Identity crisis

I'm not yet a part of this group, but I am thinking about it. I don't know quite where to even begin because I don't know when it happened. Did I just become this? Am I really one? If I am this, was I born with it.

I had just started therapy for anxiety and depression. I knew almost immediately that I was going to like this therapist when I met him. But what I didn't know was the surprise he had for me that would shake my world.

I don't know if it was my first visit or my second visit when he invited me to join a support group. I said, "Yes" and the following week I went to the mental illness group.

In this group it was common to go around the table and introduce and tell a little bit about ourselves. You know, what your going through, what you went through, or where are you now. I will remind you that this was my first time in this group and this was at most the third time I've seen this therapist but I did and still do like him. Since I was new in group, I was the last one to share something about myself. I didn't know what to say, I couldn't bring out the words. Our group only had 6-7 members in it, but I was still feeling intimidated. I shared my name and very little else because I couldn't put my thoughts and feelings into outspoken words.

My therapist looked at me, smiled and stated "WE HAVE AN INTROVERT IN THE GROUP but that's O.K. My face must have turned pale,I was stunned, and I couldn't believe he was saying this about ME. I wish I could have disapeared at that moment or at least turn invisible. I felt eyes upon me, and I felt ashamed. I was singled out as an introvert and the only one at that.

Being introverted in my opionion was soley those people who stayed in their house and lived like a hermit. They rarely spoke even when spoken to. They were just very different than others and there wasn't many people like that in the world. That definition "introvert" to me meant something was terribly wrong. I felt like an outcast. I was different. I was having an identity crisis.

My couselor must have known how deeply upset I was, for my next visit and several visits after that our discussion was about introverts and how to accept that.
To make a long story short this therapist, who I still really like, now practices at a different clinic that I cannot go to because of financial situations. It's like he left hanging with a sign over my head that said, Introverted. I felt abondoned
After my therapist left the clinic, another therapist took over my therapy. I do like her to, but I really miss my old therapist. I feel like he's not finished with me yet. He opened up a can of worms that wiggled into my life and turned into a snake.
I know I've made some progress. I'm not ashamed if I am or not. It still don't taste right on my tongue. I understand the term of introvert is not what I thought it was. My stomach still twists and turns when I think about it and I feel very different from the world around me. I have a couple unwelcome companions inside of me, depression, anxiety. Now I'm probably introverted as well, but that may not be bad. This may be part of my identity something I will accept and it doesn't complete who I am.
keeva keeva
46-50, F
4 Responses Dec 6, 2012

Where are you from? Are you still going to the psychologist, does it really help?

I see a therapist. The one I'm with now is good. Our last session together was very helpful. My favorite couselor left the clinic. He was most helpful to me. If your thinking about seeing a therapist, they are all different. Some are good, some are not. You have to see someone you feel comfortable with and can identify with you.

Hello Keeva. You are not alone on this. Personally, I am an introvert too, oppps, doesn't stop there. I'm struggling with my anxiety and episodic depression as well. The worst part, I am a psychology student. Wow, wait, how is that possible? Everything that I do in everyday life don't bring the satisfaction. Sometimes, I feel helplessness and started crying (fyi, I don't have money to go for a therapy, so I've been dealing with this emotions all by myself) Subtracting these unwanted feeling one by one. I know it's been hard. Really hard. Trust me, people won't understand what've been through. But hey, there's more to life (I know sometimes, the feeling just grab us and throw us into depressive moment) but we've done our best (not very best). Ermm, I've been thinking, though, according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, most of people with depression failed to fulfil their social needs (a puzzle solved; why Introverts have higher possibility to end up with depression and anxiety disorders), but but, almost all intelligent people had/have introverted personality traits (like us, yayyyyyyy!). The only thing that keep we away to reach the level is our anxiety and our bad thoughts. So what I suggest is, let's make a deal between the two of us by step out of our comfort zone (it's time to proof that we are human being too after all) What I meant by stepping out of our comfort zone is to do what your thoughts think we are not capable of doing (striking a random conversation with stranger, etc etc). If you are up for this challenge, let's make a deal on how are we gonna fight these unwanted feelings off our minds. What say you?

I say yes. I don't know who we'll do that. But, your a psychology student and I have seen more psychologist than I'd like to admit too.

Introvert is NOT bad - it is simply a descriptive term for who you have always been. To be quite honest, I don't think the therapist should have introduced you with that term. It is quite likely that there were other introverts in the group that were simply used to speaking in the group or had had other experiences that made them develop a process to help them feel more comfortable speaking in a small group. It is highly unlikely that he would have introduced an extrovert to an introvert group as ''here is an extrovert - look everyone!" You can explore the book noted below or seek out some web info on the MBTI and the different types of introvert and extrovert. Remember not to focus on the Introvert/extrovert though and look a the other descriptions as well. Your therapist may have opened what you saw as a can of worms, but perhaps you can see it as him opening a new chapter for you to explore. It is really just another way that you can get to know yourself and work through your anxiety and depressive feelings. Being an introvert is an admirable quality - especially in the eyes of all us other introverts!

Thank you. This really helps. I never thought of the idea of an extrovert being introduced to the group. That really sounds funny. I also like the idea of opening a new chapter in my life. I needed your positive feedback : )

I had anxiety and depression for a while in my early 20s but I found my way out of it. Now, in my late 20s, since I've discovered Susan Cain's book and I've identified as an introvert, I realize that part of the depression and anxiety was stemming from the fact that I wasn't allowing myself to be who I was. And also I wasn't giving myself the quiet and solitude that I needed. The more I give myself what I need, the less I feel sad and anxious. Some people around me still don't understand and many people still think that being extroverted equals being happy. But I know the truth now and whenever I'm faced with the errant appraisal of others, I simple smile inwardly and go my merry way. Don't let your definition of who you think you should be, be based on popular opinion. You'll only make yourself crazy fighting your natural impulse. Read Susan Cain's book if you haven't already. It was a big help to me. I wish you peace on your journey toward healing.

Thank you for your comment. I just turned my computer on and clicked her to see your comment. Thank you again because I really needed some positive direction this morning