Do extroverts get depressed when alone? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will answer the question Do extroverts get depressed when alone?. We will do that by defining extroverts and clinical depression This will follow up with describing the experience of being alone for an extrovert. We will move on to discussing the association between extroverts and depression. Finally, we will discuss facts about depression and extroverts and how to overcome the setbacks faced by an extrovert when they are depressed. 

Do extroverts get depressed when alone? 

No. Extroverts do not get ‘depressed’ when they are alone because depression is a diagnosable condition. A better term would be to say that extroverts feel low and blue when they are alone. They feel uninspired, lack focus, miss other people, and feel like they are missing out on fun opportunities when they are alone. They also feel exhausted by this. To overcome this, it is better that they socialize and do something productive to recharge their energy. 

Extroverts

Extroverts are people whose orientation is external or directed outwards to the world. These people get energized by talking to different people and engaging in different activities. They are excited by new experiences and thrive well in such situations. In contrast, when they stay isolated without social interaction or any new activities to do, they get drained and feel low. They are opposite to introverts. 

An extrovert’s experience of being alone

A lot of extroverts report that when they are stuck alone doing the same thing for some time,   they feel unhappy and blue. In addition to that, their minds get foggy and they are not able to think up interesting ideas.  In short,  they feel like they are stuck in a rut.  To stop feeling this way,  extroverts need to interact with people to recharge and get themself going.   Socialization is just like morning coffee for them.  Without it,  they find it difficult to live through the day. 

 Furthermore,  when extroverts are alone they start to miss other people and feel like they are missing out on interesting opportunities.  They also feel like they would go crazy if they are alone for too long.  They start pacing around the room and have problems concentrating.  Physical activity helps them a little as endorphin is released in their body.  However, if they don’t talk to someone soon,  that wears off as well. 

 When they are alone,  extroverts feel unsure about what to do with their mind and body. It is difficult for them to decide what to think and how to behave.  This can be an unsettling experience.  On the other hand, thinking and planning about what they will do during the day helps them focus and get excited for the day.

 In short,  extroverts lose focus and motivation when they are alone and without the opportunity of interacting with other people.  They can become cranky and needy.  For them,  a short fix is to do something exciting and share it with a friend or a loved one. 

Clinical Depression

Clinical depression is a diagnosable mood disorder.  It is a serious problem that can range from mild sadness to persistent depression.  Signs of clinical depression according to the DSM 5 include the following:

 An individual must experience these symptoms for at least two consecutive weeks and one of these symptoms should be a persistent low mood or inability to enjoy things that were previously enjoyable.  At least five of the following symptoms should be present for a person to be clinically depressed:

  •  feelings of sadness,  tearfulness, and emptiness
  •  Irritability and anger outbursts
  •  Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  •  Sleep disturbance including insomnia or hypersomnia
  •  Lack of energy or constant fatigue
  •  Disturbed appetite including weight loss or weight gain
  •  Difficulty concentrating
  •  Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  •  Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide
  •  Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  •  Unexplained physiological problems

The following problems should be severe enough to disturb an individual’s daily,  social,  or occupational functioning for it to be a diagnosable condition.

Extroversion and Depression

Extroversion and depression have an inverse relationship. This means that the more extroverted a person is, the less likely it is that he/she would be depressed. Research also supports the idea that extroverts are happier than introverts. 

Depression is most common in people who are more introverted in nature.   Furthermore,  a depressed person typically behaves like the stereotype of an introvert.  This includes preferring to spend time alone,  having difficulty interacting with other people, and having low energy. 

 However, extroverted people are equally likely to get depressed.  This is typically hard on an extrovert because the majority of self-help books are directed towards introverts.  Consequently,  a lot of advice does not apply to them. 

Facts about  Depression and Extroverts

 A few factors related to extroverts and depression are stated as follows:

 Extroverts want to be around people unlike depressed people

Extroverts are attracted to people because they get their energy from them.  Being alone for too long can be exhausting for them.  In comparison,  depressed people prefer being alone as socialization is too much for them to handle. 

A possible solution for this is to find a way to socialize without being with people.  This can include going somewhere outside with people who understand when you don’t want to talk and respect your silence.  Another way to do this is to go to social events where there are people.  You don’t have to talk to others,  just be around them so that being alone is not too draining for you. 

Extroverts have high energy which is lowered by depression.

We have usually heard that extroverts are quite energetic and loud.  This energy can be decreased by depression because physical exhaustion is one of its symptoms along with low appetite.

In order to find a way around this,  it is better that you find alternative ways to increase your energy.  This can include physical activity.  It does not have to be intense or long.  Rather,  even 5 minutes of morning stretches can be helpful in increasing energy.  Doing something productive afterward can also help an extrovert feel better. 

*It must be noted that there might be a need to consume high sugar and caffeine as they give a quick boost to energy.  However,  this is not long-lasting.  It can eventually turn into an addiction and worsen the condition for the person in the long run. 

Extroverts are expressive unlike depressed people

Extroverts are open about their thoughts and feelings and clearly communicate them without hesitating. In contrast, a depressed person may shy away from sharing how they are feeling. It is possible that they feel ashamed and miserable and do not have anyone to talk to. 

A possible way around this is to seek professional help and talk to a counselor. If this does not work, writing your thoughts down can also be a way to release energy and have a cathartic experience. In addition to that, finding a friend you can trust and sharing how you feel can also be a way to feel better.

Extroverts are inclined to seek feedback. However, depression distorts it

Extroverts usually require feedback from others. This does not have to be verbal. It can include signs like noticing whether they are having fun with others and whether people enjoy interacting with them. It can also include noticing whether people compliment them and laugh at their jokes. 

In depression, extroverts will receive the same feedback but view it negatively.  They will think of thoughts like people do not like me,  I talk too much and I annoy people etc.

A way around it is to be mindful of your thoughts and label them by identifying cognitive distortions.  Reframe your thoughts into something more neutral rather than trying to transform them into something positive.  Another possibility is to directly ask someone for feedback instead of assuming it.

FAQs: Do extroverts get depressed when alone?

How do extroverts feel when they are alone?

 When extroverts are alone they feel uninspired,  exhausted and low.  They need to spend time with different people and engage in activities to recharge.

Do extroverts need alone time?

 Extroverts do need alone time in order to focus on their thoughts and recharge from socialization.  However, their need for alone time is less than introverts.  Their preference is to spend time with people. 

 Do extroverts talk a lot?

 Yes.  Extroverts like to talk to other people and be social.  They find silence is especially uncomfortable.    Because of this,  they try to fill the silence by talking about random events.  During iy,  they may even over share a lot of information about themselves.

 Can introverts love extroverts?

 Yes.  Introverts can love extroverts because even though these personalities are opposite to each other,  they can learn a lot from their counterpart and overcome what they are lacking.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question ‘Do extroverts get depressed when alone?’. We found that Extroverts do not get ‘depressed’ when they are alone because depression is a diagnosable condition. A better term would be to say that extroverts feel low and blue when they are alone. They feel uninspired, lack focus, miss other people, and feel like they are missing out on fun opportunities when they are alone. They also feel exhausted by this. To overcome this, it is better that they socialize and do something productive to recharge their energy. 

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://medium.com/crystal-clear/reconciling-depression-with-extroversion-2b16d5b9270f

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-introverts-corner/201305/why-extroverts-are-so-needy

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/clinical-depression/faq-20057770

Armah is a mental health professional in training. She has done her Bachelors and Masters in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Her goal is to make a difference in the field of mental health be it by spreading awareness through writing or through clinical practice. In her free time, she likes to read, keep up to date about new trends in Psychology, bake and watch Netflix 😊

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