Anxiety is a considerably stressful condition, and one that can essentially overcome your life. That's why it's not uncommon to feel as though anxiety is who you are - that anxiety is, in many ways, something that defines your personality.
When you allow yourself to succumb to the idea that anxiety defines you, it's easy to feel like there isn't much hope. But anxiety is more complicated than that, and no matter how you feel there is always a way to rid yourself of it forever.
Anxiety Doesn't Need to be Who You Are
Your personality may be influenced by anxiety, but anxiety is an emotional condition like any other. When you're sad you don't say you have a sad personality. When you're mad you don't say you have a mad personality. Learn how to find your true personality by taking my free anxiety test now.
Take the 7 minute anxiety test here.
The Effects of Anxiety and Personality
Anxiety doesn't have to define you. But anxiety can currently define you. That's because anxiety isn't just a feeling of nervousness and the associated physical symptoms. Anxiety also affects thought patterns, actions, focus, and clarity. If you haven't taken my anxiety test yet, make sure you do it before reading onward.
Anxiety alters neurotransmitters and brain patterns. It can actually cause you to think differently in different situations, experience different emotions than you should, make it harder for you to interact with others and possibly affect things like job performance and relationships.
So anxiety can define your personality, because anxiety can make you feel and think differently than you would if you were anxiety free. But anxiety also isn't "you."
Why You're Not Your Anxiety
Because anxiety affects your thought patterns, when you have anxiety you're not thinking or feeling as you would if you were without it. You're not able to be as brave, think as fast, enjoy as much, or immerse yourself in new experiences. Anxiety changes these things, and makes it harder for you to experience the positive emotions and drive that human beings have without anxiety.
You likely remember a time when you were anxiety free. Whether it was for a day or two or for a large chunk of your life. That's who you are. Anxiety is more like a disease. It only occurs because a part of your body's chemistry is malfunctioning (your fight or flight system), and should that system be fixed, it will go away.
You Can Cure Your Anxiety and Find Out the True You
It may sometimes feel that anxiety is who you are, and that there isn't much hope out there. It may even seem like anxiety is a part of your personality that is there to stay. But you need to remember that anxiety itself actually creates this way of thinking. Anxiety is not just fear. Anxiety is also an ever present feeling of negativity, and something that actually makes it harder to see yourself without it. Those are real, established anxiety symptoms.
That's why if you really want to meet yourself - if you want to show others your anxiety free personality - you need to make the commitment to curing it. Everyone can cure anxiety, but anxiety isn't something that can simply be relieved overnight. It can take days, months, or even years depending on the severity of the anxiety, but anxiety is still something that can be managed and cured, allowing you to see your true personality finally get revealed.
I've helped many people that used to define themselves by their anxiety. You should start with my free 7 minute anxiety test. The test is focused on comparing your anxiety to others, showing you what your anxiety can be like in 5 to 7 days, and providing you with information you can use to treat it.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Sep 28, 2017.