What is high-functioning anxiety? There is a difference between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and High Functioning Anxiety.

What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

The Anxiety Nobody Sees…

High-functioning anxiety is not a medical diagnosis, but it is an increasingly common issue that’s being talked about by Forbes, US News & World Report, the Cleveland Clinic, and even the meditation app Headspace. There is a difference between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and High Functioning Anxiety. In the former we tend to think of the fight or flight response. In the latter, the response frequently is to fight and work harder to conquer the anxiety.

Individuals with high functioning anxiety have an inner struggle they hide from others. They tend to have difficulty asserting themselves and saying no. They may feel that seeking help with their mental health is a sign of failure. They become so focused on work that their work-life balance suffers.

So, what is high-functioning anxiety?

On the outside, a person might appear to have it all together all the time:

✅ High-Achieving
✅ Perfectionistic
✅ Busy & In Control
✅ Meeting Deadlines
✅ Detail Oriented
✅ Organized, Productive, and Proactive
✅ People Pleasing
✅ Seemingly Confident and Outgoing

BUT….with high-functioning anxiety, the outward success comes at a cost of inner turmoil:

🤯 Constant Worry
🤯 Overthinking
🤯 Harshly Self-Critical
🤯 Restless & Irritable
🤯 Fear the Worst will Happen
🤯 Feeling Stressed
🤯 Overextended
🤯 Can’t say No
🤯 Mental & Physical Fatigue often as the result of Disrupted Sleep

Is it worth it??

Even though a little bit of anxiety can drive action and success, too much can take a toll on the body and mind.

That’s why people with high-functioning anxiety struggle not only with constant worry but also things like insomnia, muscle tension, racing heartbeat, exhaustion, and mood swings.

The thing about high-functioning anxiety is that it is very much an INNER struggle. Nobody would ever know on the outside, and the symptoms don’t meet the criteria for an anxiety diagnosis.

I’ll be following up with a series of posts to dive deeper into this idea of high-functioning anxiety. We’ll look at some underlying causes and some tips for easing the inner angst (while still staying productive and successful).

Drop a comment—have you heard of high-functioning anxiety before? Can you relate?

#highfunctioninganxiety #overthinker #anxietyawareness #mentalhealth #anxiety #askdrtreacy #healthwithoutrisk

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