What is High Functioning Anxiety? – 6 Best Signs, Symptoms, and Causes

Do you know what is high functioning anxiety?
Many times you are going through a stressful situation but still working and functioning at your best because of this stress. What is it? What kind of anxiety is this that makes you more perfect and successful? It is called high functioning anxiety. But before recognizing that do I have high functioning anxiety, first, understand what is high functioning anxiety?

What is high functioning anxiety?

High functioning anxiety is not an officially recognized anxiety disorder but a term used to refer to people who suffer some symptoms of anxiety, but function properly and perform their best. These people are successful because they meet their deadlines, never miss an opportunity, are always on time, and are disciplined. They have a proper work-life balance, they manage their relationships healthily and satisfactorily, but their inner self is not at peace.

They struggle through obsessive feelings, stress, anxiousness, fear, and worrisome thoughts that disturb them from the inside, but they are perfect from the outside in front of everyone.

According to William Shakespeare, present fears are less than horrible imaginings.

Anxiety is one of the most common disorders growing day by day.

National Institute of Mental Health stated 19.1% of estimated US adults have an anxiety disorder.

Similar to everything, high functioning anxiety also has positive and negative aspects, and it must be understood to improve the quality, take control of your life and live peacefully. People suffering from high functioning anxiety cannot relax, enjoy their lives, and worry about the future.

Symptoms of high functioning anxiety

What is high functioning anxietyAfter understanding high functioning anxiety, it is time to comprehend the high functioning anxiety symptoms thoroughly. High functioning anxiety is not a disorder or a disease. Because of a limited amount of research on it, it is difficult to diagnose whether a person is suffering from high functioning anxiety or not? It can also be thought that you can have anxiety and not know it? So, yes, it is possible to have anxiety but not recognize it. Therefore, understanding what is high functioning anxiety and what its symptoms are is crucial.

Signs and symptoms of high functioning anxiety are almost similar to Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and some of these symptoms are described below.

  • Insomnia and difficulty sleeping.
  • Being restless and anxious
  • Difficult to concentrate and get exhausted
  • Overanalyzing and over observing everything to make it perfect
  • Muscle tension and panic attacks

These all symptoms can be used to identify what is high functioning anxiety and how to spot it.

Signs of high functioning anxiety

It is also identifiable what is high functioning anxiety and do I have high functioning anxiety or not? by the signs and symptoms of high functioning anxiety. Some more signs of high functioning anxiety observed in a person’s personality are described below.

  1. Fast heartbeat, distress, and disturbing feelings
  2. Stay dissatisfied until everything is perfect
  3. High blood pressure and gastrointestinal symptoms
  4. Punctual and never misses any deadlines
  5. Superstitious, inconsistent, and frustrating behavior
  6. Nervous habits include nail-biting, lip chewing, touching hairs, twisting fingers, and tapping feet.

Learn about the effects, signs, and symptoms of high functioning anxiety to know how to deal with high functioning anxiety.

Also, learn how to deal with anxiety in the pandemic?

Causes of high functioning anxiety

what is high functioning anxiety

People experiencing the effects of high functioning anxiety do not show their sufferings on others. They will seem perfect but feel scared, distressed, and disturbed inside. They are unable to remove fear from mind and heart. Their performance is up to the excellent mark and leaves the victim unable to find relief. Various factors that result in high functioning anxiety are described below. These causes will help you understand what is high functioning anxiety and solve the query do I have high functioning anxiety?

  • Any past traumatic experience of life, including losing some loved one or loss of a job, etc.
  • Sudden change in the environment that is not comfortable
  • Childhood suffering and deprivations can lead to anxiety
  • Having other mental illness issues for a long time
  • Any physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in childhood
  • Anxiety disorders are transmitted genetically from family or parents
  • Confronting problems for a long time, whether personal, professional, or financial
  • Unfavorable physical health disorders

Researchers believe that genes can transfer these disorders, and it is not necessary to have high functioning anxiety if you have suffered from these elements.

Consult your doctor if you spot any symptoms of high functioning anxiety. Also, learn the tips on how can you improve physical health?

What it’s like to have high functioning anxiety?

After knowing what is high functioning anxiety you also want to know what it’s like to have high functioning anxiety?

A person with high functioning anxiety develops good relationships in personal and professional life at work and is active and social.

