I’m guessing that whenever someone mentions the term anxiety, the first thing that pops up in your mind is a person who nervously shivers while struggling to get their thoughts and emotions together.
However, it is important to know that, not everything is black and white. There are people who were diagnosed with anxiety but still managed to live their lives in a way that seems more normal than usual.
This condition is commonly known as a high-functioning anxiety disorder.
An individual suffering from this illness may function properly and engage in everyday life activities without having the side-effects of his anxiety leaking out. It is safe to say that it is a condition that is easier for them to control.
However, just because someone is strong enough to keep moving forward and push the limits, it doesn’t mean that they should be treated differently than any other anxiety sufferer.
They might seem like they have it all, but deep inside, there are still some unwanted and unresolved feelings.
Here are 8 signs a person is experiencing a high-functioning anxiety:
1. THEY HAVE A HARD TIME MAINTAINING A REGULAR SLEEPING PATTERN
People struggling with high-functioning anxiety experience the same issues as individuals who are diagnosed with anxiety. The thing that makes them different from one another is that they decided they were going to deal with it, and still lead a normal life.
So naturally, when you internalize anxiety in order to maintain a productive and functional day, the demons inside of you may appear when you least expect it. And their most common appearance is in the form of a disturbed sleeping pattern.
2. THEY NEED TO BE IN TOTAL CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES
Individuals with high-functioning anxiety may appear like they have it all, but, the reality is usually different.
Everything they actually have is a by-product of their highly controlling patterns. You see, the world, the environment, or their surroundings, they all pose a potential threat to a person with high-functioning anxiety.
As a result, they have a desperate need to control everything within their power. The feeling of having things under control helps them deal with the exhausting stress.
3. THEY STRIVE FOR PERFECTION
Another sign that a person might be experiencing a high-functioning anxiety is their eternal passion for perfection.
Whether it’s work-related or involving their personal relationships, functional anxiety often results in striving for perfection. People living with this condition aspire to reach greatness and perfection in every aspect of their lives.
4. THEY AVOID RISKS AND UNPREDICTABILITY
It is more than obvious that a person suffering from this condition is not someone who would be thrilled to be surprised.
Any activity that could be perceived as ‘exciting, ‘thrilling’, or ‘breath-taking’ might literally leave them short of breath. So, risky or tense situations like horror movies or unpredictable rides aren’t fun for someone with this disorder.
These people tend to stick to the safer, risk-free side of life.
5. THEY HAVE RARE BUT INTENSE OUTBURSTS
You would be surprised, but people with high-functioning anxiety usually tend to keep quiet. It is not like they don’t have anything to say. There’s a lot going on in their minds, but the truth is, they prefer leaving those demons asleep.
Because when they finally wake up, an anxious person is likely to burst out and get everything off their chest. This might result in intense outbursts. The ones you’ve probably never seen or felt before.
6. THEY NEED REASSURANCE (AND A LOT OF IT)
Seeing that these individuals keep facing their fears and irrational thoughts, they need to have someone who would reassure them and make them see the more logical side of every conundrum.
“After having a fearful thought many times, over it starts to seem possible that the fear could actually come true,” says clinical psychologist Devon MacDermott, Ph.D.
Therefore, most people with this condition tend to seek reassurance as a form of a reminder that they’re actually safe.
7. THEY ARE OFTEN RESTLESS AND EXTREMELY TENSE
Even though you may not have noticed, people with high-functioning anxiety have a hard time keeping a peaceful state of mind. They just prefer to hide their agitation and harmful habits in public.
Sadly, when there’s no one around them, they tend to spend time over-analyzing, biting their nails, twitching and constantly moving in order to deal with the perplexing anxiety.
8. THEY TRY TO AVOID THEIR THOUGHTS BY ENGAGING IN SOMETHING ELSE
Their uncomfortable, frightening thoughts and dark feelings are usually getting in the way of a productive and effective day. That is why these people tend to do everything in their power to avoid or repress the parts they don’t want to hear.
The best way to distract themselves from their busy minds and dark parts is working until fatigue takes over and they no longer feel a thing.