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6 Signs You Are Struggling With High Functioning Anxiety

Anxiety may be the most common mental health condition in the world, but there is still so much people don’t know about some of the symptoms. For example, not all anxiety is the same. Some people deal with it differently than others. While it’s often portrayed as a condition that can completely take over your thoughts and your life, some are able to handle it more effectively.

However, that doesn’t make it less of a problem. You simply could be struggling with high-functioning anxiety. It’s essential to understand what high-functioning anxiety looks like, so you can get the help you deserve. You don’t have to live with the struggle of any type of anxiety for the rest of your life, as long as you know how to manage your symptoms effectively. With that in mind, let’s look at six signs you’re dealing with high-functioning anxiety.

1. You’re a High-Achiever

Do people always label you a “perfectionist?” Do you tend to go above and beyond in just about everything you do? Maybe you don’t like the idea of failure or settling for less than your best.

While there’s nothing wrong with working hard and doing your best, going to extremes can come with a price. If your high-achieving mindset causes you to feel anxious at times, or you’re often worried that you might not live up to your own expectations, it could be a sign of something deeper going on.

2. You Have An Outgoing Personality

People with extreme anxiety tend to withdraw from others and may even end up isolating themselves. Those with high-functioning anxiety are often the opposite. They feel anxious on the inside, but have outgoing and calm personalities, so no one really knows what’s going on beneath the surface.

3. You’re Very Organized

Being organized is a good thing. It can reduce stress and help you feel calmer. However, when you use organization and keeping things “perfect” as a way to feel a sense of control, it’s only going to add to your stress levels. If you tend to keep things organized because you need to feel in control of something, it could be a sign that anxiety is impacting other areas of your life, and you’re holding onto this so you don’t let it take over.

4. You Have a Lot of Nervous Habits

It’s not uncommon for people to have small quirks or habits like playing with their hair or cracking their knuckles. However, those with high-functioning anxiety have a lot of these habits. You might find yourself having a hard time sitting still, especially when you have some downtime.

That’s because a racing mind is another common sign of high-functioning anxiety. Keeping yourself busy or distracted as often as possible is a way to try to control that.

5. You Feel a Need for Reassurance

Even though many people with high-functioning anxiety are outgoing, they also want (or need) reassurance from others. If you consider yourself a people-pleaser or have a hard time saying no, that’s because you’re looking for approval from the people in your life.

Finding that reassurance from others, even if it costs you your time, can provide a momentary feeling of peace until your mind starts racing with negative thoughts again.

6. You Struggle With Fatigue

Almost every type of anxiety is exhausting, and high-functioning is no different. Your racing mind, desire to please everyone, and keep things organized and “neat” will eventually leave you feeling exhausted and burnt out. You’re likely to experience both mental and physical fatigue and have a hard time focusing and staying alert.

High-functioning anxiety is very manageable but hard to overcome on your own.

If any of these signs sound familiar, and you know you’re dealing with more than one, the best thing you can do is reach out for professional help. Feel free to contact me for information or to set up an appointment.


Jennifer Perera is a mom of two boys, a spouse and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is also Certified as a Perinatal Mental Health Professional by Postpartum Support International. She has a private practice in Springfield, New Jersey and also sees clients throughout New Jersey via telehealth. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual and couples counseling. She also runs workshops for new parents, teaching them techniques and strategies to help them have a stronger relationship - built to thrive during the parenthood years. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with grief or loss issues surrounding pregnancy.


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