You’ve probably heard of high-functioning anxiety by now when it comes to conversations regarding mental health. But what actually is high-functioning anxiety — and how does it differ from just regular ol’ anxiety!?
Unfortunately, research is pretty limited when it comes to high-functioning anxiety. The term itself isn’t recognized as an official mental health diagnosis, making it difficult to be both understood and treated. However, the “diagnosis” of the unrecognized ailment of high-functioning anxiety can typically be identified by the signs and symptoms in which people are experiencing. And also how those signs and symptoms differ from the actual diagnosable anxiety disorder.
So what is high-functioning anxiety anyway?
High-functioning anxiety is simply a term that references any person who both experiences anxiety while also managing to get through their daily life quite easily.
What are the signs and symptoms of high-functioning anxiety?
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of high-functioning anxiety is actually quite difficult. This is because the whole premise of being a “high-functioning” person with anxiety is being able to hide your symptoms well.
In fact, many symptoms of high-functioning anxiety are actually seen as positive traits, such as being overly punctual, organized, outgoing, proactive, and detail-oriented. Simply put, these traits are seen as a part of someone's personality rather than being symptoms of high-functioning anxiety.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of high-functioning anxiety may include:
- Overthinking and overanalyzing situations and/or decisions to an extreme
- Aggressive fear of failure
- The need to over-perfect everything
- People-pleasing tendencies of putting others needs before their own
- Difficulty saying no
- Self-judgment and guilt for past mistakes
- Difficulty setting boundaries and expressing emotions
- Excessive worry
- Nervous habits such as nail-biting, hair twirling, or leg shaking
- Intrusive thoughts that start with “What if…?”
- Procrastinating on important deadlines until the last minute
- Toxic comparison to others
- Always expects the worst
- Finds it difficult to relax
- Inability to turn their brain off
- Worrying about the future
What's the difference between high-functioning anxiety and anxiety?
As mentioned before, high-functioning anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder have similar signs and symptoms. However, the main difference between the two is the way individuals with each “diagnosis” tend to present themselves differently to people.
Individuals with high-functioning anxiety tend to suppress their symptoms around others, not allowing their “diagnosis” to interfere with their ability to complete daily tasks and manage their daily responsibilities.
On the outside, it may seem that people with high-functioning anxiety have their life together, but on the inside, the practice of continuously bottling up and compartmentalizing these anxiety symptoms will lead to other mental health disorders and also increase the risk for substance abuse disorders.
Are there treatments for high-functioning anxiety?
While high-functioning anxiety isn’t technically a clinical diagnosis, some treatments for it can be found in similar treatments for generalized anxiety disorder.
These include treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-informed therapy, EMDR therapy, integrative therapy, and group therapy.
However, when it comes to both anxiety and high-functioning anxiety, talk therapies like the ones mentioned above aren't always the only answer to healing from these mental health disorders.
Instead, it might come down to the physical root cause of the anxiety — aka. the trauma that's being stored in the body.
How is high-functioning anxiety related to stored trauma?
Years of long-term stress or the inability to cope with past trauma aren't just things that can affect us mentally.
Emotional trauma and psychological stress can actually be stored in someone’s somatic memory — affecting us physically.
And the longer it's stored in our somatic memory, the more it can cause negative affects on the body's biological stress response.
Leading to both anxiety, and high-functioning anxiety.
Symptoms of stored trauma in your body include:
- Digestive and gut problems
- Headaches and migraines
- Chronic pain (particularly in the hips, back, neck, and jaw)
- Brain fog
- Chronic fatigue
- Sleep issues
- Autoimmune diseases
- Inability to lose weight
- Mental health issues
How to deal with high-functioning anxiety in 2023? (And the stored trauma that's causing it!)
The only way to actually release the stored in your body is by doing somatic exercises.
Somatic exercises are gentle movements that connect your physical body to your emotional body. When this happens, it allows you to treat and release the physical manifestations of the trauma by addressing the location of where in the body it’s being stored.
Somatic exercises are actually the key to allowing your physical body and your emotional mind to finally communicate with one another and figure out what’s affecting the other.
Somatic exercises can:
- Help you finally lose the unwanted weight you've been trying to get rid of
- Heal your chronic inflammation
- Balance your hormones
- Relieve your sciatica
- Get rid of chronic back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain
- Stop you from clenching your jaw at night
- Allow your hips to stop popping all day long
- Get you into a normal sleeping routine
- Curing your gut and digestive issues
- Treat your daily headaches
- Clear your brain fog
- & so much more...
Ready to release your own stored trauma and finally deal with the high-functioning anxiety you've been living with for far too long!?
Our somatic healing programs have helped tens of thousands of people heal their physical and mental signs of trauma in just 5-10 minutes a day for 30 days.
And we want that for you, too!!
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