If you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, you know how serious the condition is.
One of the things about diagnosis however, is that at least you now have a name to put to those feelings you’re experiencing. At least you can start to do something about it.
If on the other hand, you’re just living with much more troubling feelings of nervousness and worry and anxiety in every day life, that can be really hard.
Maybe if you haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety – perhaps you didn’t really realize that it was a real thing that people can suffer from – but you accept it as a normal part of everyday life, something could be done about it.
Everybody frets or feels a little anxious about a busy schedule or studying for exams. But if it starts to affect your everyday life, but still you keep it on the down low, you could be classed as having ‘high functioning anxiety’.
It’s not that you don’t want to be diagnosed, but maybe you don’t understand those feelings properly.
If any of this applies to you, or you want to understand a little more about somebody that you’re worried about, please read on.
You might not even realize you, or the person you know, is doing these things, but these are some of the classic signs and symptoms that people go through because of their high functioning anxiety.
1. You obsess over the most trivial things
It could be something as simple as a particular word that somebody used, that you didn’t like the sound of. Perhaps even somebody glancing your way for a moment.
But you replay that word or look in your head. Over and over and over. What could it mean? What were they getting at? Are you overthinking this too much?
Well if you’re still obsessing over that one thing that happened maybe even weeks or months ago, that could point to anxiety.
2. You decline people who invite you out, despite actually wanting to go
We’ve all done this – getting invited to a party, or to go out somewhere. The weeks go by and that concert ticket stays stuck to your fridge with a magnet and you look forward to it, but on the day you just don’t have the enthusiasm to go through with it.
It can be worse than this, when you obsess over that date you have booked, with the weeks leading up to it making you dread it happening more and more. This might not just be your personality, it could be a symptom of high functioning anxiety.
3. You fall asleep late and wake up early
A poor sleeping pattern is one of the classic signs of anxiety. Sleeping is the number one problem for people with so many thoughts racing through their head, that they find it very tough to relax in bed. So they stay up later, of course.
The reason those with anxiety are up so early is because their ‘anxiety clock’ wakes them up before their alarm clock even gets a chance. Once their anxiety switches on in their mind, there is nothing they can do to turn it off, so they can’t get back to sleep.
4. Yet you find that you’re too tired mentally to get out of bed
Even though their anxiety wakes them up early in the morning, it still doesn’t mean somebody with anxiety is ready to get up and face the day.
If you have days when you’re too mentally and physically tired to get out of bed, and you just wish you could stay curled up… maybe that’s something somebody could help you with?
5. You constantly think of the worst scenario
You texted someone and haven’t gotten a response back in a few hours. What has happened? Does that person hate you now? Are they telling other people about what you said. You begin to wonder if they’ve seen the message or are just ignoring you. What if something terrible has happened to them?
That’s the way the anxious mind works. Another example is if you got sick, your anxiety will immediately self-diagnose to the absolute worse disease it could be. Headache? Must be a brain tumor. You know the chances of it being that are minimal. But still…
6. If somebody shows concern about you, that makes you worry even more
One of the biggest triggers of someone’s anxiety is when someone notices it.
Your high functioning anxiety is a master of disguise, so when somebody spots it and figures it out, that’s when it will really go into overdrive. So if somebody shows concern to you and you go overboard in convincing them that you’re okay… maybe thinking about sharing what your real thoughts are with them? They have your best interests at heart.
7. You always rethink and replay past conversations
No matter how well a conversation went, those with anxiety keep it on repeat it in their head. Analyzing every last detail.
Because somebody with anxiety fears that they may have said something wrong, this plays on their mind, so they also try to avoid confrontation at all costs.
8. The future terrifies you
Most people look forward to the future, with at least a little optimism. But someone suffering from anxiety will only see the negative, and they’ll be intimidated and frustrated by thoughts of the future.
That’s because dealing with the present is so tough for them, they can’t even imagine how much tougher the future will be. So if the future freaks you out, you might well have high functioning anxiety.
9. You constantly compare your level of success to others your age
We all compare ourselves to other people, it’s just a part of life. I’ll never have as good a dress sense as this person, or I could never love dogs as much as that person.
But if you find yourself scrolling through Facebook, looking at the profiles of your old school friends, and seeing where they live, what job they have, if they’re married, how happy they look. Well then that’s a problem that you could use help with.
10. You beat yourself up over every mistake
Mistakes and errors are a part of life; you learn from them, and you learn to get better and grow as a person. But the second someone with anxiety makes a mistake, it haunts them.
So if you find yourself reacting badly to mistakes in your life, it could be you anxiety telling you that.
11. You don’t enjoy meeting new people
If you hate to meet new people because all you keep thinking over and over in your head is “will they like me?” until it becomes a worry, you could have high functioning anxiety.
So if you find yourself in a place that’s unfamiliar, you’ll often keep to yourself, and not talk to new people. You’ll often find people suffering from anxiety will keep to themselves until somebody talks to them.
12. You blame yourself for slow responses
As we’ve already seen, when someone with anxiety is messaging people, they need a quick response. We all LIKE a quick response, but those with high functioning anxiety NEED it.
So if you don’t receive a fast response, then you begin to panic and wonder if you said something wrong, that could be anxiety taking over.
Now that you know a little more, do you see any of these things in yourself? Or maybe you know you suffer from anxiety, and you’d like to talk about it a little more? Just leave a COMMENT to keep the debate going, and don’t forget to SHARE this article if you found it useful.