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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 19% of adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder. With a rate this high, it is important to understand how anxiety presents in different ways, in different people.
Anxiety can actually be useful in some ways and is experienced to a certain degree by everyone at times. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, commonly referred to as GAD, is a diagnosable generalized form of anxiety.
There are four main features of anxiety to be aware of when recognizing whether or not what’s going on may be a diagnosable disorder.
To start, high functioning anxiety is not an actual diagnosis. There is no set-in-stone overview of what high functioning anxiety entails. However, the symptoms can be just as detrimental as those of diagnosable forms of anxiety.
The main distinction between high functioning anxiety and GAD is the lack of physical symptoms causing an influence on behavior. This is seen as a blessing and a curse for those experiencing high functioning anxiety because the physical symptoms they may have are not noticeable to those around them or limiting their ability to engage in an activity.
The name can be misleading, with the inherent positive spin on anxiety. High functioning anxiety is not an easy condition to deal with. According to Very Well Mind, these are some of the biggest signs to watch out for:
Though the list above may make you think differently, there are actually both negative and positive effects that can come from experiencing high functioning anxiety. Some highly functioning anxiety people will describe themselves as driven, active, successful, organized, and passionate. However, inevitably there can also be major repercussions. Those dealing with high functioning anxiety will often be so caught up with doing everything “right” or pleasing everyone that their own well-being is an afterthought.
High functioning anxiety comes with many different feelings, leading to failure and worry. Like the symptoms listed under GAD in the DSM, people with high functioning anxiety will often fear anxiety past their point of bearable comfort, yet continue to achieve. This is a dangerous combination.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
National Suicide Prevention Life