Depression When You're an Extrovert
Let's just get this out on the table, depression sucks. It sucks regardless if you're an extrovert or an introvert. But extroverts and introverts get a different can of worms with depression.
I can't talk about being an introvert with depression. But I am more than qualified to talk about being an extrovert with depression.
In short, it fucking sucks.
A typical day when my depression is a bit more mellow than usual, I get out of bed, get ready for the day, and make an effort to be around people. I try to be around people I am comfortable, my friends and close family members, but on days they are busy, I settle for just going out of the house to a coffeehouse or somewhere.
On days I am especially broke, I can't do that, so I stay home and try to keep myself busy (something really easy to do when you have four dogs that are really needy). While I definitely am more towards an extreme extrovert to being any sort of introvert, I can take days off without talking to people face to face. Still, I've got to text someone, especially on days I can't go out at all.
This is when my depression makes itself known. Whenever I have to go and approach someone with even the simplest question, my brain starts being an asshole. I automatically feel like I am being an inconvenience. Automatically, I feel like I am being annoying because I can't be completely alone for even an hour and I am too dependant on others for any sort of happiness. I crave human interaction so much being an extrovert that it's pathetic.
This constantly goes around in my brain, but on mellow days, as background noise that I can block out.
On days when my brain seems to have forgotten the recipe for serotonin or dopamine, the idea of going out at all seems impossible. I stay in house clothes and try to get myself to do anything productive and to talk to anyone.
But I feel so pointless in others' lives that it seems pointless to reach out, even to talk about something stupid and simple.
Often times, I don't. I try to make busy around the house and trick myself into thinking that I am worth something. I try to trick my brain into thinking I am worth something and therefore worth someone's time.
It does work sometimes. Sometimes, I do get out of house clothes and call up a friend. Other times, it doesn't and I just go back to bed and try to cheer myself up with a comedy or a book.
Though, I have gotten better. Before I would just get angry at how useless I felt and tried to force myself to do anything and snap at people who were trying to be helpful.
On terrible days, I still snap at people. But that's happening less and less.
While I am a work in progress, I do have a couple tips for anyone who can relate to anything above.
1.) Trick your brain.
I mentioned earlier that I can sometimes trick my brain into not being as self-destructive. This is something I still am learning how to do, but I found that it can be incredibly helpful. I do this by creating a list of things that need to be done around the house. I purposely make it really short so it feels doable. I suggest keeping it to one or two things like doing the laundry or dishes. But it can be even smaller things like take the dog out on a walk or pick out a couple outfits for the next few days. It can be anything but I found that this makes me feel less like trash.
2.) Keep things low-key.
If you do feel guilty about wanting to be around people, keep things lowkey. When making plans, instead of coming up with an agenda, just block out some time during the day to do shit. I know this one wouldn't work for everyone because some need to plan out events to the T. But, if you don't, I highly suggest this because it doesn't feel like you're demanding someone to pay attention to you.
3.) Have someone keep you accountable.
This is another that might not be possible for everyone but this one I have found especially helpful. Have a friend or someone text you if you haven't texted them. Having someone else start the interaction makes you feel worth something. Trust me, this is amazing.
4.) Make a list of things that make you happy.
God, I know this is really cheesy. Trust me, I kind of want to bang my head against a wall suggesting this but it works. The reason why is because it forces your brain to think positively, even for a few moments.
5.) Joke about it.
Okay, I know this sounds kind of fucked up but it helps. I always joke about my depression because it makes it feel like it isn't as big of a deal and that I can totally manage it. Of course, depression is a big deal and a legitimate problem, but it's okay to joke about it. I suggest joking it about with others who deal with similar issues because you don't have to feel like you need to explain anything.
6.) Text HOME to 741-741.
This is a hotline to a bunch of counselors whose JOB is to be available on your worst days. If you can't bring yourself to text someone because you feel like an inconvenience, text them. You are literally being the opposite of an inconvenience to them.
About the author
Kat L’Esperance-Stokes was born in Santa Monica during a lightning storm. After, she fell in love with Southern California, making playlists, horror, folklore, and writing. Now you could find her on instagram and twitter @katliswriting.