What is High Functioning Anxiety?

Anxiety is a term used to describe nervousness, worry, and fear. It is a normal emotion that everyone experiences at times. However, when anxiety becomes excessive or is accompanied by other symptoms, it can be classified as an anxiety disorder. There are several different anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder.

There is a lot of confusion about what precisely high functioning anxiety is. Some people might think that it’s just a term used to describe someone who is high-energy or highly strung when in reality, it’s a very real mental disorder that can cause a lot of distress. High-functioning anxiety is an umbrella term used to describe several related disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). These disorders share common symptoms, such as excessive worrying and intrusive thoughts. However, each one can also present its own unique challenges.

Symptoms: How do you know if you have high functioning anxiety?

People with high-functioning anxiety often don’t realize they have a problem until it interferes with their daily lives. High functioning anxiety can cause problems with work, school, and relationships. People with high functioning anxiety may be perfectionists and have difficulty accepting criticism. They may also be very organized and efficient, but this comes at a cost—they often feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

People with high functioning anxiety may experience mild or moderate symptoms of anxiety. Still, they can hold jobs, take care of their families, and function well in society. However, despite their good coping skills, people with high functioning anxiety may feel intense fear or worry in certain situations and may find it difficult to relax or enjoy themselves.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness.

1. While there are many different types of anxiety disorders, high functioning anxiety is one of the most common. High functioning anxiety is characterized by excessive worry and fear, but individuals with this type of anxiety often do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.

2. Despite not meeting the criteria for a diagnosis, individuals with high functioning anxiety often experience many of the same symptoms as those who do meet the criteria. These symptoms can include excessive worry and fear, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep problems.

3. If you are experiencing these symptoms and feel like they impact your daily life, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional.

Causes: What are the causes of high functioning anxiety?

High Functioning Anxiety can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are not always obvious. People with high functioning anxiety may seem like they have it all together on the surface, but inside, they struggle with intense fear and worry.

There is no one cause of high functioning anxiety. Instead, it may be caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors.

Genetic factors can play a role in the development of anxiety. Anxiety disorders are thought to run in families. If your parent or sibling has an anxiety disorder, you have a greater chance of developing an anxiety disorder yourself.

Environmental factors may also contribute to the development of anxiety disorders, such as when a person is exposed to a traumatic or dangerous event.

Treatment: How is high functioning anxiety treated?

Most people with these disorders do not require medication for treatment but rather therapy and lifestyle changes.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a common type of therapy used to treat this. This type of therapy helps people learn to change their thoughts and behaviours to manage their anxiety more effectively.

Counselling is also often useful when supporting clients with anxiety. It can be a helpful way of providing you with the tools and support you need to manage your anxiety and improve your quality of life. Counselling can help you understand and cope with the thoughts and feelings that contribute to your anxiety. It can also help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills. If you are struggling with anxiety, counselling may be the right choice for you.

How can Hope Therapy & Counselling Services Help?

Hope Therapy & Counselling Services have a team of experienced and fully qualified counsellors with significant experience working with Anxiety Disorders, and how this impacts people’s lives.

If you or a loved one is struggling, get in touch to learn more about what we can do to support you.

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