Having high functioning anxiety boosted his passion for working more productively to succeed and perfect. It is his fear that motivates him to achieve everything. For instance, fear of losing their job makes him work more effectively. Due to this hard work, outgoing, and proactive person, he develops good trust at the workplace, handles conflict at work easily, and takes steps for fostering a positive work environment.

High functioning anxiety and depression

What is high functioning anxietyThe most common disorder, along with high functioning anxiety, is depression. Almost half of the cases suffering from high functioning anxiety have co-occurring signs of depression.

National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) demonstrates that almost 60% of people having anxiety symptoms also have symptoms of depression.

It is significant to understand that depressive disorders and anxiety disorders can co-occur.

According to the American journal of psychiatry concerning depression, a worldwide survey was conducted. This survey reported that 45.7% of individuals having lifetime depressive disorder also had a lifetime history of one or more anxiety disorders. Almost 41.6% of individuals who face depression in 12 months also have an anxiety disorder in the same 12 months.

These two conditions simultaneously occur and lead to severe mental health problems; thus, it is necessary to treat them appropriately.

What is high functioning anxiety combating procedure?

People who suffer from high functioning anxiety must regulate their behavior because it can lead to severe mental health issues. Not all of them know about high functioning anxiety treatment and must have a query in their mind, Is high functioning anxiety real or not?

As we know that it is not considered a disease, and no adequate research is made on it, there is no proper high functioning anxiety treatment. It is not a clinical disorder, but different procedures and therapies for controlling anxiety can be adopted.

A popular therapy called Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an excellent way to treat anxiety disorders. CBT helps people recognize their behaviors and make them function better in their lives.

What is high functioning anxietyYou should take control over your fear and think realistically. Confront your fears and don’t hide them behind a veil of perfection. You might understand till now what is high functioning anxiety and what it’s like to have high functioning anxiety?

Anxiety can be treated by using several medications that include antidepressants that reduce stress and depression, short-term anxiety relief, and anti-anxiety drugs.

It is important to understand what is high functioning anxiety so that you can analyze the symptoms and identify the signs. After that, you can consult a specialist at the right time and take the proper dosage of medications or therapies to minimize it on your doctor’s recommendation. Psychiatrists and professionals can guide you about dealing with high functioning anxiety.

Anxiety must be treated, and according to the facts by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, only 36.9% of people suffering from anxiety receive treatment.

Talk therapy is another way to treat high functioning anxiety. Talking about your condition to a counselor or psychiatrist leads you to a better understanding of what is high functioning anxiety and how to deal with high functioning anxiety. They can help you manage anxious thoughts and overcome high functioning anxiety to live a serene life and find your inner peace.

Never take any medication by yourself without consulting a doctor. If you completely understand what is high functioning anxiety and are analyzing some symptoms, speak to your doctor, who will recommend you the best technique to overcome it.


Here are some frequently asked questions associated with what is high functioning anxiety its signs and symptoms.

Q: How do you know if you have high-functioning anxiety?

Understand the concept what is high functioning anxiety to know what it is. When you have high functioning anxiety, you cannot relish and relax. You keep thinking about the future all the time, but you are a completely normal and stress-free person in front of others. You are an active, social, and successful person with others and develop good social interactions while your inside feelings are anxious.

Q: What are 5 signs of excessive anxiety?

The 5 signs of excessive anxiety include irritation, getting fatigued, panic attacks, phobias, and getting worried all the time. You should understand what is high functioning anxiety and what are its signs and symptoms to deal with it.

Q: What’s the difference between high-functioning anxiety and anxiety?

The basic difference between high functioning anxiety and anxiety is that you get worried and anxious and lose your concentration and ability to work while having anxiety. But in high functioning anxiety, your worry is converted into productivity. You are suffering from all the symptoms of anxiety disorder on the inside, but you are a calm, happy, and successful person from the outside.

Q: What triggers anxiety?

Various triggering factors can cause anxiety. It might happen because of childhood nervousness, childhood abuse, tragic life, sudden change, shocking circumstances, other mental and physical health issues, etc.

Q: At what point is anxiety considered a problem?

Anxiety is considered a problem when it starts affecting your life, work, and relationships. Anxiety can have positive and negative perspectives; it is good until it is under control and manageable and you are doing well. But when it starts impacting your life, it is considered a problem.

Final words

High functioning anxiety enables people to work productively, improve their future because they are constantly thinking about it, and be successful. But on the inner side, they are depressed, worried, and going through all the symptoms of anxiety disorder. Therefore, it is vital to understand what is high functioning anxiety to deal with it properly.

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