Depression & Anxiety Do Not Define You: Three Words That Do

Your self-image is multifaceted and not restricted to just the “person with depression” or the “person with anxiety.

Self-Definition, Depression, & Anxiety

“It doesn’t really matter who you used to be.
What matters the most is who you CHOOSE to become.”

Very few things upset me more than hearing individuals define themselves by their mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Somehow, during their life journey, these men and women allowed themselves to take on less flattering identities.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Why? Because they live in a country where there is freedom of choice. The choice to decide how they want to be viewed and, more importantly, how they want to be remembered.

Here are three essential words to incorporate into your self-definition:

  1. Encouraged
  2. Empowered
  3. Enlightened

Let’s explore the definitions of these words as well as actions that illustrate such behaviors.

#1 Encouraged

Encouraged—to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the gift of courage.

Courage to take risks; courage to follow through on your dreams; and courage to live the life you deserve to live.

Take that course you’ve always wanted to take. Paint that picture you’ve thought of painting. Or write that letter to a friend you’ve lost touch with.

#2 Empowered

Empowered—to promote self-actualization or influence

True empowerment is founded on personal belief. Have you ever heard that if you can conceive and believe, you can achieve?

Take the first step towards that unfilled dream. Celebrate both small and large accomplishments. And start creating the life you want.

#3 Enlightened

Enlightened—to be freed from ignorance and misinformation

Information isn’t power; it is potential.

Become a lifelong learner always seeking the latest information on any challenge you face.

Explore reliable websites on recovery. Share your journey with others. Or advocate for someone you know might be having a challenging time.


Life is filled with endless possibilities. It’s up to you to go out and grab them!

What do you need to do to feel encouraged, empowered, and enlightened?

Depression and anxiety are complex emotional states that can deeply affect a person’s life. However, they do not define who you are. There are three powerful words that can truly define you: resilience, courage, and hope.

Understanding Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are often intertwined, each influencing and exacerbating the other. Understanding these conditions is the first step towards empowerment:

  • Resilience: Your ability to bounce back from challenges.
  • Courage: The strength to face difficulties despite fears.
  • Hope: Believing in the possibility of a better future.

Resilience: Bouncing Back Stronger

Resilience is not about never falling; it’s about how you rise after a fall. It’s about learning from the experience and moving forward with a new perspective. For those struggling with depression, 5 Ways to Help Someone with Depression offers practical advice on building resilience.

Courage: Facing Your Fears

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the decision that something else is more important than fear. If you’re unsure about whether your feelings might be signs of depression, consider reading 7 Signs You Might Be Depressed and Not Even Know It.

Hope: The Belief in Better

Hope is a driving force that encourages us to look beyond our current circumstances. It’s a belief that things can and will get better. For insights into managing stress and anxiety, which can often accompany depression, check out Stress, Anxiety, Depression: Chronic Pain, Uncomfortable Bed, or Sleeping Environment.

The Power of Three Words

These three words—resilience, courage, and hope—are not just abstract concepts; they are tangible qualities that you can cultivate and grow within yourself. They are the antithesis of depression and anxiety and serve as the foundation for a fulfilling life.


  • What are some common misconceptions about depression and anxiety?
  • How can I support a loved one who is dealing with these issues?
  • What are some effective coping strategies for managing anxiety?

For more detailed strategies on how anxiety can impact mental health, take a look at Anxiety: 7 Ways to Ruin Your Mental Health.