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7 High-Functioning Anxiety Symptoms You May Notice in Yourself

When we think of anxiety, we often think of panic attacks. In other words, we think about someone who is so overwhelmed by anxiety that they can’t function. However, anxiety comes in many shapes and forms. People can be very high-functioning despite their anxiety. High-functioning anxiety isn’t a clinical diagnosis. People who struggle with it don’t meet the criteria for an anxiety diagnosis precisely because they function so well. Nevertheless, it can take a huge toll on their lives.

Do you suspect that you might have this type of anxiety? Here are seven symptoms:

1. Perfectionism

Do you constantly strive for perfection? If so, you might be living with high-functioning anxiety.

Specific signs include:

  • Never feeling satisfied with your work
  • Always feeling like you don’t measure up
  • Holding yourself to a higher standard than you hold others
  • Chasing goals because of a fear of failure more than a desire to succeed
  • Black-and-white (all-or-nothing) thinking

Your perfectionism may actually be driven by your anxiety. You want to avoid feelings of distress, so you attempt to be perfect.

2. Never Stopping to Rest

Do you always have a very long “to do” list? Are you constantly moving, working on something, and overscheduling yourself?

This is a classic symptom of high functioning anxiety. Whenever things slow down, you have to face your anxious thoughts. Therefore, you don’t let things slow down.

3. Insomnia

You may find that you can’t even rest at night. If you have trouble falling asleep then it could be because anxiety is filling your mind and body.

Alternatively, you may wear yourself out enough to crash but then wake up in the middle of the night. You simply can’t rest.

4. People Think You Lack Emotion

People who live with high-functioning anxiety are often rewarded in our society. Overwork and striving for perfection are seen as good things.

However, these same people may face criticism for their seeming lack of emotion. People may describe you as:

  • Cold
  • Independent
  • Logic-driven
  • Stoic
  • Unemotional

In and of themselves, these traits are neither good nor bad. However, they can be a sign of high-functioning anxiety. Usually, this is because you’re trying to hide your anxious feelings.

As a result, you hide all of your feelings. Therefore, people find it hard to authentically connect with you.

Do you have symptoms of anxiety? Anxiety is the most common mental health concern. Take this self-test and find out if anxiety could be impacting your life.

5. Negative Self-Talk

Try an experiment for one week. Write down every single thought you have about yourself. Take a look at the list. Is it overwhelmingly negative?

If so then chances are that you could have high functioning anxiety.

This relates to perfectionism in that you have an underlying belief that if you beat yourself up then you’ll do “better.”

However, all of that negativity is really just a form of self-protection. You’re trying to be mean to yourself before others can say those things to you. You are anxious about the judgment of others.

6. Overthinking, Overanalyzing, and Second Guessing

People have to make a lot of different decisions every day. If you have high-functioning anxiety, it might look to others like you are a decisive person.

However, only you know what’s happening inside of your own mind.

Do you constantly overthink every decision? Do you make a choice and then second guess it on a regular basis? Are you prone to overanalyzing everything you say and do?

7. You Always Say Yes

Someone asks you to bake fresh cookies for your child’s event tomorrow. You say yes even though you have other things to do. Ten friends invite you to their holiday parties, and you can’t say no to any of them.

If you always say yes because you fear disappointing others then you likely have high-functioning anxiety.

Seek Treatment for High-Functioning Anxiety

Take a look at these high functioning anxiety symptoms you may be experiencing It’s important to remember that because you are high-functioning it doesn’t mean that anxiety isn’t causing problems for you. Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, TX has several experienced therapists that specialize in anxiety treatment. Please contact us soon by calling 832-559-2622 or booking an appointment online for therapy that can help you to identify the source of your anxiety. Furthermore, we can work together to can help you learn to manage your worries in healthier but still very productive ways.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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