Writing about depression doesn’t come easy. As an introvert in depression i have struggled with depression for years without quite knowing what was happening to me. Being an introvert its even harder as no one really noticed that I was depressed and that I might be in need for help.
Only a very close friend realized something was wrong. He tried to help in his own way. But in the end I had to deal with it on my own.
Introvert depression is not that bad in the beginning. It’s always like this, sometimes I did not even realize that I was going through depression. But after a few days I would realize that I might be going through depression. I would hope it would go away but it never did.
I would constantly feel like I could not breathe even when I was breathing. A constant fear griped me. I was not afraid of something or someone particular but there was this constant fear that surrounded me. I would not speak to anyone for days and stay locked up in my room. Human contact irked me. I did not eat for days and did not feel hungry. And stayed up all night, several nights in a row. I felt like there was no way out for me and I would keep falling deeper and deeper into this hole.
Being an introvert in depression is extremely hard. My introvert nature that would come in the way of me going out and seeking help for my depression. I would cut myself off from rest of the world which harmed me even more.
I did overcome my depression. What I learned was I should surround myself with friends and family even though I feel like being alone. I should not cut myself off so much. Instead I must spend more time with my friends and family, go outside more often, start to workout, do different things and keep myself occupied. Doing all this drained me but still I kept doing these things and surely I started feeling better.
As an introvert when you go out a lot keep yourself busy and meet a lot of people, you feel drained of energy. Being alone can get your energy back. But this becomes a catch 22 situation. If you are by yourself too much the depression can overpower you and make you feel worse. And if you are busy and going out a lot you feel drained. The key here is to strike a balance between activity and solitude. I recommend more activity and less solitude.
Being an introvert in depression it’s very easy to remain insolated. And it makes us happy to be cut off from the rest. But it’s not a good idea to shut yourself in a room during the period of depression. It’s make the situation worst. Trust me on this.
There are some ideas on which I used during the time when I was dealing with depression. Any introvert in depression can use these techniques to pull themselves out of depression.
Establish a Routine:
Establish a routine of doing something every day. It may be any mundane task ,doesn’t have to be something very interesting or something that takes a lot of your energy. Pick anything, For example you can make a routine to floss your teeth twice a day. Now you have to keep up with this routine, you have to make an effort to do this every day. Now if you are able to keep up this routine everyday then you are fine. But if you miss too many times in a row you have can understand that you might be slipping into depression.
Don’t Listen to Your Mind:
As an introvert in depression our favorite friend our mind becomes our foe. But this is not an obvious foe but a sneaky one. The kind of foe who doesn’t come out in the open and fight you. This foe will wait and wait until you are weak and have let your guards down. Its strikes you when you are most vulnerable. This foe stays by your side all the time. Knows how you think, how you act, he knows your every move. This why it become extremely difficult to fight this foe.
Don’t listen to what your mind says. It will tell you what others think, how things are going to turn out, what others are going to do. But understand this your mind is playing tricks on you. Resist this trick.
Take it Easy:
The period while you are depressed you are not at your best. As an introvert you are going through one of the toughest phases of life. You are in a battle with yourself and things are already hard as they are. Don’t make it even harder by doing things that society pushes you to do and you don’t want to do. During my struggle with depression I tried to do the things which I had never done before, thinking that it was going to help me. I volunteered in my class to give a presentation but when the day of presentation came I was gripped by extreme self-doubt and I ended up skipping giving the presentation. I lost a lot of self-confidence as a result and ended up doing myself doing more harm than good.
As an introvert going through depression try to stick to the things that you would normally do. Keep doing those things every day without fail. Do not go overboard with doing things especially new things. Now is not the time to try out anything that scares you. It’s the time to take things easy.
Be your Own Best Friend:
That world out there is already hard. No need to make it harder on yourself. During my phase of depression I used to be extra harsh on myself. I would scrutinize and criticize smallest of things. If I made a mistake I constantly rebuked myself in my mind. Don’t do it.
You should be kind to yourself. Self-encouragement is one of the best tools to keep yours morals high. Whenever you talk to yourself use kinds words. World like “you are doing good” “don’t worry it’s all going to pass” “I will be awesome soon” “it’s just a matter of time bro”. Words that are kind heal your soul even if say it to yourself. Be kind to yourself.
During my struggle I used to say this to myself over and over again. “I am an introvert and in depression I am my own best friend. There is no one in this world who is going to be with me other than me”.
I understand that as an introvert in depression it extremely difficult to seek help. Hell it’s even difficult to acknowledge the depression. I kept inside my shell for a really long time. I did not seek help and as a result my depression got worst.
Understand this. It’s hard to fight this demon alone. You don’t need to fight it alone. There are people who are out there who are willing to help you. There are doctors and paid professionals who are trained and know how to deal with the dark problems that we face.
