Tracy Fields Counselling

Is My Introverted Teen Depressed?

If you’re reading this article, you have some idea that your teen is introverted but you may be struggling a bit to know what healthy behaviour and concerning behaviour is for them.

There is little information out there about introverted teens so for parents, it can feel a bit overwhelming with the lack of guidance.  

The one area that I see parents struggle with is worrying about how much time their teen spends in their room. It can sometimes feel like your teen is lost to another world. You likely worry a bit about if their behavior is due to depression or just a quiet teen needing time on their own.

Introverts need some time on their own

One of the things introverts need is time on their own. The way I like to describe this is 4 walls around me, and I’m the only one in this space. This is the best way for us to reconnect with ourselves as we can hear our own thoughts. We often need time away to notice how we are feeling and to process our thoughts about the things that happened in our day.

But we can stay in this place too long. 

When we stay too long, we are more disconnected with our family and friends. And if we are not feeling good about ourselves, we are submerged into negative thoughts that can feel impossible to stop.

Solitude vs Isolation

If your teen is able to spend time on their own and then able to reengage with the family, to me, this suggests solitude. This means that they are taking care of their need to be on their own and when they get enough quiet time, they are drawn back to be with their family and friends.

Isolation is when they head to their room and never really leave. You might notice that you have to do lots of coaxing to get them to leave their room, and once they are out, they head back as quickly as they can.

Isolation is a way to avoid things that feel too much. For quiet teens, they are deep thinkers, so here are a few reasons that isolation is not great for them:

  • As deep thinkers, their negative thoughts have too much time
  • Without conversation, they only hear their own thoughts, which can reinforce any negative thoughts or feelings
  • The longer they go without talking, the harder it is to start
  • It reinforces the feeling that they are invisible

If your teen is isolating often, it may be because of depression so it would be helpful to talk with a professional about this. There are solutions to your introverted teen isolating and  feeling depressed. Finding the right therapist that understands introversion can be a first step to supporting your teen.