Can You Be Unaware Of Anxiety
Yes, most definitely. As with most anxiety disorders, high-functioning anxiety can often hide behind a range of physical and mental symptoms. People often realize somethings not quite right, but they have trouble connecting the dots. Did you know that a third of the adult population who experience anxiety unwellness issues in North America remain undiagnosed?
One of the main reasons people with GAD and/or high-functioning anxiety go untreated is that both disorders are hard to recognize. If youve learned to live with anxiety and your symptoms have become part of your lifestyle, its unlikely youll make it to the doctors office of your own accord.
Along with the high functioning anxiety symptoms weve already mentioned, here are some tell-tale signs of GAD:
- You suffer from chronic physical pain that doctors are having trouble finding the exact cause of.
- Youre always tired you dont sleep well and wake up often.
- Overthinking is something you do on the regular.
If any of these negatively impact your daily life, anxiety may be to blame. Dont wait for things to get worse before seeking medical assistance. Contact a professional today and get the help you need.
Make Friends With Your Fear
If you have anxiety, fear is your friend. You may not like it, but its part of your life. And it motivates so much of what you do. Have you stopped to examine the nature of your fear? Have you connected it back to past experiences that may be telling you that you arent smart or successful enough? Why is it that youre so focused on the approval of others?
In my experience, anxiety cant be ignored or pretended away. With the help of a therapist, I stopped to look my fear in the face. Rather than feeding it with more anxiety, I worked to understand where it was coming from.
For example, I can recognize that my fear isnt so much about having a stellar presentation as it is about my need to be liked and accepted. This awareness has taken away some of the power it has over me.
Once I began to understand it, my fear became much less scary, and I was able to make critical connections between the basis of my fear and how I was behaving at work.
It Isnt Just Perfectionism Its Code Word For Safety
Anxiety goes hand in hand with perfectionists, over-thinkers, and type A personality structures who put incredible pressure on themselves to excel in all areas of life professionally, at work, in school, in their love lives and have a high bar in parenting. The anxious mind sees mistakes as failures and equates human, mess-ups to catastrophes. No one chooses to live this way, and perfectionism is often a desperate attempt to control and manage the fear that is beneath all of the pressure.
At the end of the day, it isnt really about the failures disappointments or losing respect in other peoples eyes, its about safety.
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What Is A High Functioning Mental Health Condition
High functioning mental health conditions are difficult to detect on the outside. With high functioning anxiety, you may function well in your daily activities, but internally you may experience intense feelings of anxiety and dread.
Having high functioning anxiety may actually make you perform better in your regular activities, as they provide a distraction from the internalized anxiety.
Natural Treatment For High Functioning Anxiety
Apart from therapy and medication, you also need to make few changes in your routine and mindset that will help get rid of anxiety and its symptoms:
- Accept that you have anxiety
- It is okay if you are not perfect
- Include yoga and meditation in your daily routine
- Self-care: drinking enough water, eating healthy, proper sleeping cycle
- Spend quality time with your family
Even if anxiety is part of your daily life, it can be reduced by incorporating the above. As time goes on, youll start to notice positive changes in your life. However, if natural remedies do not ease the symptoms of high functioning anxiety, do not hesitate to ask for help.
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Finding The Right Care For High
A trained clinician can administer a mental health assessment that measures the severity of a young adults high-functioning anxiety symptoms and indicates the appropriate level of care. Ongoing therapy, an outpatient program, or residential treatment can all be effective in helping you or a loved one learn how to cope with high-functioning anxiety.
Contact our Admissions experts today to find out how Newport Institutes specialized treatment helps young people discover how to overcome high-functioning anxiety. Through building self-compassion, self-esteem, and healthy coping mechanisms, young adults can let go of anxiety and soar into the next steps of their life journey.
Im Learning To Appreciate The Gifts I Come Withid Love If You Can Too
Being sensitive and easily affected by stressors can be tough, but it has also taught me how to be more empathetic, humble and compassionate. Its made me into a deeper person and Id love if youd see that Im a package deal. We all have struggles, and often, our struggles change us in ways that are good as well. I learning to se the bright side of this, and I hope you can too!
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Reconnect With Your Body
I take walks outside, sometimes during my lunch break. I exercise. I do yoga. And whenI feel too busy or too overwhelmed I do these things anyway. Because I need them, even if its just for 10 or 15 minutes
Anxiety is just as much physical as it is mental. People with high-functioning anxiety tend to live in their heads and find it hard to break the cycle of fearful thinking and feeling. I used to spend 10 to 12 hours at the office every day, and never exercise. I felt stuck, both physically and mentally. A critical component of how I deal with my symptoms today is by reconnecting with my body.
