7 Subtle Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety You Shouldn’t Overlook

High-functioning anxiety isn’t a recognized clinical diagnosis, but it’s a term that has emerged to describe those who live with anxiety but can still function in their daily lives. People with high-functioning anxiety often appear calm, composed, and successful on the outside, but internally, they may be dealing with a constant stream of worries and fears.

It’s vital to understand that despite its seemingly “productive” nature, high-functioning anxiety can take a toll on mental health and overall well-being. Here are seven subtle signs you shouldn’t overlook.

1. Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a common trait among those with high-functioning anxiety. You might find yourself always striving for the best, feeling unsatisfied with anything less than perfect. While this trait can make you extremely productive and successful, it can also lead to burnout and intense pressure that feeds into anxiety.

2. Overthinking

Do you find yourself frequently stuck in an endless loop of “what if” scenarios? This could be a sign of high-functioning anxiety. Overthinking often involves dwelling on past conversations, worrying about future events, and generally imagining worst-case scenarios.

3. Restlessness and Trouble Sleeping

When your mind is constantly filled with worries and thoughts, it can be hard to settle down and relax. You may find it challenging to fall asleep or stay asleep due to racing thoughts, leading to chronic fatigue that can affect your mood and productivity.

4. Procrastination

Although it may seem counterintuitive, people with high-functioning anxiety often procrastinate. The fear of failure or making mistakes can make you put off tasks, leading to last-minute rushing to meet deadlines. This behavior, in turn, fuels the anxiety, creating a vicious cycle.

5. Constant Need for Reassurance

Do you frequently need assurance that you’re doing well or that things will turn out okay? This need for constant reassurance stems from doubt and fear, characteristic traits of high-functioning anxiety. It can result in a reliance on others for validation, impacting self-esteem and personal confidence.

6. Physical Symptoms

Generally, high-functioning anxiety can manifest as physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, weakness, a racing heart, and unexplained muscle and body aches. You may not initially connect these symptoms with anxiety, especially if you’re generally able to manage your daily tasks. However, chronic physical discomfort can be your body’s response to constant worry and stress.

7. Difficulty Saying No

People with high-functioning anxiety often have a hard time saying no. The fear of disappointing others or facing potential conflict can lead to overcommitment. This can result in an overloaded schedule and further stress, but they continue to take on more to avoid the anxiety associated with saying no.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

High-functioning anxiety is not a recognized medical term. Still, it is often used to describe individuals who live with anxiety but are able to maintain their day-to-day activities. They might appear completely fine on the surface, but internally, they’re dealing with constant worry and fear.

How Can I Tell If I Have High-Functioning Anxiety?

Signs of high-functioning anxiety can include constant overthinking, perfectionism, restlessness, trouble sleeping, a continuous need for reassurance, physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches, and difficulty saying no due to fear of disappointment or conflict.

Does High-Functioning Anxiety Affect Health?

Yes, while individuals with high-functioning anxiety can often maintain their daily routines, the constant state of anxiety can impact their physical and mental health over time. This can manifest as sleep problems, physical discomfort, and an elevated risk for other mental health conditions.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have High-Functioning Anxiety?

If you believe you’re experiencing high-functioning anxiety, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. They can provide strategies to manage anxiety and, if necessary, provide referrals to other resources or specialists. It’s essential to remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Further Reading: 4 Causes of Anxiety

Similar Posts