark cloud that hovers over them constantly, they give in and let the other symptoms of the disease settle in. This also occurs because they have started losing interest in activities that they once considered exciting. When they have lost most of their motivation then it becomes difficult to fight their problems.
Sensitive To Feedback
When a person is depressed – they are extremely sensitive to feedback. This is because no one really knows what they are going through. They provide feedback in a manner that does not take into account the true situation of the person undergoing this – the extrovert in this case. Furthermore, it can become really frustrating for the extrovert especially if they have put in so much effort but they only receive negative feedback.
Imagine this, you have been up all night because you can’t sleep. You are dealing with your negative thoughts that may be pushing you to hurt yourself, convincing you of your low self esteem and how you only create problems for others or how you have failed in whatever role you took up. Despite all this, you get your tasks done only to wake up and go to work where your colleagues decide to start the meeting without you because you were only 5 minutes late – you even told them to wait. A normal person may shrug this off or even rationalize it. But a person who is depressed will take it to heart.
Low Energy Levels
It can be extremely depressing when you realize you are not the same person you once were. It is as though you have been stripped of your colors and wings that once allowed you to get so many things done and enjoy life and the experiences it gave you. Now, you are just someone who can;t even get out of bed without telling yourself so many times how useless you are. This change of feelings, thoughts and energy itself is too overwhelming. An introvert may find this change a bit easier – although it is quite difficult for them too – as compared to an extrovert. It is though you have robbed a child of all their happiness by snatching away their stuffed toy and ripping it apart in front of their eyes while they beg you to stop. Depression for an extrovert can be a deadly experience.
Change In Behaviour & Interest
Another shock for the extrovert is the change in their interests and behaviour. Apart from the lack of energy they have and the newfound yet scary thoughts – they now need to deal with the reality that they no longer enjoy what they once loved. Taking that bite from their favorite chicken burger and not being able to enjoy it like they once did can be a heart wrenching experience – especially if you are a foodie.
This article took a look at how depression affects extroverts and why it may be somewhat of a difficult experience for them. At the same time, the article introduced the extroverted personality type to the readers and also briefly touched upon the topic of depression.