The relationship between introversion and depression

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The relationship between introversion and depression

A recent study has shown that introverts are more likely to become depressed than extroverts.

Introverts usually get defensive when they read about such studies because they sometimes mistakenly believe that being introverted means that they are depressed.

I have lived as an introvert until i was 19 and then suddenly i turned into an extrovert. I am completely sure that i wasn't depressed at the time i was an introvert but on the contrary i was feeling very happy at that time.

So if introverts aren't depressed then how come there is a connection between introversion and depression?

How depression affects introversion and extroversion

Each one of us is believed to have a certain set point on the extroversion introversion scale. Depression was found to change people's behavior by letting them move more towards introversion.

A depressed person will most likely:

  • Want to avoid people as much as he can
  • Want to stay alone
  • Prefer being with very few number of people compared to being in a public place

So even if the person was extroverted he will tend to act like introverts as a result of his depression.

The conclusion is, There are people who are introverts by nature and there are those who are introverted because they are inhibited.

Introversion, being inhibited and depression

when i was 15 i was introverted because i didn't have enough skills to socialize.
I used to stay alone more often and to talk less in the company of strangers not because i was happy that way but because i was obsessed with my flaws!!

being inhibited means that your mind becomes occupied with your own problems, with your lack of skills and flaws to the extent that you become unable to socialize normally.

That type of introversion certainly leads to depression.In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i said that depression can be nothing more than an emotion felt when you find yourself completely helpless. Since inhibited introverts want to have friends but they feel helpless towards it they can become depressed.

Happiness and extroversion

On the other hand happiness motivates people to act more like extroverts. If you won one million dollars and if money was one of the things that can make you happier then most likely you will feel like wanting to tell your story to people and you will act more like an extrovert.

Do you remember the last time you felt really happy? didn't you try to contact your old friends to tell them about your latest life events?

In short, being introverted doesn't mean that you are depressed and being extroverted doesn't mean that you are happy but depression forces people to become introverted while happiness motivates people to become extroverted

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