What Is High Functioning Anxiety?

by | Trauma Recovery

Anxiety is more common than you might realize. Millions of people across the globe deal with the effects of anxiety on a daily basis. There are people in your life who are likely struggling right now, and you might not know it — because they have high-functioning anxiety. 

In fact, you might be dealing with high-functioning anxiety yourself. If you’ve ever wondered about your worries and what they might mean, it’s important to dig a little deeper. 

People with high-functioning anxiety are often able to live relatively normal lives. They can work, go to school, have strong social relationships, and get things done. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a struggle beneath the surface. 

Let’s take a closer look at what high-functioning anxiety is, how to tell if you have it, and what you can do about it. 

Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety

The basic definition of high-functioning anxiety is the ability to manage daily life reasonably well while still struggling with anxiety. 

There’s no denying that we live in a stressful world. It’s normal to feel worried about things, sometimes. But, there’s a difference between everyday stress and the crippling feeling of fear that comes with anxiety. Some of the common symptoms and signs of high-functioning anxiety include: 

  • Constant overthinking
  • Fatigue
  • Fear of failure
  • Sleep troubles
  • Nervous habits

People with high-functioning anxiety are often very good at “fooling” others. It’s not meant to be deceitful in any way. Rather, you might consider yourself to be a people-pleaser, and you might worry about letting others down or disappointing them in any way. 

How High-Functioning Anxiety Looks to Others

Because of those tendencies, it can be hard for other people to recognize the signs of high-functioning anxiety. Your friends, family, and co-workers might look up to you. They might think you have it all together, and that you’re highly successful. 

On the outside, that’s probably the case. But, if you’re constantly struggling with internal fear or you’re worried things won’t be done “perfectly,” it’s a sign of something serious that shouldn’t be ignored. Your mental health should never suffer just because you want to appear like you have your life together. 

What Are the Long-Term Effects? 

Dealing with a bit of fatigue and worry about what others might think doesn’t seem so bad, right? Unfortunately, high-functioning anxiety can take a serious long-term toll on your mental and physical health. 

If you try to ignore your symptoms and don’t get the help you deserve, high-functioning anxiety can lead to a lack of self-esteem and zero confidence. A lack of sleep can harm your physical well-being, and when you think so lowly of yourself, you might step into unhealthy relationships and risk emotional or physical abuse. 

What Can You Do? 

If any of the signs or red flags of high-functioning anxiety sound familiar, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can do your best and strive for success without letting fear control your every move. 

The good news? Anxiety of almost any kind is often very manageable with the right help. However, it’s also very difficult to get rid of or manage on your own. It’s not easy to break the cycle of fear and worry by yourself. 

The first step in managing your high-functioning anxiety is to admit you’re struggling. Again, if these symptoms sound familiar, it’s okay to acknowledge them and recognize that living with them isn’t healthy. 

Lean on your support system. Talk to people you trust about how you’re feeling. Most importantly, however, talk to a professional. A therapist will help you get to the root cause of your anxiety, make it easier to learn your triggers, and help you to manage your symptoms every day so you can find peace and relaxation. Contact Valued Living Therapy to set up an appointment with an experienced therapist.

Valued Living Therapy

We are a dynamic, trauma-informed, multi-specialty group practice of mental health professionals offering therapy in the heart of Edina, MN and online throughout Minnesota.

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