What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

On Your Mind Counseling anxiety treatment

Due to many factors ranging from the environment to personal life, work, academics, and even family, people worry about different things. Of course, worrying once in a while is normal, but excessive worrying leads to anxiety which is the severe fear of what is to come. About 19% of all American adults are affected by anxiety. Anxiety manifests itself in several ways, including aches, tiredness, sweating, and nervousness. However, because humans are different, some people have learned to control or suppress their feelings of anxiety.

The most significant difference between anxiety and high-functioning anxiety is that anxiety affects the daily activities of an individual. An anxiety attack can “freeze” some people in their tracks. In contrast, high-functioning anxiety is defined as an individual who completes daily activities well despite being stressed and experiencing anxiety. They are skilled at suppressing anxiety symptoms, but suppressing these symptoms can have adverse health effects.

High-Functioning Anxiety

What are the Symptoms?

Some people may not realize they have a high-functioning disorder and need anxiety treatment because of how well they have suppressed it. However, some symptoms can reveal that an individual is suffering from anxiety. For example, symptoms can include overthinking, worrying about the future, restlessness, trouble sleeping, muscle tension, irritability, difficulty saying no, perfectionism, and nervousness. Individuals experiencing these symptoms may need anxiety treatment.

How is it Treated?

The treatment for high-functioning anxiety is similar to treatments for other anxiety disorders. This treatment can include therapy, prescription medications, or a combination of both. Working with a therapist to examine the source of the anxiety can be effective for managing symptoms. For example, you may have anxiety about speaking in front of others, but the source of that fear may be wanting the acceptance of others. Deal with that fear, and the anxiety will lessen.

Anxiety is both mental and physical. A therapist can recommend methods for controlling it. Some of those methods include:

Intervene With Yourself. Learn to recognize the symptoms of your rising anxiety and intervene. Stop spiraling with an action that interrupts the physical response and compulsive thinking.

Take a Deep Breath. Taking deep, controlled breaths circulates more oxygen, relaxes muscles, and lowers blood pressure. Add meditation to calm the mind along with the body.

Get Moving. No matter where you are, a quick stretch or walk to take your mind out of the present situation can reduce the stress. Likewise, exercise, yoga, or hiking regularly releases built-up tension.

Have a Support Squad. Many people fear telling others about their anxiety, but sharing with a few people you’re comfortable with can help when you’re having a bad day. Sharing, instead of hiding, reduces anxiety.

How Long Will Treatment Take?

The answer to this question is – it depends. All people will be different. Anxiety levels are different, and the response to therapy will be different. An anxiety disorder can last from a few months to many years. It can go away entirely for some, but it may be a lifelong condition for others.

Reach Out to On Your Mind Counseling Today!

Are you experiencing any of the listed symptoms of high-functioning anxiety?  Our team of therapists is ready to help individuals learn new strategies to cope with anxiety with both in-person and online sessions, depending on your location – see which U.S. states we serve here. Contact us today about  anxiety treatments by phone at (615) 499-6899 or you can use our online form here.

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