Many people associate anxiety disorders with debilitating panic attacks, an inability to participate in social situations, and other symptoms such as tics or obsessive rituals. However, some people who struggle with anxiety don’t display the symptoms normally associated with anxiety, yet it continues to impact them on a daily basis. These individuals could easily be living with high-functioning anxiety. And though it may not keep them housebound or cause them to completely withdraw from life, it can still have a huge impact. Here are five signs you may have high-functioning anxiety:
1. You Lose a Lot of Sleep
Those with high-functioning anxiety often have a tough time shutting their brain off at night. They keep trying to solve the world’s problems or continue to plan for the following day long after they should be shutting down and relaxing. If you have frequent insomnia and struggle with fatigue during the day, it could be due to anxiety.
2. You’ve Been Called An Overachiever
Many people with high-functioning anxiety don’t realize they have a problem because they’ve been praised in the past for how much they accomplish. Perfectionism is a hallmark trait of those with anxiety and it can lead to some pretty impressive output. However, it can also mean crippling fear of failure or what others think—and is a sign of anxiety.
3. You Have a Fear of Not Staying Busy
Most people with high-functioning anxiety can’t stand downtime. Whether its due to the fear of not getting enough done or the overwhelming worries that crop up when their minds and bodies aren’t busy, high-functioning anxiety sufferers often find ways to cram their days full of activity.
4. You Often Feel Sad for No Reason
Many people don’t realize that anxiety and depression are two sides to the same coin. The two conditions play into each other and those who have high-functioning anxiety are more prone to high-functioning depression as well. Not taking enough time for yourself, overscheduling, and fear of what others think can easily lead to feeling sad and unsure of your place in the world.
5. You’re Afraid You’re Not Enough
Individuals with high-functioning anxiety often over-commit and put others before themselves because they secretly think they’re not enough. They convince themselves that if they can just do more for other people, they will earn approval. Unfortunately, the only approval they really need comes from within—and those with anxiety have a difficult time of finding self-acceptance and love.
Do you have high-functioning anxiety or depression? Just because you can still tend to daily events and live a relatively full life, you might still benefit by talking with a therapist. If you’d like to book a session, please reach out.
Jessica is a mental health therapist who specializes in helping women free themselves from anxiety, depression, and other stress-related conditions. She is honored to witness the experiences of her clients and work with them toward meaningful lives.