Signs You May Have High-Functioning Anxiety

Are you constantly juggling multiple tasks, outwardly successful but inwardly overwhelmed? You might be experiencing high-functioning anxiety—a silent struggle that deserves a closer look. Often individuals feel like they are wearing a mask to the world. Here are the signs to watch for and why scheduling an appointment with a mental health clinician could be your first step toward finding relief.

What the World Sees

Someone who has high-functioning anxiety appears confident, driven, highly successful, and at peace with the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The world sees someone who is:

  • A high achiever
  • Organized and detailed
  • Outgoing and pleasant
  • Always calm and collected
  • Proactive
  • Successful

What that person feels “under the mask” is quite different.

Forty million Americans have an anxiety disorder. Most of those live with a “fight or flight” reaction when anxiety occurs. Mental health professionals at Colony Care believe a person with high-functioning anxiety has a different reaction to anxiety or fear. Instead, they “fight” or go into combat mode to defeat the anxiety. They push on harder.

We all can relate to that on some level, and there are certainly positives to this behavior, but there are some serious negatives as well. Depression may often manifest in the context of chronic,A woman struggling with anxiety. hidden anxiety. Alcohol or substance abuse are common among people with high-functioning anxiety.

Some Causes of This Kind of Anxiety

A person with high-functioning anxiety may have one or more people in their family who feel or behave similarly. Many individuals also have experienced some stressful and negative life events, or some people feel this way because of a medical condition with their thyroid.

High-functioning anxiety may describe how many people feel, yet it is not a specific diagnosis. Depending on many factors, some people with high-functioning anxiety may meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder, or another psychiatric condition, such as major depressive disorder. The person may not seek help until they have trouble sleeping, trouble getting out of bed in the morning, or losing interest in things they enjoy.

The Hardest Part

Removing the mask and asking for help is the hardest thing a person with high-functioning anxiety can do. They are admitting they aren’t perfect: the perfect worker, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend. They worry constantly about falling short of expectations and are always second guessing themselves.

Maybe it’s time to let go of those fears and to ask for help. There are medications and therapies to help you conquer this anxiety and live a more balanced life.

Contact Colony Care by requesting an appointment if you fit this picture of high-functioning anxiety.


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