Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety

When people think about anxiety disorders, they often picture people who become so overwhelmed with feeling anxious and panicky that they have trouble doing the simplest of tasks. Not all anxiety disorders present this way. Someone may have signs of high-functioning anxiety and not realize they have a diagnosable mental health disorder. New View Wellness in Atlanta treats all types of anxiety disorders, including those that deal with the high-functioning mental health. Our combination of multiple types of therapy and any necessary prescription medications helps people regain control of their feelings and heal.

What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

High-functioning anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that negatively impacts the lives of those who suffer from it. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in the U.S. and affect 40 million adults. Many people who deal with this challenging illness experience signs of high-functioning anxiety that affect many aspects of their lives. Unfortunately, many people who deal with this type of anxiety do not realize they have a mental illness. They often point to the fact that they accomplish things like being successful at a job or in school, taking care of their families, and functioning fairly well in life as a sign that they can’t actually be ill. In addition, their family, friends, and colleagues may not understand that something is wrong. 

The person’s anxiety levels fluctuate, depending on the stressors they encounter, but feeling anxious is always present to some degree. The good news is that people with high-functioning anxiety can receive relief and a reduction in their symptoms if they receive proper mental health treatment.

A girl struggling with the signs of high functioning anxiety.

What are the Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety?

The signs of high-functioning anxiety vary per person, but many of them are common. Signs that indicate a person may have trouble with this mental health disorder include:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Talkative
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Being active in several areas of a person’s life
  • The constant underlying feeling of anxiety that spikes to higher levels
  • Perfectionism
  • Highly organized
  • Appears in control of personal life and career to others
  • Drinks alcohol or uses drugs to try to feel less anxious
  • Acts as a people pleaser and wants everyone to like and approve of them
  • Has “nervous habits” such as knuckle-cracking or playing with their hair
  • Downplays the amount of anxiety they have and excuses it as “normal”
  • Unexplained recurring medical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and body aches

Personality Traits Seen in People with High-Functioning Anxiety

Someone who has high-functioning anxiety doesn’t just show specific signs. They also tend to exhibit certain personality traits that often prove difficult for the person to recognize or they dismiss them as unrelated to anxiety. One of the most common traits is being a perfectionist. The individual strives to be perfect in their actions, and when they feel they have dropped the ball, their anxiety increases. 

Another personality trait often seen in people with high-functioning anxiety is the tendency to procrastinate. As a matter of fact, this can be tied to perfectionism because often the person puts off beginning a task because they fear they won’t perform it according to their own standards of perfection.

Another personality trait revolves around avoiding situations that may provoke anxiety. This includes certain social events, people, or unfamiliar situations. Anxiety can also cause a person to become desperate to control people and events as a way to keep their anxiety under control. When the individual feels forced into doing something, they often overthink the entire situation. They try to preplan every action or conversation in the hopes that they will feel in control.  

How Does Treatment for High-Functioning Anxiety Work?

Someone who has high-functioning anxiety often does well when they participate in a variety of types of therapy. Each therapeutic modality offers its own benefits that help people process and reroute many of their emotions and behaviors. Types of therapy services that help people overcome anxiety disorders include:

When someone begins treatment for their anxiety, a history of their symptoms and how it impacts their life will be taken by a clinician. From there, a schedule of therapies can be established to help the person heal. Additionally, many prescription drugs can help ease symptoms of anxiety and allow people to feel more at peace emotionally and mentally.

Find Help For High-Functioning Anxiety in Atlanta, GA

When anxiety becomes an overwhelming presence in a person’s life, it hampers their ability to do well in several areas. Even those who experience signs of high-functioning anxiety find they cannot live up to their full potential when their mental health needs professional attention. New View Wellness in Atlanta provides highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders that teaches people how to rewire the way they react to stressors. Our experienced staff of mental health counselors partners with each person to provide focused care specific to the individual’s specific needs. With our help, anxiety stops being the driving force in someone’s life because they know how to overcome it.

If you want help to overcome anxiety and learn to live a more peaceful life, contact us now. Our staff is happy to show you how we can improve your mental health today.

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