Are You Experiencing With Symptoms of High Functioning Anxiety?
When you think of anxiety, it may be that you think of a stereotypical panic attack – clammy hands, hyperventilating, or leaving social events because you feel unable to cope. Often, that is exactly how anxiety manifests itself. However, it is not the only way.
A person with a typical anxiety disorder may need medication, counselling or even hospital treatment. However, the term ‘high-functioning anxiety’ refers to someone who functions well enough to fulfill the obligations required by their career, friendships and daily issues to keep moving forward in their lives.
As of right now, high-functioning anxiety isn’t seen as a ‘medical disorder’ as such, as most people who have it don’t report it or don’t even realise they have it. Do you identify with the characteristics and symptoms of high functioning anxiety? Let’s take a look at what you might experience or what others might observe of you in this case.
Could this be me?
You may have a great social life, a wonderful boyfriend, career goals…but your job is really stressing you out right now. It doesn’t phase you, you still go to work each morning and do the best you can, despite having trouble sleeping and perhaps even eating. While your routine may be slightly disrupted, you are still able to cope with, and manage, all other aspects of your life well. If you begin to skip days at work and miss deadlines however, that tells a different story.
It could be that you’re the picture of success: a fantastic wardrobe, not a hair out of place and always early, arriving with a smile. People may view you as someone to admire. What they don’t know is that you are actually panicking beneath the surface, churning with anxieties that are at complete odds with the person you are outwardly.
I’ve been there myself. I used to have a fairly high-powered job and I’d be expected to be on form all of the time. Whilst outwardly I was coping, hitting targets and cracking jokes with my colleagues in meetings, I would often vanish to the ladies room a few times a day to talk myself down from a full-blown panic-attack. My colleagues and clients were however, none-the-wiser.
How to cope with symptoms of high functioning anxiety
Even if you recognise that you have symptoms of high-functioning anxiety, you may not even care and will carry on as you always have. Well, great. Just make sure that you always stay in tune with your emotions and be aware if things start getting on top of you.
The thing is, despite outward appearances, high-functioning anxiety can turn into something much worse without proper treatment and support, with dire consequences if left unaddressed.
I unfortunately left my high-functioning anxiety to fester for too long and it began to develop into a real issue for me. I managed to cope again by visiting my GP, using breathing techniques *Click here to find out more* and making sure I had a clear plan each day of what I’d like to achieve. Don’t forget, everyone needs help sometimes and recognising the signs and getting help early on can help prevent your anxiety from winning.