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  • Writer's pictureDawn Helmrich

An Extrovert’s Struggles with Anxiety and Depression

Updated: Mar 12

I’m an extra-extrovert. Anyone who knows me understands that I talk a million miles a minute, I am always on the go, I have four to five different jobs at one time and I can’t sit still to save my soul. Having said that, this can be a blessing and a curse. The way I deal with anxiety and depression is to keep myself so busy that I don’t have to think about my feelings. I am not overly reflective and I often do things to pass the time so I don’t have to deal with my emotions. This leads to high functioning until it leads to me not functioning.

I have a partner that is an intra-introvert. He needs time and space when he is deep in his feelings. It was so foreign to me in the beginning because I thought, why would you want to think about your anxiety or depression. I did have some experience because my son is also an intra-introvert. Both can function really well around people, but it takes everything out of them for days after having to socialize for any length of time. I do my best to remember to not try to fix things. Giving them space and time is difficult but it is also important for their mental health and wellbeing.


I will be discussing these issues and more on a new show that I launched with Neil Parekh, “Shining Light on Shadows: A Candid Conversation About Mental Health.” Jim Neuburg will be our guest. We’ll be live Thursday, March 14 at 7pm ET / 6pm CT on Facebook, Twitter,* LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram* and Neil’s website.

If you can’t watch the show live, you can always watch it later, on the same links, at your convenience.


I think my coping skills when it comes to anxiety and depression are shaped by my extroverted nature. I am beginning to learn that it is ok to stop and take a breath, even though I have no practice doing that. It is ok to say no when people want or need something from me, especially if I really don’t feel like I can manage. It is ok to feel my feels in the moment and not wait until everything is so pent up inside of me. I can’t wait until the glass has become so full I can no longer manage and I can do nothing but completely break down.

I doubt I will ever stop needing to be involved in a 1000 projects or be able to spend an entire weekend doing nothing but sitting on the couch and taking naps. But as I get older and wiser I am learning that spending time doing those things does relax me. I feel better when I take a breath and allow myself to reflect on what is happening in the moment for me. It feels ok to be sad sometimes if that is the way I feel and I want to continue to own my feelings before my feelings own me. Finding the right balance to be able to appropriately cope with my anxiety and depression is a constant journey of self-awareness and I am totally ok with that.

*We won't know the exact urls for Twitter and Instagram until we go live. These links go to Neil's main Twitter page and Dawn's main Instagram page respectively.


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