Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety

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When someone feels anxious a great deal of the time, but they still manage to go to work or school and take care of their responsibilities, they may feel they don’t have a real problem. Anxiety can happen on different levels, ranging from minor to so severe that a person’s entire ability to thrive is compromised. For many, anxiety is always present in their lives but they still manage to function well, at least from an outsider’s perspective. Renewal Oasis provides treatment for high-functioning anxiety that helps people minimize their symptoms and develop better control of their lives. Whether a person needs residential or outpatient care, we can help them stop letting anxiety call the shots.

What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

High-functioning anxiety is an anxiety disorder that may be hard for some people to recognize they have. People who have it experience a great deal of anxiety but still are able to function fairly well in areas of their lives such as career, family, social, and school responsibilities. Even if the individual appears to be fine to others, including relatives, friends, and co-workers, they are actually adept at hiding their anxiety from others. The level of anxiety they feel fluctuates and can be high at times and low at others. What level they experience depends on the stress they are under at any particular time, but overall they are used to having some feeling of anxiety most of the time. 

What are the 7 Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Anxiety?

There are seven basic signs and symptoms that someone has high-functioning anxiety. They may be recognizable mostly to the person who has it, but many also can be recognized by those around them. The seven signs and symptoms are:

Perfectionism: The desire to perform every task to the person’s standards of perfection. When they feel they have failed, they experience anxiety.

Control Freak: The more control of a situation or a person the individual has, the less anxiety they feel.

Overthinking: Obsessively thinking about a situation from every possible angle in an attempt to feel control. Overthinking actually causes anxiety, instead of relieving it. 

Procrastinating: Putting off starting a project because of the fear of not being able to do it well or perfectly.

Avoidance: The tendency to avoid situations, locations, or social events out of a fear of feeling anxiety if they don’t.

Imposter Syndrome: The feeling that even if the person has achieved great accomplishments and been given praise, that they are not really worthy of the positive viewpoints others have of them. 

Physical Symptoms: Unexplained medical symptoms that are caused by anxiety, including headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle aches.

Test to See if You Have Possible Symptoms of High-Functioning Anxiety 

We created a test to see if you have symptoms of high-functioning anxiety. Answer yes or not to the following questions:

  1. I appear to others to be successful and have control of my personal and professional life. 
  2. I sometimes have racing thoughts.
  3. I am disappointed if I don’t feel I perform every task perfectly.
  4. When asked if I’m alright, I hide my anxiety and tell people I’m fine.
  5. I am extremely organized.
  6. I engage in nervous habits, such as talking excessively, drumming my fingers, playing with my hair, etc.
  7. I am a people pleaser and feel anxious if I think I have not gained people’s approval.
  8. I often ask for reassurance from others.
  9. My sleeping is impacted by my anxiety.
  10. I sometimes use alcohol or drugs to calm my feelings of anxiety.

Assessing the Test Above 

If you answered “yes” to two or more questions, you may have high-functioning anxiety. While our test can give you an idea of if you may have this disorder, it’s vital to get a diagnosis from a qualified doctor or mental health treatment provider. 

Can You Treat This Type of Anxiety? 

High-functioning anxiety is highly treatable. Talk therapy proves effective in helping people overcome their anxiety. In particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help people who deal with anxiety. CBT helps people identify patterns of faulty thinking and reframe them into positive beliefs. They learn to problem-solve and cope with situations that provoke anxiety without falling into the same old patterns. Other types of therapy can help, including addressing any previous traumatic or unresolved events from the past that cause a person to experience anxiety.

Holistic therapies also help people with anxiety because they provide a way to heal their minds, bodies, and spirits simultaneously. This promotes relaxation and an outlet for any anxiety that might otherwise build up. Additionally, many prescription medications offer relief for symptoms of anxiety. 

If anxiety gets to the point where it is negatively affecting multiple aspects of your daily life, residential treatment and outpatient programming can be highly beneficial as well.

Contact Our Anxiety Treatment Center in Palm Desert, California

Do you have high-functioning anxiety and are interested in finding out how modern therapy helps treat this disorder? In this modern age of busy schedules and high-pressure lifestyles, many people struggle with anxiety while still trying to function as best they can. This proves exhausting, but the good news is that there is treatment for high-functioning anxiety. Renewal Oasis Behavioral Health provides quality structured treatment on both outpatient and residential levels that helps people reduce their symptoms and live much calmer lives.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you relieve your anxiety and other symptoms of poor mental health. Our staff can answer your questions and provide an insurance check to help you get started.