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Are people with anxiety clever?

Hi everyone,

I have been struggling with anxiety for a while now and I have noticed that whenever I am anxious, my brain seems to be in overdrive. I start to overthink things and come up with many different scenarios in my head. This often leads me to being very meticulous and I tend to pay attention to small details.

I was wondering if anyone else with anxiety has experienced this and if it means that people with anxiety tend to be more clever or have a higher intelligence. I am curious to know if there is any link between anxiety and intelligence.

Thank you in advance for your responses!

All Replies



I agree with what others have said about anxiety not necessarily making someone more clever or intelligent. Personally, I've noticed that my anxiety actually hinders my ability to think logically and critically. When I'm feeling extremely anxious, my thoughts become irrational and I'm unable to make sound decisions.

However, I do believe that people with anxiety can possess certain strengths, such as empathy and intuition. For example, since people with anxiety tend to be more sensitive to their environment and the emotions of others, they may have a better understanding of social dynamics and be better at picking up on subtle cues. This can translate to strengths in fields like psychology or social work, where empathy and intuition are key.

Overall, I think it's important to recognize that anxiety is a complex condition that affects everyone differently. While some people may experience benefits such as increased creativity or attentiveness, these benefits are not universal and should not be seen as a reason to glorify or romanticize anxiety.

Thanks for the discussion.



I have experienced anxiety for a few years now, and I have noticed that sometimes the thoughts that race through my mind can be quite intense and worrisome. Although I feel like I'm more attentive to details and better at understanding the perspectives of other people, I don't agree that anxiety makes someone more clever or intelligent.

For me, anxiety can have an inverse effect on my overall intelligence. Whenever I am super anxious, I have difficulty concentrating and tend to procrastinate tasks (because of the fear of how it could affect the outcome of the situation). Even simple tasks may start to feel overwhelming, and I find it challenging to make logical decisions.

Moreover, I have realized that anxiety is not only about fear, but the fact it can be really unpredictable in nature. One moment my anxiety levels will be relatively low, then it could suddenly spike with little warning, and I have no way of controlling it at times. This can lead to emotional exhaustion, and I become even less productive or intelligent because of it.

In conclusion, It's crucial not to link anxiety with intelligence because the scope of the condition is incredibly wide, and its effects vary from person to person. Thanks for initiating this discussion.



As someone who has experienced anxiety for years, I can relate to the overthinking aspect of it. However, I don't believe anxiety necessarily makes us more clever or intelligent. While it's true that anxiety can spark creative thinking, it can also be incredibly debilitating and make it difficult to focus on anything at all. Personally, I've found that during anxiety-induced overthinking episodes, I can't find solutions or think coherently at all. If anything, my mind feels like a jumbled mess of thoughts.

Furthermore, I think it's important to acknowledge that anxiety isn't unique to clever people, nor is it an indicator of intelligence. Anyone can experience anxiety, regardless of their level of cleverness. It's important to recognize that anxiety is a real condition that requires attention and care, rather than romanticizing it or trying to attribute any positive traits to it.



Hi all,

I can relate to what others have said in this thread about experiencing anxiety-induced overthinking. I have personally found that I tend to be more detail-oriented and analytical when I'm feeling anxious, which can sometimes be helpful in my job as a researcher. However, I don't think that means that people with anxiety are inherently more intelligent or clever.

In fact, I often feel like my anxiety is a barrier to my intelligence or creativity. When I'm feeling anxious, I can't focus on anything else and my mind feels like it's in a fog. It's hard for me to come up with new ideas or think outside of the box. Instead, I get bogged down in my own thoughts and worries.

Overall, I think it's important to recognize that anxiety affects everyone differently, and it's not necessarily a predictor of intelligence or cleverness. If you're struggling with anxiety, it's important to seek help and find healthy ways to cope, rather than trying to find a silver lining in a condition that can be incredibly challenging to live with.

Thank you for starting this discussion.


Hi everyone,

As someone who struggles with anxiety, I've definitely experienced the overthinking and hyper-analytical thought patterns that others have mentioned. However, I don't believe that anxiety is necessarily linked to intelligence or cleverness.

In fact, I've found that my anxiety can sometimes make me feel unintelligent or incompetent. When my mind is racing with worries and fears, it's hard to focus on anything else. I may second-guess myself and my abilities, or feel overwhelmed by even the simplest tasks.

While I don't think that anxiety itself is a positive thing, I do believe that the experience of living with anxiety can make us more resilient and empathetic. We learn to cope with difficult situations and to support others who are going through similar struggles. These traits can be valuable in many different fields and can contribute to a sense of personal growth and development.

Thanks for opening up this discussion.



As a person who suffers from anxiety, I can relate to what others have stated in this forum. When feeling anxious, my mind tends to race and I overthink everything to an extreme degree. For me, this tends to manifest as negative thoughts or fear of unknown outcome of a particular situation.

However, though my mind appears to be working intensely when I'm anxious, I wouldn't say that anxiety makes someone more clever or intelligent. While it's true that some people report feeling more creative during anxious episodes, anxiety can still cloud one's judgment and logical thinking.

I also believe that anxiety can be a source of personal growth and self-awareness. Living with anxiety has helped me become more attuned to my emotions, recognize when I am not feeling okay, and practice various coping techniques for managing my anxiety in any situation or environment.

In summary, I don't believe that anxiety is a requisite for intelligence, yet it can provide areas of growth for an individual. It's important to remember lthe need to take care of yourself when dealing with anxiety, to continue progressing through life.

Thank you.


Hi there,

I personally have experienced anxiety for several years and have noticed that when I'm anxious, my brain operates at a higher level of intensity. I tend to think deeper and more thoroughly about things, and feel like I can notice details that other people might not. While it can sometimes be helpful in problem-solving and critical thinking situations, I wouldn't necessarily say that anxiety makes someone more clever or intelligent.

In my own experience, I feel like my anxiety can sometimes hold me back from thinking clearly or making good decisions. When I'm anxious, my thoughts become scattered and I can't focus on one thing for too long. Even minor decisions can feel overwhelming and send me into a cycle of overthinking.

Overall, I think it's important to recognize that anxiety affects everyone differently and that there isn't a clear-cut correlation between anxiety and intelligence. While anxiety can sometimes provide benefits or strengths, it's essential to take care of one's mental health and seek support when needed.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts.


Hi there,

I have experienced this exact same thing myself. Whenever my anxiety is at its peak, my mind seems to be racing and I can't help but overthink everything. While this can sometimes be distracting and overwhelming, I have found that it does make me better at problem-solving and coming up with creative solutions.

However, I wouldn't say that anxiety necessarily makes someone more clever or intelligent. While it may provide some benefits in certain situations, it ultimately can be a hindrance and can make it difficult to focus and perform at our best. It's important to focus on managing our anxiety and finding healthy coping mechanisms rather than relying on its perceived benefits.

Hope this helps!

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