Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Anxiety

living with high functioning anxiety
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Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders worldwide. Since the start of the pandemic, anxiety has significantly increased. This article from the WHO reported that in the first year of the pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25 percent. Many factors contributed to this increase. These include social isolation, loneliness, fear of infection and financial worries. 

While anxiety treatment in Princeton NJ, we still have a lot to learn about this prevalent mental health problem. For example, did you know that some people have high-functioning anxiety, which can be difficult to spot? If you are currently struggling and you’re not sure why, it’s possible that high-functioning anxiety is to blame. 

What is High-Functioning Anxiety? 

High-functioning anxiety is not recognized as a disorder in the DSM-5, therefore, you won’t find a lot of information on it. But it is a real thing. It refers to someone who experiences anxiety while managing their daily life relatively well. 

Generally, a person with high-functioning anxiety appears productive and balanced on the outside. They tend to be fully functional and successful in their careers. But on the inside, they experience stress, worry or obsessive thoughts. 

The symptoms of high-functioning anxiety include: 

  • Overthinking and overanalyzing 
  • Fear of failure 
  • Striving for perfection 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Difficulty saying “no” 
  • Needing to please others 
  • Dwelling on past mistakes 
  • Excessive worry on most days 

How to Spot the Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety

Because high-functioning anxiety is not an official diagnosis, there’s not much research on the topic. Also, people with this type of anxiety often have less serious signs and symptoms, so it can be difficult for them and those around them to notice that something is wrong. 

In fact, people with high-functioning anxiety often have positive traits that make them look calm and put together, such as being high achieving and organized. Meanwhile, the person is bombarded with overthinking, obsessive thoughts and a need for reassurance. 

The best way to spot the signs of high-functioning anxiety is to be in tune with your emotions. Even though you may be handling daily tasks just fine, are you struggling on the inside? Do you have nervous energy? Are you worried about disappointing those around you? Do you have a fear of failure? 

Anything that seems “off” should be brought to the attention of your doctor. High-functioning anxiety can co-occur with other mental health problems, so it’s important to discuss all possibilities. It will only mean a better life for you! 

Anxiety Treatment in Princeton NJ 

High-functioning anxiety can be treated in the same way as other anxiety disorders. This type of anxiety responds well to therapy, medication or a combination of both. The most effective therapies are trauma informed therapy, EMDR therapy, individual/group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy in New Jersey. 

CTRLCare offers outpatient treatment for anxiety disorders. We recognize that anxiety disorders exist on a spectrum, with varying levels of severity. Our treatment team will put together a personalized treatment plan that addresses your needs. Our goal is to help you manage your symptoms so that you can feel your best mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically. 

CTRLCare is here for you. Contact our admissions department to learn more about our anxiety treatment in Princeton NJ.