I use deep breathing all day, every day. Whether I am in a meeting, at my computer, or driving home in traffic, I can take slow, deep breaths to circulate more oxygen, relax my muscles, and lower my blood pressure. I stretch at my desk. I take walks outside, sometimes during my lunch break. I exercise. I do yoga.
And when I feel too busy or too overwhelmed I do these things anyway. Because I need them, even if its just for 10 or 15 minutes. Having a healthy relationship with my body gets me out of my head and channels my nervous energy in a more positive direction.
Are There Any Medical Treatments For High Functioning Anxiety
While doctors do not recognize high functioning anxiety as a medical diagnosis, you may still wish to contact your doctor to discuss any symptoms of anxiety that you are experiencing.
In some cases, your doctor also may prescribe medication to help to alleviate some of your internalized negative thoughts and feelings. This can include antianxiety medications such as benzodiazepines and beta-blockers to slow down your heart rate.
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What Exactly Is High Functioning Anxiety
High-functioning anxiety falls under what is Generalized Anxiety Disorder , which is characterized by excessive and persistent worry over a number of things such as finances, health, work or family.
If youre high-functioning or have a mild case, it means you may suffer from this but are still able to function well in life.
For example, someone with high functioning anxiety may spend the night tossing and turning in fear about having to give a presentation at work.
But when it comes time to present? No one watching them would know they had been dealing with anxious thoughts over the presentation.
Someone with high functioning anxiety may even find a lot of success at work or in life because their anxiety propels them to over-prepare and overachieve.
One important thing to know: high functioning anxiety is not a medical diagnosis, but rather a conversational term.
Another thing to know? Many people who deal with an anxiety disorder also deal with another disorder or physical illness.
Common things people with anxiety also deal with include headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disorders and more.
Anxiety Disorder At A Glance
People with high functioning anxiety tend to suffer intensely they also tend to suffer alone.
All this is because of the unique ways that social anxiety differs from other anxiety disorders such as:
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Clinical psychologist, explains that:
High functioning anxiety is a chronic mental health issue that affects a persons relationships, health and self-esteem.
Most people assume that those impacted by the disorder are just stressed out, or in need of a holiday, they may even suggest the person is suffering from other mental health problems when in reality they are suffering from high functioning anxiety.
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Physical Symptoms Of High
Anxiety is an intense physical as well as mental experience that comes with many symptoms. Because mental illness is a spectrum, symptoms occur in varying degrees of severity, with some meeting psychologists diagnostic criteria and others not. No matter to what degree you experience anxiety, it is a valid feeling.
You may have a form of anxiety if any of these symptoms impact you:
- Rapid heart rate
If you have any or all of these anxiety symptoms frequently but are still externally functioning well, you likely have high-functioning anxiety. Any level of these anxiety symptoms will impact you greatly, so dont minimize these sensations, even if they dont seem severe enough.
What Causes Anxiety Or High
The causes of anxiety disorders arent fully understood. But your genetics and stressful or traumatic situations can lead to symptoms. Anxiety is linked to certain medications and substance abuse too.
Sometimes, anxiety might indicate an underlying health issue, and its symptoms can be the first sign that something else might be happening.
Some health conditions linked to anxiety symptoms include:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease lung conditions that cause difficulty breathing
- rare tumours that increase your stress hormones like cortisol
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Why Some People With High
Many high achievers believe that without anxiety and fear of failure, they wouldnt be motivated to perform or to get anything done at all. For example, an introvert with high-functioning anxiety may believe that if they didnt constantly push themselves to engage in social activities, they wouldnt have any friends.
Moreover, people with high-functioning anxiety may believe they dont need or deserve professional help because theyre doing fine according to all the outside measures. They might not want to tarnish their perfect image by admitting they need support. They may even be afraid others wont take them seriously if they open up about their struggles, because theyve never revealed their vulnerability before. Or they may think the kind of anxiety they experience is normal and unavoidablesimply part of the stress of adulting.
Treatment Options For Patients With Anxiety
There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy , which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations.
- Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.
During therapy, continue to show your support by:
- Asking your loved one what you can do to help them.
- Asking if you can attend a therapy session to learn some skills to better support them.
