Since ‘high-functioning’ anxiety is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (latest edition DSM-5), it is not an official medical diagnosis yet. However, more and more people are beginning to identify with this form of anxiety.
Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States that represents 18.1 percent of the American population and are therefore the most common mental illness in the country. There are several types of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and specific phobias. All these cause overwhelming distress to the affected individuals. This also includes high-functioning anxiety.
A person with high-functioning anxiety may look calm on the surface and may be very successful in almost every aspect of life, such as jobs, relationships, academics, raising kids, etc. However, beneath their confident exterior, there are undercurrents of persistent negative thoughts, restlessness and even physical symptoms like muscle tension. Though they might appear in control actively engaging in daily tasks, they face constant misgivings and struggle to make it through the day.
Identifying high-functioning anxiety
Often considered perfectionist, people with high-functional anxiety witness a range of physical and psychological problems. On the physical level, people afflicted with high-functioning anxiety disorder may display nail biting and hair picking habits, poor sleep patterns and the feeling of exhaustion. The constant mental exhaustion weighs on them heavily as their minds are always racing with intense and dark thoughts of the worst-case scenarios that sap much energy.
Few effective ways to manage anxiety
Overall, anxiety is manageable but not cured altogether. Therefore, it is very essential for people with anxiety to equip themselves with practical skills to manage their condition. Some of the practical solutions for managing high-functioning anxiety are as follows:
- Recognizing and interpreting one’s symptoms: Instead of overanalyzing on why one is feeling or thinking a specific way and feeling guilty about it, it is best to acknowledge whenever one’s anxiety is acting up. Moreover, one must convince himself or herself that it is going to be okay and be prepared to face the challenges that high-functioning anxiety would bring to focus his or her energy on treating the condition.
- Accepting fear as part of life: Since anxiety can’t be just wished away and ignored, one must face it head-on and try to understand the root cause of that fear. The awareness about the root causes can help a person to manage his or her problem at a micro level instead of feeling overwhelmed by a major worry.
- Witnessing both physical and mental problems: People with high-functioning anxiety may feel stuck both mentally and physically. One needs to take a breather by way of a short walk or deep breathing exercises to reconnect with one’s physical side and channel his or her nervous energy in a more positive direction.
- Talking back to fear with a mantra: Having a mantra or phrase that one can throw at anxiety is empowering. Some phrases could work out to be “Nobody’s perfect and so am I, but I’m doing the best I can” or “I deserve to take loving care of myself.”
- Stepping out of the avalanche of emotions and fear: Since anxiety feeds on itself, one would find himself or herself being sucked into a whirlpool of anxious behaviors, such as checking and rechecking lists repeatedly. One would need to take a step back and pause. This way, one can assess the extent of the problem objectively instead of being drawn into irrational fears.
Manage anxiety via effective treatment
People suffering from high-functioning anxiety tend to mask their anxiety with a smiling, happy face despite the turmoil inside. They suffer in silence as the fear of judgement and misunderstanding always looms large when it comes to mental disorders. It is essential to identify the warning signs and consult an expert to alleviate the challenges.
To know more about anxiety disorders and treatment centers, contact the Anxiety Disorder Treatment Arizona. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-425-9317 to get the details about anxiety disorder treatment in Arizona. You can also chat online with our representative to locate the best anxiety disorder treatment clinic in Arizona.