If you’re dealing with anxiety, you’re not alone. Each year, nearly 40 million adults in the U.S. deal with an anxiety disorder. That’s around 18% of the population. While anxiety is undeniably common, the way people experience it can be very different. Some people have intense anxiety that impacts their ability to work or maintain relationships. Others deal with frightening panic attacks that crop up abruptly and unexpectedly. But what if you’re dealing with ongoing anxiety that isn’t severe, but still affects you in noticeable ways? If that’s the case, you may have high functioning anxiety. Learn more about this condition and get tips for managing it.
What Is High Functioning Anxiety?
High functioning anxiety is a term used to describe people who live with anxiety but don’t find that it seriously impedes their ability to function on a day-to-day basis. In fact, people with high functioning anxiety sometimes find themselves driven by their condition.
People with this type of anxiety often have a type A personality and are known as high achievers or extroverts. For them, anxiety manifests in a drive to be successful and ambitious. They may be hyper-focused on details, schedules, and organization. Because our society is one that encourages career success and busy schedules, they might even find their anxiety to be motivating in a way since it pushes them to work harder and set higher expectations for themselves.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t apply to every person with high functioning anxiety. Instead, these general characteristics seem to be more common among this group.
Symptoms of High Functioning Anxiety
Although high functioning anxiety isn’t a recognized medical diagnosis, it has become a fairly common term for people to relate their personal experience with anxiety. They are able to live their life in a relatively normal way; they have relationships, raise kids, do well in their jobs, and participate in hobbies. But at the same time, people with high functioning anxiety are often experiencing many of the following anxiety symptoms:
- Racing thoughts
- Nervous energy
- High stress levels
- Excessive worrying
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mental and physical fatigue
- Catastrophic thinking
- Fear of failure
Part of what makes high functioning anxiety difficult is that other people wouldn’t think that you’re dealing with these types of challenges. You may look like you have it together on the outside, but on the inside, you feel like you’re struggling.
Ways to Deal with High Functioning Anxiety
If you’re dealing with high functioning anxiety, consider trying these coping strategies to find relief from your symptoms:
- Practice relaxing mindfulness techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
- Exercise regularly to help reduce stress and release endorphins.
- Recognize negative thought patterns and try to refocus on positive, realistic statements.
- Identify your anxiety triggers and look for ways to avoid or minimize them.
- Avoid overpacking your social schedule or overcommitting to things at work.
- Limit excess consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
- Create a nighttime routine to encourage better sleep.
People with high functioning anxiety often convince themselves that they don’t need treatment because their anxiety isn’t “bad” enough. But if coping strategies aren’t working for you and you’re still struggling with anxiety symptoms, it’s time to reach out for help. Talk to your doctor and discuss possible treatment options. You may not need traditional anxiety medication or long-term talk therapy. Newer, innovative treatments, such as Ketamine Infusion Therapy, can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety quickly and effectively. For more information, get in touch with us at Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles at 310-363-7358.