High-Functioning Anxiety - What is it & What You Need to Know

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘anxiety?’ Most people would picture a person who’s feeling nervous and restless to the point they find it hard to function. While this is precisely what anxiety disorder looks like, it’s not what High-Functioning Anxiety is.

High-Functioning Anxiety is a condition in which a person seems fully functional and perfectly productive on the outside but is struggling to keep themselves together on the inside.

The person suffering from High-Functioning Anxiety would experience stress, panic, and obsessive thoughts just like any anxious person would, only that there would be no visible signs on the outside.

How Can You Tell if You’ve Got High-Functioning Anxiety?

A person with High-Functioning Anxiety is usually:

  • Highly productive
  • Successful
  • Oriented to detail
  • Extremely organized
  • Proactive

However, they are struggling silently with some of these visible & some not so visible symptoms: 

  • Constant need to please others
  • Difficulty saying no
  • Excessive concern or anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Being prone to fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Tense muscles
  • Issues with sleep

What are the Possible Causes of High-Functioning Anxiety?

  • Stressful or traumatic life events
  • Family history of anxiety
  • Medical conditions like thyroid problems

How Can You Manage High-Functioning Anxiety

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Deep breathing / grounding / mindfulness exercises
  • Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy
  • Medication
If you think you’ve got High-Functioning Anxiety, you may be scared or even 
embarrassed to accept it. However, please don’t stay silent. Your condition may not be affecting your work, but it sure is affecting your mental health and overall well-being. Seek help from a mental health professional. Remember that you are not alone.

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