High-functioning anxiety looks like busyness, obsessiveness, and perfectionism. It looks like nail biting, lip chewing, and hair pulling. High-functioning anxiety is appearing calm while a storm consistently whirls within your head. While there is no official diagnosis of “high-functioning anxiety”, an individual’s anxious thoughts, emotions, and physical symptoms are real.
Here are six signs you may have high-functioning anxiety.
You are known as a “perfectionist” and/or an “overachiever”.
You consistently overthink and dwell on every single thing, which has resulted in you being known as as a “perfectionist”. Your tendency to ponder over every detail is the one of the only ways you manage your anxiety. Anxiety can manifest in ways that make an individual extremely vigilant to specific things, including work, cleaning, making lists, etc. Others tend to simply see your successes without recognizing the anxiety, so you are often labelled as an “overachiever”.
You have a deep-rooted fear of missing out.
You have a lot of trouble saying “no”. Whether it’s going out with friends or taking on a second job, you find it difficult to know when you have taken on too much. It’s the fear that by saying “no”, you may be missing out on a “once in a lifetime” opportunity, being a bad friend, or not being good enough.
You have small “ticks” that manifest physically, but just seem like bad habits.
There’s nail biting, lip chewing, foot tapping, bloody cuticles, and knuckle cracking. Seemingly small, simple bad habits are actually physical manifestations of your anxieties. In an attempt to keep the panic and nervousness under wraps, the anxiety slips out in these little habits.
You are often called “unemotional”.
You are a pro at “compartmentalizing” your emotions. You’re so used to behaving like everything is fine, when this could not be further from the truth. As a result, you can be difficult to read, even by those closest to you. You often feel that you are overreacting or being dramatic, and therefore bottle up your emotions in hopes that they will eventually go away. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and it can become unbearable to manage.
You need to be busy to feel happy.
Quite simply, always having something to do keeps your mind off of, well, your mind. By consistently keeping yourself occupied, you have a constant distraction from your thoughts and emotions—the anxieties that you deal with on a daily basis. Rather than keeping busy because you enjoy it, you remain busy out of fear of what may happen if life slows down.
You have a big fear of letting people down.
“You could have done better…you’re not a good friend…I wish that you would have done that differently”. You put a huge amount of pressure on yourself to be good enough, particularly to and for others. Whether or not the people around you are actually saying these things you will believe they feel this way. The ideas ultimately stem from the fact that not holding yourself to a high enough standard may result in letting down someone you care about. This is incredibly heart-breaking for you.
Check out this video by “The Mighty” that depicts what a person with high-functioning anxiety may experience.
If you recognize some of the feelings listed here, it is time to seek help and start making yourself a priority. TranQool is a great option to get help without the added pressure of disrupting your schedule or commuting.