Quote from hildreth on Dec 26, 2012, 2:36pm
I am struggling with confusion about the relationship between depression and introversion. It is obvious that trying to fit in to an extroverted world could lead to depression for an introvert, and apparently data shows that introverts are more prone to depression.
We must be careful not to confuse causality with correlation. Introverts may be more prone to depression (I agree that they are). So there may be a correlation between introversion and depression. But it is not "obvious" that "trying to fit in… could lead to depression". For example, I have never fit in, nor can I ever fit in to social expectations. But that doesn't make me depressed. And I cannot change my being an introvert.
Since so many introverted traits suggest depression to an extrovert, my question is, how does a more extroverted person (me) tell if an introvert is depressed? What are the symptoms that would flag depression in an introvert?
Well, you might simply ask the person. Introverts are usually introspective.
If we look at depression as being at one end of a scale, then what is the other end? It's manic behavior. Neither extreme is desirable (as in manic-depression). IMHO, balance should be desirable, and a state of neutrality, being neither depressed nor manic, considered the norm.
However, society does not see neutrality or balance (meaning being at the exact center of the scale) as desirable or attractive. Social expectations prefer to view normalcy or desirability as leaning a bit towards the manic end of the scale.
Here's an example: I know of a librarian who is always very bright and bubbly, cheerful and outgoing. One day I overheard her talking to a co-worker about her anti-depressive medications. That is why she is so cheerful and outgoing – it's the 'happy pills' she's taking. Mood-altering meds can make the person seem more attractive. Unfortunately society expects people to be in an 'up' mood all the time. It makes for effective salesmanship…