“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Are People Who Struggle With Anxiety Disorder Weak-Minded, Mentally Deficient, Or Less Intelligent?

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Updated: May 11, 2019

Are anxiety disorder sufferers weak minded, inferior, or less intelligent?

Someone told me that people who struggle with anxiety disorder are generally weak-minded, mentally deficient, and less intelligent. This hurt me because I didn’t think of myself that way. He also said that if I didn’t get a ‘grip’ I wouldn’t amount to much? Is this true?

No, absolutely not! It’s our experience that anxiety disorder sufferers are generally strong, brave, creative, and intelligent.

It’s also our experience that people who struggle with anxiety disorder come from all walks of life with many having accomplished a great deal in their lives even though they have struggled with anxiety disorder.

For example, we’ve had members and therapy clients that were researchers, software developers, graphic designers, philosophers, pastors, entrepreneurs, CEOs of large corporations, doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, behavioral scientists, philanthropists, actors, professional musicians, theoretical physicists, game/chess masters, professors, authors, journalists, engineers, and from every other profession.

The notion that anxiety disorder sufferers are generally weak-minded and less intelligent is absurd.

Many of us struggle with anxiety unwellness not because we are deficient in some way, but because we experienced adversity when growing up, such as abuse, rejection, danger, harm, over criticalness, over protection, and separation from loved ones, to name a few. Because of these adversities, the system of beliefs and copying styles we learned have unhealthy components, which are the reasons we behave more apprehensively than others.

Again, we struggle with anxiety disorder NOT because there is something wrong with us or because we are inferior in some way, but because we’ve learned to behave more apprehensively than others. That’s the only reason.

This is why identifying and addressing the unhealthy behaviors at the root of our more anxious behavior eliminates our struggle with anxiety. Once the offending behaviors are identified and addressed, they stop creating abnormal anxiety. So it’s not that we need a character or intellect transplant, but that we need to replace our unhealthy behaviors and coping styles with healthy behaviors and coping styles. All of us can do this with the right information, help, support, and effort.

With this in mind, if some people have the view that anxiety disorder sufferers are inferior in some way, we want to extend them grace and mercy because their comments are based on a lack of understanding of anxiety disorder and those who struggle with it.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources:

Return to our Anxiety Frequent Questions page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including does anxiety mean people have a weak mind.