Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the United States each year. While there are many different types of anxiety disorders, high-functioning anxiety is one of the most difficult to diagnose. This is because people who suffer from high-functioning anxiety often appear to be functioning normally. We will discuss the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety and how to get help if you think you might be suffering from it.
What Is High-Functioning Anxiety?
High-functioning anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms that are not as severe as those experienced by people who have more classic forms of the disorder. People who suffer from high-functioning anxiety often appear to be normal and functioning well, but they may experience some difficulty in their everyday lives.
The difference between this type of anxiety and other forms of the disorder is that it can occur in what seems to be a relatively normal person, but with some symptoms such as nervousness, irritability, or depression. People with high-functioning anxiety often have what appears to be good social skills. Still, they may experience difficulty in relationships because they do not know how to express their emotions appropriately.
A person with high functioning anxiety will often show signs of having an intense fear or worry about what is happening around them at any given time. They may also have trouble sleeping due to these worries and fears. In addition, people suffering from high functioning anxiety may also experience depression, irritability, or anger.
What Are The Symptoms Of High-Functioning Anxiety?
Despite concerted efforts to control their anxiety, people with high-functioning anxiety often can’t stop what they do. They may appear confident on the outside, but their inner thoughts are full of self-doubt and fear.
There are many different symptoms of high-functioning anxiety. Some common ones include:
- Intense fear or worry about what is happening around them at any given time
- Obsessive behaviors that interfere with daily life activities such as eating habits and sleep patterns
- Difficulty concentrating or completing tasks
- Racing thoughts
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
- Tension headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue
- Panic attacks
What Causes High-Functioning Anxiety?
There is no known cause for high-functioning anxiety disorder, but it is believed to result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Studies have shown that people who have a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to develop high-functioning anxiety than those who have experienced traumatic events in their lives.
Helpful Tips On How To Cope With High-Functioning Anxiety:
- Get enough sleep and exercise; both help reduce stress levels.
- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and other stimulants, which can worsen symptoms.
- Keep a journal to document your thoughts and feelings to help identity what triggers your anxiety attacks.
- Talk with someone about what’s going on; often, just talking through things can help alleviate some of the stress associated with high-functioning anxiety.
If tips do not work well, it may be time to consider seeking professional treatment options like medication and therapy sessions. A therapist will help identify what’s causing your symptoms and provide appropriate coping strategies explicitly tailored to those needs.
Finding High-Functioning Anxiety Treatment
If you feel like your high-functioning anxiety starts interfering with your everyday life, it may be time to seek treatment. Treatment for high-functioning anxiety can vary depending on what’s causing your symptoms but often includes some combination of medication and therapy.
Therapy can be effective in helping people manage their high-functioning anxiety by identifying what’s triggering their symptoms and providing coping strategies explicitly tailored towards those needs. If therapy isn’t an option or doesn’t seem to be working for you, consider talking with us about medication options that can help alleviate your symptoms.
Contact Next Steps Professional Counseling Services LLC for Mental Health Treatment
High-functioning anxiety can be challenging to diagnose because the symptoms are often mistaken for normal stress or busyness. If you think you may be experiencing high-functioning anxiety, it’s important to seek help from our mental health counselor. Symptoms of high-functioning anxiety include feeling overwhelmed and stressed out all the time, struggling to focus on tasks, constantly worrying about things that may or may not happen, and avoiding social situations. If you think you might have this anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There is no shame in seeking treatment for an illness, and there is no one who can’t get better with the proper support.