Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thoughts On Introversion and Depression

I have been thinking about what happened at work yesterday and trying to figure out how to prevent it from happening again. I truly hate being that frustrated. There is a part of me that knows that I am acting irrational, but there seemes to be no way to stop the irrationality.

I think part of the whole thing has to do with being an introvert and working in an environment that forces you to be an extrovert. At Starbucks (And I guess all sales jobs) the people come up to you and make demands of you. The customers keep coming into your space. Now granted, that is the way things are supposed to be. And usually, this is no problem.

The problem occurs when you are a stressed introvert. For those of you who do not know, unlike extroverts, an introvert gets their energy from being by themselves. An extrovert can derive energy from those who are around them, but an introvert tends to find more people deplete their energy.

At work yesterday, there was no way for me to lower my stress levels. I could not get away from the people and began to feel closed in. There seemed no way to get away from the people, the stress, and the demands.

Of course, after a certain point, increased stress equals decreased levels of functioning and creativity. So at the time when I needed my creativity to come up with ways of dealing with the depleted energy, that creativity was not there.

Depression is more than just the blues. Depression also reduces your creativity and mental agility. Depression causes you to take a narrower view of the world. It prevents you from seeing the full picture. Depression also leads you to believe that the situation that is current is the only way thing will ever be. The way things are will never change.

I think work yesterday was a wonderful combination of being an introvert, dealing with depression (perhaps a med adjustment?), and being really tired from working a bunch of morning hours. (Getting up at 4:15 am is NOT my idea of a good time. I am probably wining about this, but that is the way I feel.)

Well, now to try to figure out some way to prevent this from happening in the future.

The picture on the top is the snow we are getting. Looks pretty but Nick tells me the driving can be a bit treacherous. The picture on the bottom is the latest stained glass thing. Nick wanted a Thanksgiving decoration so he got a Thanksgiving Squirrel.


Unknown said...

I am sorry to hear of your bad day.

I found your comment about more people depleting an introvert's energy to be quite interesting. I relate very much to that.

Ur-spo said...

one theory of depression is it is nature's way for you to shut down so you are not running around doing yourself damage, such as being an introvert doing extrovert work.
Keep the perspective that your work is merely the means to pay some bills, nothing more.

I wish God would find some less strainful employment for you than being a beacon of sanity amoung yahoos.

Anonymous said...

I am also an introvert and practicing accepting myself for who I am and accepting extroverts for not understanding introverts at all. I am also tapering off my antidepressants because I think I have used them to be more like an extrovert. I wonder how much of what us introverts think is depression is just us being ourselves and we have been socialized to believe there is something inherently wrong with us. That can lead to depression. Acceptance and mindfulness can help. I'm reading a great book called " The mindful way through depression." It's a great read.