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What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

Anxiety affects everyone differently. Some people experience anxiety in social situations, others when they are faced with increased stress.

Then there’s high-functioning anxiety.

Which isn’t as well known but more common than we realise.

Did you know it is possible to feel anxious and appear to others as if your anxiety doesn’t exist?

It may even be that you don’t realise yourself that what you’re feeling is anxiety.

What is high-functioning anxiety?

High functioning can be difficult to identify. It falls under the same category of general anxiety disorders but it often goes undiagnosed or unnoticed. High-functioning anxiety occurs when a person pushes through their anxious feelings and often covers up or masks any symptoms they’re experiencing.

The signs of high-functioning anxiety

As I mentioned above, it can be hard to identify whether you have high-functioning anxiety. A therapist who specialises in anxiety should be able to help you identify the signs however, here are a few.

  • Feeling exhausted and drained of energy if anyone asks you to do anything extra.
  • Struggling to sleep despite feeling exhausted. Constantly feeling like you’re waiting for something to happen.
  • Overanalysing and overthinking the little details.
  • Experiencing an intense fear of failure or fear of making mistakes.
  • Struggling to say no to requests and set boundaries with others. This can be easier to spot and identify in a workplace situation.
  • Finding yourself dwelling on past mistakes.
  • Feeling an intense need to fix everything for others.

Support for high-functioning anxiety

If you’ve read this post and thought ‘ holy shit that’s me’, there is support available.

Counselling and therapy will allow you to talk about what’s going on for you and discover better ways to identify and manage your anxious feelings. Looking for a counsellor who specialises in working with anxiety is a good place to start.

If you want to learn more about counselling for anxiety, I offer a free initial 20-minute consultation call. This free call will allow you to ask any questions you might have about counselling and to see if I’m the right counsellor for you. I offer online counselling sessions within the UK (and face-to-face in the Pickering, North Yorkshire area). 

Click here to send an enquiry today.

You might be interested in:


What it’s like to have high-functioning anxiety – Headspace.

The Characteristics of High-Functioning Anxiety – Very Well Mind

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