Beyond the Surface: Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety Disorder: Signs, Effects, And How To Deal With It


High Functioning Anxiety Disorder Signs Effects And Remedy

Anxiety is not something we are born with. We acquire it due to several external conditions. Sometimes we fall prey to it, while other times, we subconsciously invite it. But seldom do we realize, that anxiety can also manifest itself in the most unusual ways. Enters the case of High Functioning Anxiety Disorder. What makes this interesting, is that not only patients are unaware of their suffering, but are also able to unknowingly, yet effectively, deceive people in creating an impression of normalcy.

High Functioning Anxiety Disorder can be defined as “the tendency and practice of undertaking pursuits to avoid exhibiting chronic anxiety traits to the external world.”

To unveil this psychological enigma, we need to dive straight into the tell-tale signs of this mysterious condition that has been overlooked by the mental health communities, until now.

Here are some tell-tale signs you have high functioning anxiety disorder, the ways it affects your health, and how to effectively deal with it.

Related: How Yoga Can Help With Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Research Reveals

What Is High Functioning Anxiety Disorder?

High functioning anxiety disorder refers to a kind of anxiety where a person suffers from anxiety but manages to mask it and go about their daily life quite well. People suffering from this tend to be very put-together from the outside, yet suffer from intrusive and obsessive thoughts, worry, and stress on the inside.

Even though it is not a recognized mental health disorder, this type of anxiety plagues a lot of people, it’s just that we hardly get to know about their struggles. They are usually good performers in their workplace, maintain healthy social relationships, have stable romantic relationships, handle all their finances well, and carry out all their daily chores properly.

However, at the same time, they suffer from unwelcome and disturbing thoughts and feel anxious and worried about the future. It’s just that, they have become pros at hiding their anxiety well and getting things done.

5 Signs Of A High Functioning Anxiety Disorder

1. They’re Successful, Yet Restless

High functioning anxiety disorder
Beyond The Surface: Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety Disorder: Signs, Effects, And How To Deal With It

People suffering from high functioning anxiety disorder will come across as successful professionals with relatively stable careers. They always arrive early, meet deadlines, exceed expectations, etc. On the outside, this looks absolutely normal since we all crave professional stability and want to climb the corporate ladder.

But as they say, looks can be deceiving. If you probe deep into their subconscious, you’ll find that they’re doing all this not out of the desire to excel in their career, but out of the fear and anxiety of losing out on their job.

We all subconsciously brood over our financial future and try to avoid mistakes as much as possible, but they are constantly worried about their performances even if they’ve received good, if not the best feedback in their appraisals. No amount of appreciation can relax them into acknowledging and contending with their own efficiency.

2. They’re Not In Tune With Their Personal Life

High functioning anxiety disorder
Beyond The Surface: Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety Disorder: Signs, Effects, And How To Deal With It

We all love enjoying our personal space after long office hours. But the same cannot be said about people suffering from high functioning anxiety disorder. Since they suppress their anxiety all day, their mind becomes exhausted from the emotional tension and tends to vent out the toxin.

This results in sudden fits of rage, mood swings, getting annoyed for no reason, depression, and a lack of interpersonal communication. Their family, their close ones, friends, and relatives remain bewildered as to why this person, who’s so successful in their profession tends to go haywire when engaging in their personal sphere.

Little do they know that these behaviors are but defense mechanisms to cope with the immense mental and emotional restraints they impose on their health to make things look normal at their workplace.

3. They Always Strive For Perfection, But Feel Incomplete Within

High functioning anxiety disorder
Beyond The Surface: Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety Disorder: Signs, Effects, And How To Deal With It

High functioning anxiety patients are addicted to delivering things with perfection. While such an attitude is highly appreciated in this era of competitive precision, things fail to work out well when this approach is taken a bit too far.

In this case, the person strives for perfection but feels imperfect all the time. No matter what they do, or how much effort they put in, they always have this nudging sensation of incompleteness. It is as if something is always missing. Now, the world around us manifests in the ways we perceive them to be.

So, for these people, their world is always in need of betterment. Be it in the office or personal space, they always hunt for improvement, even if things are going smoothly and in order. The more they feel discontented with things as they are, the more this feeling tends to haunt them.

Related: Signs And Symptoms Of Generalised Anxiety Disorder

4. They’re Unable To Rest Even When Drained And Exhausted

High functioning anxiety disorder
Beyond The Surface: Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety Disorder: Signs, Effects, And How To Deal With It

People suffering from high functioning anxiety disorder perceive the world as a continuous flow of deadlines to be met at any cost. When tired after office hours, we usually take some rest by mentally distancing ourselves from all the professional hassles, but that is not the case with these people.