- Making time for your own life and interests to sustain your energy.
- Encouraging your loved one to try another therapist if the first one isnt a good fit.
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I Dont Just Need A Vacation
You may have the ability to bounce back to your regular, energized self after coming back from a spa-getaway or a weeklong vacation, but Im not like that. My mind and body still have these symptoms wherever I go, so your well meaning comment of just go on vacation, youll feel much better just lets me know that you really just dont understand. I am going to take time off when I need, all the while taking care of my anxiety in the ways I need so I can feel calm and balanced in my day to day life.
Have A Mantra And Use It Every Day
I have learned how to talk back to my fear. When that not-so-little voice inside starts to tell me that Im not good enough or that I need to push myself even harder, I have developed a few phrases to say back to it:
Who I am right now is good enough for me.
I am doing my best.
I am not perfect and I love myself for who I am.
I deserve to take good care of myself.
This tool is especially helpful when it comes to dealing with a challenging symptom of high-functioning anxiety: perfectionism. Having a mantra is empowering, and it gives me an opportunity to practice self-care and to cope with anxiety at the same time. I remember that I have a voice and that what I need is important, especially when it comes to my mental health.
When I start to obsess and check back and forth, back and forth, I stop. I make myselfwalk away from whatever is causing my anxiety to rise.
Anxiety feeds off of anxiety, like a giant snowball rolling downhill. Once you have identified your symptoms, you can learn how to intervene when they appear, and step out of the way before you get rolled over.
I find it difficult to make decisions, whether theyre about designing a brochure or picking out a brand of dishwasher detergent. When I start to obsess and check back and forth, back and forth, I stop. I make myself walk away from whatever is causing my anxiety to rise.
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High Functioning Anxiety And Depression
High functioning anxiety may exist alongside depression. This depression may be noticeable, as internalized anxiety can lead to low moods.
You may also experience high functioning depression. Outwardly, you may not show any signs of depression, but inwardly you can experience very low moods, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness that others may not be able to detect.
Tips For Coping With High Functioning Anxiety
While you may be able to cope with negative feelings by keeping busy, you may also benefit from practicing different techniques to help you stop rising feelings of anxiety whenever they occur.
These coping mechanisms for anxiety can be particularly useful if you are in situations in which you are not able to distract yourself, such as when you are on your own or trying to sleep.
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The Characteristics Of High Functioning Anxiety
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
High functioning anxiety is not a recognized mental health diagnosis. Rather, it’s evolved as a catch-all term that refers to people who live with anxiety but identify as functioning reasonably well in different aspects of their life.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health , around 19% of adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder.
Some people may consider themselves to be in the “high functioning” category, but it’s difficult to know exactly how many have this type of anxiety.
If you have high functioning anxiety, you probably notice that your anxiety propels you forward rather than leaves you frozen in fear.
On the surface, you appear to be successful, together, and calmthe typical Type A personality who excels at work and life. However, the way you feel on the inside may be very different.
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin
How To Cope With High
High-functioning anxiety is uncomfortable and painful, but there are ways to keep it in check, addressing the symptoms before they have a chance to impact your functioning. If you recognize the impact of anxiety in your life, there are some strategies you can try to manage it. Try these tips to help yourself get better.
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Is High Functioning Anxiety A Mental Illness
High functioning anxiety does not classify as a mental health disorder like anxiety disorder or depression. But, if left unnoticed and untreated at early stages, high functioning anxiety may lead to anxiety or depression in the future.
People who have already recovered from depression and anxiety disorder tend to live with high functioning anxiety. In such cases, they know the causes and triggers of their anxiety. Hence, they can deal with anxiety symptoms in a better manner.
It is highly essential for a person suffering from high functioning anxiety to understand and accept their feelings to function normally in society. Only when a person accepts how he is feeling, can he work towards eliminating the symptoms of high functioning anxiety altogether.
When To Ask For Help
Theres no standard answer for when someone should seek help, says Dr. Borland. Its different based on everyone. And it can be especially hard for those with high-functioning anxiety to feel like they can ask for help.
Someone with high-functioning anxiety may view mental health treatment as a sign of weakness or failure, says Dr. Borland.
But if youre having difficulty sleeping, experiencing a loss of appetite or finding it hard to manage day-to-day tasks, its time to speak with your doctor.
Acceptance is important when dealing with any kind of anxiety disorder, says Dr. Borland. Dont be afraid to take steps towards asking for help and receiving help.
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