What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you smiling more? Why aren’t you talking? Why aren’t you having fun? Is everything okay? Did something happen? Why can’t you snap out of it?
These are some of the questions commonly spit at someone who isn’t so visually energized. Although the person may not display outward, they could be enjoying their time even more so than you, even if that’s not the story their face is telling.
Introverts don’t always mesh well in a social environment, and to no one’s surprise, depression doesn’t either. Depression is still unknown to a lucky some, and it can be difficult to talk about while even harder to understand.
Introverts are constantly labeled negatively based on peripheral judgment while internally, they could just be re-charging. Perhaps they’re reflecting or taking in a new environment using energy that runs out at the speed of light.
So, with depression added to the mix, the behavior can be more than off-putting pushing the people closest to you away. Temporarily, this is what the introvert wants, but the opposite of what the depressed person needs. Introverts find solace in isolation as it allows them to charge their batteries and prepare for their next interaction. It’s hardest to feel energized in unfamiliar settings or with people you hardly know. So, when the person is also depressed, it makes it even more difficult to ask for the help they so desperately need. The energy is not there as comfort in seclusion grows. This comfort is masked as something positive, as loneliness trickles in alongside hopelessness and depression.
Being on the receiving end can be tough to comprehend and take on. So, pushing these people away can feel natural even though it’s the opposite of what they need. Asking for help is hard enough for anyone, but with the debilitating duo of depression and the behavior of an introvert, it feels impossible to seek help. Your introverted nature puts you inside a bubble while depression keeps you there. Depression keeps you there while pushing you further inside, to the point where you no longer see a point in breaking out.
If you have a friend that shows these signs, know that help is not simple. You alone can’t help the problem, but you can be a part of the solution. Helping someone with introverted tendencies that are battling depression is complex. What your friend needs most is support. What your friend needs is the help they didn’t ask for. Don’t let them push you away; they need you more than they can communicate.