Their mind keeps poking them about the burdens of the next day. This keeps them from getting the minimum mental rest they need to get in order to function as a healthy individual. They always keep thinking about the next day and brood about their upcoming performances. Reason? Same, fear of failure

This level of anxiety somehow makes them feel that they have not performed as per the expectations (which they set up in their own mind by the way) and whether they’d be able to get things done the following day. And since every next day leads to yet another day of toil, the cycle is never-ending.

5. They Take Things Too Seriously, That To Others Are Not A Big Deal

High functioning anxiety disorder
Beyond The Surface: Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety Disorder: Signs, Effects, And How To Deal With It

People suffering from high functioning anxiety are deterred by small things. What to others seem very petty, lame, or insignificant, can bear enough gravity to suck out all their calm. They always feel that things are not in place and that something needs to be done to fix them.

This keeps them from enjoying the fruits of life. Instead, they always suffer from an internal conflict between satisfaction and restlessness. They want to feel accomplished in every step, no matter how insignificant they seem.

This self-imposed expectation robs them of their mental peace and substitutes it with discontent and misery.

Related: How I Healed My Life-Long Anxiety

3 Major Effects Of High Functioning Anxiety Disorder

High functioning anxiety disorder
Beyond The Surface: Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety Disorder: Signs, Effects, And How To Deal With It

High functioning anxiety disorder results in severe health repercussions. Since human emotions and physique are parts of the same continuum of existence, this psychological condition takes no time in taking over physical health. Let’s find out what are the effects of anxiety disorder.

1. Cardiac Issues

High functioning anxiety affects the blood pressure of an individual, thus increasing the chances of heart attacks and even failures in extreme cases.

2. Gastrointestinal Issues

Our stomach, liver and other components engaged in digestive processes need adequate rest and blood supply for proper functioning.

But since people suffering from high functioning anxiety disorder are deprived of the optimum level of rest, these abdominal components tend to malfunction, often leading to acidity, gastritis, nausea, vomiting, ulcer, etc

3. Sleep Deprivation

Lack of mental rest leads to chronic sleep deprivation in patients. This results in unwanted drainage of the vital energy necessary to sustain a healthy regular life. Less sleep leads to an improper REM cycle, thus disrupting the energy restoration phase.

How To Deal With High Functioning Anxiety Disorder

High functioning anxiety disorder
Managing High Functioning Anxiety Disorder

1. Face Your Fear

Anxiety is fueled by the fear of failing at certain pursuits. What you can do is challenge the fear by believing in your efficiency.

The moment you start acknowledging your performance in everyday life, the more you’ll find this anxiety that has grappled with you for so long, slowly fading away. Tell yourself that you have given your best and that you do not feel the slightest regret or guilt.

2. Get Rid Of The Self Imposed Deadlines.

This is one of the best tips for dealing with anxiety disorder. You’re not here to fulfill expectations, let alone construct them for yourself. High functioning anxiety stems from these self-imposed expectations that literally no one has asked you to fulfill.

By doing this, you’re only manufacturing obligations that lead to poor health and miserable life in general. You keep struggling and striving for results, but never reach the end. It is a perpetual loop of mental and emotional discontent that can be stopped only if you choose to not fuel them any further.

Related: How to Reclaim Your Power Absorbed by Anxiety: 5 Ways

3. Stop Seeking Perfection

There’s nothing wrong with being imperfect. Perfection leaves no room for improvement, thus hindering growth. If you truly want to prosper, make imperfection your friend, instead of trying to run away from it. Embrace the flaws, and your effect, and see how things turn up.

Always remember what the ancients said: “Living things are imperfect, that’s why they grow; only inanimates are perfect, that’s why they’re dead.”

What Is High Functioning Anxiety Disorder pin
What Is High Functioning Anxiety Disorder &Amp; High Functioning Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
High Functioning Anxiety Disorder pin
How To Deal With Anxiety Disorder
high functioning anxiety disorder symptoms
Effects Of Anxiety Disorder, Deal With Anxiety Disorder, Tips For Dealing With Anxiety Disorder
High Functioning Anxiety Disorder Signs Effects And Remedy
What Is High Functioning Anxiety Disorder, What Are The Effects Of Anxiety Disorder, How To Deal With Anxiety Disorder

— Share —

— About the Author —


  1. Rajshree Panse Avatar
    Rajshree Panse

    nice blog

Leave a Reply

Up Next

5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique for Anxiety: A Great Method to Calm Your Anxiety

Coping Technique for Anxiety

If you are looking for a simple but effective coping technique for anxiety, look no further: the 54321 anxiety technique is your answer!

