High-achievers and people who push themselves beyond their limits are more likely to suffer from high-functioning anxiety. Those who go through it appear to be able to handle it well, but the struggle that they go through internally can be quite disruptive.
I have suffered greatly from High-Functioning Anxiety throughout my life. I appeared to be perfectly fine on the outside, but on the inside, I was experiencing an overwhelming amount of fear. Even though my palms were sweating and my heart was pounding, I forced myself to continue. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people that I’m having trouble and they’ve responded with, “Wow, I had no idea!” I just don’t have the words. They were never able to see the struggle I was going through on the inside.
Although it is among the most widespread mental health problems in the world, anxiety is still very little understood by the general public. Mental health professionals frequently refer to High-Functioning Anxiety as a case of mild anxiety because they do not acknowledge it as a distinct diagnosis within the field of mental health. However, the internal conflict that such a person is experiencing can be quite disruptive, even if it appears that they are succeeding on the surface.
Should I Be Worried That I Have High-Functioning Anxiety?
If you consider yourself to be an overachiever or frequently push yourself to the point where you experience burnout, you may be more likely to suffer from this form of anxiety. You may be telling yourself that you’re “pushing through” to finish the job, which may appear commendable to others, but it’s possible that you’re suffering on the inside. You might also find that you have trouble sleeping and that your heart rate is elevated. You may be attributing these symptoms to the stress that you experience daily; however, chronic stress can eventually have detrimental effects on both your physical and mental health. The following are some of the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety:
- You are trying to appease other people to give yourself a sense of security and reduce your level of anxiety.
- You make it through extended periods of strenuous labor, but eventually, you experience burnout, which leads to procrastination on your part.
- You hold yourself to impossible standards, and no matter how well you do, you are never content with the way you did.
- You are always thinking, worrying, and fixating on the future, and you make meticulous plans to head off any potential problems.
- You find that sticking to the plan and the specifics help you feel more stable.
- You either wake up during the night and find that you are unable to fall back asleep or you have difficulty sleeping in the first place.
- Your mind is constantly racing, which makes it difficult for you to relax and concentrate.
- You are overbooked because you are afraid to say “no,” and you suffer from intense anxiety regarding disappointing other people.
- You have an unquenchable thirst for constant reassurance.
- You turn to booze and drugs as a means of self-medicating.
- It is not your ambition but rather your anxiety that is driving you to finish the tasks at hand.
- When something breaks your routine, it makes you angry and frustrated.
- Your nervous habits include things like chattering your teeth, biting your nails or lips, and cracking your knuckles.
- To everyone else, it appears as though you have everything under control, but deep down, you are struggling.
What Individuals Who Suffer From High-Functioning Anxiety Want You to Understand
They give off the impression of being people who get things done, whether as excellent parents or successful professionals. Despite this, they may be experiencing a sense of melancholy as well as a decline in their joy and the quality of their life. Those who suffer from high-functioning anxiety are experts at keeping things moving forward while putting on a brave front. It takes a tremendous amount of effort and twice as much mental energy for them to hold it together as it does for people who do not suffer from anxiety. People who suffer from high-functioning anxiety would like you to be aware of the following things:
I’m Pretty Good at Surviving, but It Sure is a Lot of Work
The fact that I seem to be able to get through the day does not mean that I am not going through excruciating mental anguish. Because my mind is always in a state of worrying and overthinking, I am worn out by the end of the day and might not be able to perform to the best of my abilities. It’s possible that I need a break or some time to myself, and I don’t want to have to justify my actions all the time.
Don’t Envy My Achievements
I would give anything to be able to chill out, worry less, and have a lot more fun. On the other hand, our brains are wired differently, and becoming an anxious overachiever comes with a significant financial and emotional price tag.
No, What I Need is a Break From Work
Everywhere I go, my body and mind continue to display symptoms of anxiety. I can tell that you don’t understand what you’re talking about when you comment “you just need a vacation.” Anxiety doesn’t take a break.
It’s Not About Striving for Perfection; It’s About Keeping Everyone Safe
Anxiety is often experienced by people who strive for perfection or who think too much because these types of people put an incredible amount of stress on themselves to excel in all aspects of life. The anxious mind interprets errors as mistakes and difficulties as disasters. Perfectionism is frequently an excessive attempt to regulate and manage the fear that is lurking beneath the pressure, and nobody chooses to be this way. If I’m anxious, it’s because I have the impression that I’m in danger.
There is No Reason to Assume That Something is Not Real Simply Because We Cannot See It
The fact that others don’t appear to “get it” because it isn’t “obvious” is the aspect of having high-functioning anxiety that makes it feel the most isolating. Any condition that interferes with your capacity to live, love, or engage in activities is a real condition. Your confirmation helps me a great deal in terms of providing support.
Do Not Assume That I Will Spend My Day Off in the Same Manner as You Do
I’m not boring. I’m different. I don’t need to keep the same level of concentration and attention at home simply because I maintain it while at work. Even though I enjoy spending time with friends and family, I frequently require alone time to feed and water my spirit. I ask that you not refer to me as antisocial, a hermit, or old. Thank you. I have to act in a way that is beneficial to me.
Please Try to Have Patience With Me
I am unable to simply “snap out of it,” but I am trying my best to do so. I may have already tried treating my anxiety by going to yoga classes, eating well, diffusing essential oils, consulting a therapist, or experimenting with prescription medication. On some days I’m really on top of my game, and on other days I struggle a lot. Your tolerance provides me with a great deal of support.
I’m Getting Better at Finding the Silver Lining in This Situation, and I Hope You Can Do the Same
Being sensitive and quickly affected by stress factors can be difficult at times, but it has helped me become more compassionate, humble, and empathetic as a result. It comes as a complete package.