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Bipolar Disorder and Introversion

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On my website Kat Galaxy Blog,I publish a monthly poll about topics and issues surrounding bipolar disorder and mental health.

The June Poll of the Month asked readers, “Would you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?”

This is no Gallup Poll, but the readers that responded consider themselves primarily introverted—about 82% of respondents (so far).

I created this poll because I consider myself an introvert. I was curious to see how many around me with bipolar also saw themselves this way.

What Is Introversion?

It’s a deeper distinction than shy vs. outgoing.

The term’s roots are in Jungian psychology, which views introverts as more naturally oriented on their inner world, as opposed to an extrovert, who is more focused on the outside world.

Psychology Today distinguishes introverts from the overly shy, anti-social, or avoidant.

Many introverts can socialize easily; they just prefer not to.

Introverts are sometimes recognized as more empathic and personally connected than his or her outgoing counterparts, but are often drained by social encounters.

They are instead energized by solitary, often creative pursuits.

Other definitions of Introversion:

  • More focused on internal thoughts, feelings, and moods, instead of external stimulation.
  • Tend to expend energy in social situations instead of feeding off of them
  • Interested in self-knowledge and self-understanding
  • Quiet and reserved in groups or situations with unfamiliar people
  • More sociable and gregarious among people they know well
  • Very self-aware
  • Ideas are almost solid things

If I’m an Introvert, Is There Something Wrong with Me?

As an introvert, you may feel misunderstood. That’s common.

But there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert.

It is a personality trait. You were made this way—embrace it.

And that’s the key–making introversion work for you in a society that favors the extroverted side of the spectrum.

The first step is to stop fighting yourself. Give yourself what you need as an introvert.

We are all hard-wired differently, and expecting to become an extrovert when you’re not is denying who you are.

Some tips:

  • Allow yourself to turn down social events when there are too many on the calendar.
  • Allow yourself to recover with alone time when you need to.
  • Set boundaries for yourself.

The Awesome Side of Introversion

  • We are sensitive, empathic, deep, and complex.
  • We are able to have strong, intimate relationships.
  • Great focus.
  • Self-awareness.
  • Incredible observation.
  • Immense creativity.
  • We don’t need to be the center of attention.

Do people with bipolar disorder really tend to fall on the introverted end of the spectrum? I know I do. Learning how introversion can work in an extroverted world can give us more self confidence and allow us to navigate the world.

Are you an introvert or extrovert? How does it affect your life?

 

More Resources:

  • Introversion Quizzes:

Quiet Quiz—are you an Introvert?

Introvert or Extrovert? Psychology at About.com

Are you an Introvert? Science at TheGuardian.com

  • Introversion Books:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

The Introvert Advantage

Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership

 

And–You can still answer my Introvert vs. Extrovert Poll of the Month Here.

 

References:

Cherry, K. What is introversion? Retrieved on September 28, 2013 from http://psychology.about.com/od/trait-theories-personality/f/introversion.htm

Gentle Living Online. Nourishing your inner introvert in an extroverted world. Retrieved on September 28, 2013 from http://gentlelivingonline.com/self-growth/nourishing-your-inner-introvert/

Gregoire, C. Six things you thought wrong about introverts. Retrieved on September 28, 2013 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/introvert-myths_n_3569058.html

Myers & Briggs Foundation. Extroversion or introversion. Retrieved on September 28, 2013 from http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/extraversion-or-introversion.asp

Psychology Today. Introversion. Retrieved on September, 28, 2013 from http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/introversion

 

Photo Credit: Creative Commons License Robert via Compfight

Bipolar Disorder and Introversion

Kat Dawkins


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APA Reference
Dawkins, K. (2013). Bipolar Disorder and Introversion. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-life/2013/09/bipolar-introversion/

 

Last updated: 28 Sep 2013
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.