This technique is one of the easiest relaxation methods you can learn. So, whether you’re feeling overwhelmed or facing a stressful situation it will help you stay grounded in the present moment by using your senses.

Whether you’re dealing with occasional anxiety or looking for new tools to add to your mental health toolkit, this technique can be a valuable resource. In this blog, we will explore how the 54321 anxiety technique works and guide you through implementing it in your daily life. 

Understanding Anxiety and Its Unavoidable Effects

Up Next

Music Therapy: How To Use Music For Emotional Healing?

Music For Emotional Healing: Benefits of Music Therapy

Do you ever notice how your favorite song instantly lifts your spirits when it comes on? Or how it can calm your mind at the end of a stressful day? Well, that’s the power of music. It is not just some words and sounds, it’s a powerful tool that can also heal us. So, let us explore ways in which we can use music for emotional healing.

Can we use music for emotional healing?

Music heals. This is a fact known for centuries and holds true even to

Up Next

Is Your Depression Causing Anger? 4 Crucial Reasons to Address It

Is Your Depression Causing Anger? Reasons to Address It

Do you find yourself caught in an emotional tug-of-war? Is your depression causing anger? If every little frustration feels like it could explode into rage and snapping at loved ones for no reason has become a common habit, learn the ways to help yourself with depression and anger.

As an effect of depression, anger is quite common because we get tired of managing our depressed moods and get frustrated. Eventually, this affects our psyche and generates byproducts like irritability which negatively influence our daily lives. 

In this blog, I will help you understand when depression causes anger and how to manage it.

Scientific Connection Between Depression and Anger

Up Next

7 Proven Ways To Process And Heal From Collective Trauma

Healing from Collective Trauma: Strategies for Coping

Facing trauma not only as an individual but as a part of a community is real. It can happen for multiple reasons but grave societal issues are the primary ones.

Hence, sometimes this trauma can be inherited from the family as well. This is a shared collective trauma that elderly family members may pass on to their children and it continues.

Suppose your grandparents faced tremendous trauma for a particular type of social issue that may happen frequently but does not become a grave matter always. Hence, this fear of loss may pass to your parents and come to you.

So, now you have trauma for this particular type of social issue, and whenever you see it is going to happen you become extremely traumatized and anxious. Therefore, sometimes you may be a part of collective trauma unknowingly. 

Up Next

Depression Without Suicidal Thoughts: 8 Signs That You Have Been Ignoring

Depression without Suicidal Thoughts: Signs To Identify

Have you ever felt like you are going through the motions of daily life but not really feeling present or engaged? Many people experience depression without the extreme of suicidal thoughts, and it’s often overlooked or misunderstood.

Most of the time depression is associated with visible signs of sadness. However, sometimes it does appear with hidden signs.  You might think, “I’m just tired,” or “It’s just a rough patch,” but these feelings can be more than that. Depression can manifest in subtle ways that we often ignore or dismiss.

In this blog, we’ll explore 8 signs of depression that don’t involve suicidal thoughts—signs you might have been ignoring.

Read More:

Up Next

Anxiety Attack vs Panic Attack: How They Differ and Why It Matters?

Anxiety Attack vs Panic Attack: Must-Know Differences

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by sudden intense fear? Well, it’s important to understand the difference between an anxiety attack vs panic attack. Because whatever you are feeling is serious for your health and you need proper medical attention.

In modern life’s fast-paced rhythm, intense emotional overwhelm can strike unexpectedly. While both involve intense feelings of fear and discomfort, they differ in duration, triggers, and symptoms.

Recognizing these distinctions empowers individuals to seek appropriate support and strategies for managing these distressing but manageable experiences in their journey toward mental well-being.

This blog is going to be a handbook for those who are struggling with identifying panic attack signs, coping with anxiety attacks, and managing them. Keep following.

Up Next

3 Hacks To Stop Negative Thinking: It Worked For Me!

Hacks To Stop Negative Thinking: Master Self-Regulation

As someone who struggled to recognize negative thinking in myself, it took some time to understand I was doing it as a self-defense mechanism. I felt like I “had to” think negatively to keep myself safe. After a series of negative consequences, I discovered three easy steps to help stop negative thinking.

Negativity is not just in your thinking but also in your bad habits. It is also the words and vibes of others that you absorb. Unfortunately, we do not always have a way out of it.

3 Actionable Hacks To Stop Negative Thinking

Understanding the “why” behind your actions, responses, reactions, and behavior is necessary for your well-being. Negativity can sometimes come from our incorrect way of dealing with situat