Medicines are Hit and Miss:
The meds your doctor gives your will level you out. Imagine yourself deep inside a hole, there is no way out the only way is up and it’s a long way up.
The medicines raise you up from the bottom of the hole. Sometimes it raises you till the top but sometimes it only raises you till half way up and you have to find out a way to climb up the rest of the way.
There are a lot of different meds out there. Some might work for you others may do nothing. Some work instantly others may need some time to set in. Be in constant touch with your doctor. Tell him what’s working and what’s not.
Don’t Isolate Yourself:
Being an introvert in depression our natural instincts push us to isolate ourselves. We think by isolating ourselves we will eventually get better our energies will be replenished. But it does not happen, what happens is the opposite.
During the phase of depression we cut ourselves off from the relations that we have and shun from making new ones. This is a sign of depression.
The relationships we have is the key to pulling ourselves from the depths of depression. We should try to be with the people who love us and care about us. This is one of keys of beating depression.
Change Things Up:
As introverts we like things to be in an order. We love schedule. But during this period of depression it is essential that we change things up a bit. Being in a continuous stream of activities we might go down a downward spiral without even realizing.
So to prevent this you need to shake up the routine a bit. Every few days go somewhere you have not been to in a while. Make plans with your friends. Plan an outing (it can be tough) but do it nevertheless.
If you have something planned ahead and if you are looking forward to it then it’s much easier to get through the day and weeks.
Watch your Thoughts:
During the time of my struggle with depression. I had the most dark and depressing thoughts going around in my mind. And I kept thinking and pondering these thoughts which made things worst. Until my therapist pointed it out to me.
We become what we think and we do what we think. Out mind is the command center that runs everything. If it is hijacked by depressing thoughts then depression is never going to leave us.
One of the way for handling this constant flow of negative thoughts is to be mindful of them. Be mindful of what you are thinking. Whenever you catch yourself thinking these negative thoughts stop yourself. Take a mental note of what you are thinking then sit back and examine these thoughts. Are these happy, positive thoughts or negative depressing, thoughts.
As you keep track and examine these thoughts they will start to fade and become lesser and lesser. Making your recovery from depression a whole lot easier.
Take a Day Off:
As an introvert I like my off days. Few years back as an introvert in depression I understood the true importance of taking days off. This would we the days when I would not do anything just sit about the house and chill.
I would watch a movie, listen to some music, and Watch videos on YouTube do things with no particular end in mind.
But be very careful during the phase of depression the off days can be a bit tricky. You should be aware of what you are doing. Do not sit alone doing nothing going over into the dark thoughts in your mind. Instead be with the people you like. Watch shows you like or listen to music you love.
This time you spend recharging can be very beneficial for you as in introvert going though depression. As this time feeds your natural instincts and also keep you away from the dark hole of depression.
Listen to Music:
Music has been long known to improve moods and lift our spirits. I always liked listening to music it was my escape from the world.
However my depression took music away from my life. For months I did not listen to any music, I even forgot where I kept my head phones. I only stated to listening to music again when my therapist probed deep into me and enquired about my love for music.
Once I stared it helped me keep the dark thought in my head away. I was in a better place every time I would listen to my favorite music. But one word of caution don’t listen dark emo music it can make things worse.
Remember the Road will be Rough:
The road that leads towards freedom from depression is rough one. As a depressed introvert I too have travelled this road full of treacherous turns and deep gorges. I have fallen and fallen again but I kept going and at the end I found light.
On this journey you will fall. You will be hurt, bruised, bumped and battered. But no matter what you have to keep going. Keep the setbacks in mind and keep going. This is a long road but as long as you keep going towards your goal, you will overcome this demon of depression.
Open Up More:
As an introvert I find it hard to open up to people. For me it takes time to be able to trust someone to be able to open up to them. During my period of depression it was very hard in the beginning to open up to someone. But I did open up eventually to my best friend and he had been a great help in helping me overcome the depression.
Find someone whom you can trust. As an introvert in the depressed state your natural tendency will be to shut yourself down. Be aware of such tendencies and avoid doing it.
By opening up to someone and telling them how you feel. You are able to share the burden depression puts on you. Tell them how you feel. You would feel much lighter and the grip of depression will start to loosen.
In the beginning if you are unable to share anything just be with the person in the same room. Ask them to just sit with you. You don’t have to talk just be with them. Even this will help you in the dark times.
How you look is how you feel:
As an introvert I have always been someone who is under-dressed. When I go out a simple t-shirt and jeans is all I need. At special occasions I would suite up but that is also not flashy but the most understated suite I could find.
While in my depressed phase I read it somewhere that dressing up was important part in the journey from freedom from depression.
I started dressing up at first I did not feel the difference. But in a few days people around me started noticing and complementing me on my dressing. It made me feel good about myself and I had a boost in my self-confidence.
You may not feel like it. But you have to make an effort to dress well. It really makes a difference.